Cook the Book – Chicken, Roasted Red Pepper and Couscous Salad

Chicken, Roasted Red Pepper and Couscous Salad

3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cups couscous
1 large red pepper, roasted, seeded, and diced
1/4 cup minced chives
3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Several grinds on the pepper mill
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Bring the water and salt to a boil.  Add the chicken and reduce the heat until the liquid is just below a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Reserve 2 cups of the liquid, remove the chicken from the rest of the liquid, and set the chicken aside to cool. Bring the reserved liquid to a boil and remove from heat.  Stir in the couscous, cover, and let it sit for 5 minutes. Dice the cooled chicken. Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients. Fluff the couscous with a fork; toss it with the vinaigrette, chicken, and remaining ingredients.

Serves 6-8

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Lobster bake – part 3; Lobster & Corn Pasta Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

One of the most important parts of our lobster bakes is to be aware of our surroundings. While we are on an island for our bake we operate under a Leave No Trace policy. The means whatever we take onto the island, we take off. Often we leave with more than we came with, as picking up litter while exploring an island is our contribution to leaving an island better than we found it. Our fires are built below the high tide line in a fire pan; five minutes after we've left an island, you can't tell we've been there.

While a beach is admittedly very nice scenery for this meal, it's not absolutely necessary. Your backyard could do very nicely. Should you choose to find a beach to celebrate your Maine lobsters, make sure that you have permission to be there and a fire permit if you need one. This could actually be an eventful dinner for your guests from out of state who are clamoring for not only their first taste of lobster, but their third and fourth.

Should you find yourself with leftover lobsters, I know it's hard to imagine, here is a light recipe for a lobster salad.

Lobster and Corn Pasta Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

To serves as a light dinner, double the Citrus Vinaigrette recipe and toss half of it with mixed greens to make a bed for the pasta salad.

4 cups cooked Farfalle (bowtie) pasta (about 3 cups uncooked)
3 cups cooked and coarsely chopped lobster meat
2 cups fresh corn kernels, about 4 ears
1/2 cup chopped roasted red bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped green onions

Citrus Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
In a large serving bowl, combine the pasta, lobster, corn, peppers, and onions. Whisk the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and toss with the lobster and pasta mixture. Cover and chill.

Serves 6-8

Anne Mahle