We tend to go for fresh salads and cold side dishes on Christmas day as living in Brisbane can get just a little humid and sweaty if you aren't lucky enough to have an air-con (Poor B & Mr B). We also like to try one or two new salads each year, but sometimes the old potato salad recipe from way back has to make an appearance though as it just wouldn't be tradition or Christmas comfort food if it wasn't there. Kind of like how Mum's old school trifle (think port wine jelly, peaches, jam roll etc) makes the dessert list every year. I think everyone would have some kind of family Christmas food tradition. What is yours?
In thinking about our menu this year, I thought I'd try a new salad before Christmas this year to see what it was like. So I paired this crunchy fresh Asian-style salad with a yummy grilled chicken recipe also for an easy Saturday night dinner at home. These two recipes are actually from The Australian Women's Weekly "Christmas & Holiday Entertaining" so they could be considered kind of festive. I just thought I share these with you as they are a little different from the usual week night dinner but you could have them anytime, especially when you are really over having ham for breakfast, lunch and dinner!!
The chicken was done on the BBQ but any grill plate would be fine, and I do hope the neighbours could smell this as it did smell pretty good! The dressing for the salad also tasted fantastic. It reminded me a little of that famous Japanese ginger salad dressing you seem to get at Japanese take-aways and teppanyaki restaurants (B and I were a little obsessed with the Benihana version of that dressing back in the day!).
Grilled Portuguese Chicken - serves 4
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
2 small fresh red thai chillies, seeded, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, crushed
8 x chicken thigh fillets
1/3 cup tomato chutney (this is to serve with the chicken)
Crunchy Wombok Salad - serves 4-6
1/2 large wombok, shredded ( Wombok is also know as Chinese cabbage )
3 large carrots, grated coarsely
1/2 bunch radishes, sliced very thinly
6 green onions (green shallots), sliced very thinly
1/2 cup whole-egg mayonnaise
4cm piece fresh ginger, peeled
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/3 cup cashews or peanuts, toasted
1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves
For the chicken:
Combine the juice, oil, paprika, oregano, salt, chilli, garlic and chicken in a large bowl, mix well.
Add the chicken to a pre-heated, oiled grill plate (or grill BBQ). Cook over medium heat, covered loosely with foil, until browned both sides and cooked through.
For the salad:
Combine wombok, carrot, radish and green onion in a large bowl, toss gently to combine.
Place the mayonnaise in a small bowl. Coarsely grate the ginger and gather it up in your fingers, squeeze the grated ginger over the mayonnaise so that the juice falls into the bowl. Discard the ginger pulp. Add the lime juice, sweet chilli and soy, stir to combine. Taste to check seasoning and add more lime juice if needed.
Add dressing to salad and toss to combine. Serve topped with nuts and coriander.