Color, crunch and sweetness make this a dinner salad with broad appeal.
You might want to add the serrano chili peppers after the younger appetites have been accounted for.
Chicken, shrimp and fruit salad
1-2teaspoons canola oil
1/2cup thinly sliced shallots (2 to 3 shallots)
2medium cloves garlic, cut into very thin slivers
4-6ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast or chicken tenderloins
1teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
16large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
1medium Granny Smith apple
2-3small serrano chili peppers, stemmed, seeded and cut thinly crosswise
1cup red or black seedless grapes, cut in half
1cup green seedless grapes, cut in half
1orange, peeled and segmented (pith removed)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4cup roasted unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/2head Boston or butter lettuce, leaves washed and dried
2tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
In a small nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until it shimmers. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, for 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Cut the chicken into long, thin strips and place in a medium skillet. Add water to cover and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Heat to almost a boil over medium heat, then cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Use tongs to transfer the chicken to a work surface. Tear or cut it into shreds about 1 inch long and place them in a large bowl. Retain the poaching liquid in the skillet.
Reduce the heat under the poaching liquid to medium-low; add the shrimp and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until just cooked through. Drain, discarding the poaching liquid. Cut the shrimp into 1/4- to 1/3-inch dice and add to the chicken. Set aside.
Combine the sugar and lemon or lime juice in a small bowl with the remaining salt. Set aside.
Core and dice the apple; add it and the serrano chili peppers to the chicken-shrimp mixture. Add the grapes and the orange segments, then the sugar-juice mixture, and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the chopped peanuts, half of the fried shallots and half of the garlic, and mix well.
To serve, divide lettuce leaves among individual plates, flattening them slightly. Portion the chicken-shrimp salad on top of the lettuce and garnish with the remaining shallots and garlic and the cilantro. Serve at room temperature.
Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 239 calories, 17 g protein, 31 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 59 mg cholesterol, 552 mg sodium, 4 g dietary fiber.
Adapted from “Madhur Jaffrey’s Far Eastern Cookery”