Sunday, August 21, 2011

Travelers Cuisine - Cheddar Jack Red Jalapeno Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomato







     While stuck in a motel room waiting to move back to Las Vegas, I decided to create a few recipes for travelers.  Eating greasy high saturated fat fast food while on the road is not a good thing.  Finding healthy dining options at roadside restaurants can be impossible in remote areas of the country.  Stopping at a local small town grocery store near the highway or packing food in a cooler is not a bad option.  Whipping up tasty salad that looks nice in a motel room helps to relieve travel related stress.
     Cheddar chicken salad was popular in the 1980's, but most of the recipes lacked spicy zest.  Many chefs choose not to use chile peppers in recipes, because they fear scaring away customers.  What those chefs end up creating is bland middle of the road flavors that become boring after a few bites.  Experienced chefs do know how to use chile peppers to season food.  It only takes a tiny bit of hot spicy chile pepper to make a recipe taste lively.
     Green jalapeno peppers are in the mild to to lower medium spicy heat range.  Red jalapenos are usually milder than green jalapenos, but there are exceptions to the rule.  Any jalapeno that has the seeds removed will taste mildly spicy.
     The combination of cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, red jalapeno and chicken creates a tasty salad flavor that is nice for stuffing a tomato.
   
     Cheddar Jack Red Jalapeno Chicken Salad:
     This recipe makes one stuffed tomato!
     Grocery stores sell fresh roasted whole chicken in the delicatessen department.  A roasted whole chicken from a grocery store is a good for making a few meals while traveling.  About 5 to 6 stuffed tomatoes can be made with the meat on one whole roasted chicken.
     Chicken and cheese mayonnaise salads must be served shortly after the salad is made.  If the salad sits for too much time, then the cheese will soften and the texture will become mushy and unpleasant!
     Place 1 1/4 cups of diced roasted chicken meat in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 tablespoon of finely diced seeded red jalapeno pepper.  (Canned red jalapeno strips are fine for this recipe.)
     Add 1/2 of a chopped green onion.
     Add 1/4 cup of mixed grated cheddar cheese and grated Monterey Jack cheese.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Add just enough mayonnaise to bind the ingredients together.
     Mix the ingredients together.
     
     Cheddar Jack Red Jalapeno Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomato:
     Vegetable snack packs are available at grocery stores and roadside convenience stores.  The vegetables can be used to garnish a stuffed tomato platter.
     Place 3 pieces of leaf lettuce on a plate, so the leaves point from center.
     Place 1 turned radish half between each lettuce leaf.
     Place trimmed sweet snap pea pods on each side of the radish halves.
     Place a small mound of alfalfa sprouts on the center of the platter as a bed for the stuffed tomato.
     Vertically slice a ripe tomato from the bottom to at least 3/4's of the way to the top of the tomato.  Cut 4 vertical slices total, so the tomato can be opened into 8 thin tomato wedge leaves.
    Open and fan out the tomato, so the tomato leaves form a tomato wedge leaf cup.
    Use a round scoop or spoon to mound the cheddar jack red jalapeno chicken salad in the tomato.
    Set the stuffed tomato on the bed of alfalfa sprouts on the platter.
    Garnish the stuffed tomato with a few thin slices of green onion.
 
     This is a good tasting stuffed tomato that looks nice!  Taking a little bit of time to create a simple motel room meal while traveling helps to relieve road related stress.  A good looking plate of food always puts a smile on a face.  Yum!  ...  Shawna

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