Easy breezy recipes to please the palate

Published 10:17 pm Tuesday, February 16, 2010

So, the coldest of the weather is coming to an end soon. I thought I would share some lighter dishes – perhaps for lunches, light suppers or even great snacks. If you need a little warming up you can serve any of these with soups or afterwards for dessert. You don’t even need a stove or microwave for any of these recipes. No baking or cooking required.  So walk on the lighter side, chill out and enjoy.

Chicken salad

1 lemon pepper rotisserie chicken (two if they are small) de-boned and shredded

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1 cup finely chopped celery or nuts (or both) for some crunch (optional)

1 tsp lemon zest

2 tbs orange juice

1/4 cup sweet pickle relish

1/2 cup of mayonnaise

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp paprika

salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large container with an air-tight lid. If it’s a little too dry, add more mayonnaise and/or orange juice until well moistened. Store in the fridge with the lid on it for at least an hour to chill. Serve on your favorite bread, crackers, with fruit or on a salad.

Pimiento Cheese Spread

2 cups finely grated extra sharp cheddar

1 (3 oz.) package cream cheese at room temperature

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 (4 oz.) jar pimientos, drained and smashed

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp paprika (optional)

pepper and salt to taste (optional)

In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Add all the other ingredients (except cheddar) and beat until well blended. Stir in cheddar until very well coated. Just like the chicken salad, you must refrigerate in an air-tight container for at least an hour to let it chill and allow all the flavors to meld together. Serve as a sandwich, on crackers or in cleaned celery sticks as a great appetizer or snack. Enjoy these easy breezy meals and snacks.

Until next time, have fun in the kitchen, experiment and indulge your cravings.

Laura Clements is the pastry chef at Napoleon’s.