Dinner: Gringo Rotisserie Chicken Torta Goodness

Just look at this chicken. Gorgeous. When I spotted the words “rotisserie chicken” stacked like that in white caps on the side of an awning from down the block — and the store turns out to be a poultry shop — well, there’s no way I’m missing out on that.

photo-12photo-11                                 I brought home a hefty half rotisserie chicken ($7.10) the other day, and tonight I finally got around to finishing it off in a Mexican-style sandwich, or torta. Or let’s call it my interpretation thereof: 

photo-10I tossed the chicken in a combination of Drew’s Organic Salsa — heat level medium; bought it on sale, not super memorable — and Melinda’s Original Habanero XXXtra Hot Sauce — this Costa Rican import includes such other flavor-enhancing ingredients as onion, lime juice, vinegar, garlic and salt, not just butane to shock your tastebuds. It’s really good.

Then, I laid out the sauced meat on top of a row of white onion slices, laid a couple of slices of pepper jack cheese on top of the chicken and on top of the peppers, and broiled both halves in the toaster oven until the cheese was molten.

photo-8Voila, gringo torta.

I got curious about how my torta compared to others. A Google image search reveals I’m not entirely off the mark: Like a majority of good tortas, I had meat that was sauced or juicy enough to soak into the crusty white roll; I had the crusty white roll; I had cheese, sliced onion, alas no shredded iceberg lettuce.

Next time I’m throwing in some of those pickled carrots or jalapeno peppers —and a couple of cervezas — that’d do the trick.

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Lunch: Green-Eyed Pasta Salad (An Original Recipe)

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Green-Eyed Pasta Salad

Brussels sprouts, English peas, fresh basil, Sicilian green olives and baby lettuce mix might not be the most usual bedfellows, but staring at all the green things in my fridge last night inspired me to give it a go. I added in the end of a summer sausage, which I chopped into long strips and sauteed until crispy before mixing in, and tossed it all in lemon juice and a really vibrant E.V.O.O.*

The result: A really robust, savory pasta salad. The bitterness of the Brussels sprouts play off the richness of the sausage (not unlike that famous combination, Brussels sprouts and crumbled bacon), while the lemon-y hint lurking in the oil dressing helps balance out the richness.

At lunch today, among the greenery at Penn Plaza
At lunch today, among the greenery at Penn Plaza

 Basil brings a vibrant, herbal freshness to each bite, and the Sicilian olives give a little salty punch. The one thing I might have swapped in (had I had them on hand) would be caper berries for the green olives. I chopped the olives so they’re a smallish, caper-ish size, yeah I think capers would have been just right (and more “green eyes”).

I’ll try my hand at writing up the recipe properly tonight once I’m home — will post soon. This should be interesting.

*I didn’t mix in lettuce greens until lunchtime today, just before eating.

Breakfast: The Happy for Strawberry Season Post

photoOne of the many wonders of growing up in California was stopping at small, wooden roadside stands with hand-painted signs advertising the produce of the season to buy locally-grown strawberries that were often so local they you could see the fields from which they were picked, stretching out behind the stand. (It’s quite a flat, open view.)

It’s always a pleasure to discover that strawberries are showing up on the carts of street produce vendors here in New York City. I kicked off my own strawberry season this weekend with a toast; the festivities continue this morning with a serving of ripe berries as a prelude to an egg, bacon and grilled onion sandwich (not pictured).