March 28, 2013

Ripping Off Recipes From The Finest Dining Establishments

The Mr. and I visited a new restaurant last weekend to try their fare...  Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant, located at Easton Town Center in Columbus.  I'd been wanting to try it for a while (it opened in November) but hadn't had a good excuse to go up there... plus, I generally don't like to go to Easton for dinner because of the crowds.  Friday night we were out at a friend's house for karaoke and another friend (host friend's cousin, in fact) who was there had just come from dinner at Cooper's Hawk and was raving about the food... I made my mind up right then and there that I'd be visiting very soon!

Saturday morning I got a late start after some peaceful minutes hours sleeping in... I decided I didn't feel like cooking for lunch, and I didn't want to go to one of our usual haunts - a local Mexican restaurant, or a local Greek restaurant.  I said to the Mr., "get in the car, we're going out!" and I headed north toward Easton.

We got right in at Cooper's Hawk, and I was shocked and pleasantly surprised to see that they have an extensive gluten-free menu (including sandwiches - the Holy Grail of restaurant fare when you can't have 'normal' bread!).  I wasn't feeling a sandwich for lunch, though, so I opted for their Napa Chopped Chicken Salad, which is described on the menu as, "Chopped Iceberg and Spring Mix, Tossed in Our Honey Mustard Vinaigrette with Apples, Goat Cheese, Dried Cherries, Corn, Avocado, Toasted Almonds, Cilantro, Tomatoes, and Rotisserie Chicken."

The service was impeccable, the wine was lovely, the salad was positively delicious, and I of course decided that the entire experience needed to be replicated at home (minus the trip to Easton and the gratuity!)

I switched up some of the ingredients as my memory is not so sharp when I'm tromping through the grocery store like a stark-raving lunatic because I'm hungry... but the results were still pretty fabulous!

California Chopped Chicken Salad

makes 2-3 dinner-sized portions

1 small head sweet gem lettuce, chopped, washed, and drained well
1 small head frisee lettuce, chopped, washed, and drained well
1 small head red oak lettuce, chopped, washed, and drained well
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, washed, and drained well
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup fresh or frozen and thawed whole kernel corn (optional - meaning, "if you remember it")
1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts or almonds
1/4 cup orange juice
1 small ripe avocado, diced (optional, if they're in season)
1 Gala apple, cored and chopped
1 medium rotisserie chicken breast, chopped fine - about 2/3 - 1 cup of meat
4 ounces of your favorite soft or semi-soft cheese.  I used Feta as that's what I had on-hand.

Toss the avocado and apple in the orange juice to prevent browning;  add all other ingredients and set aside.


1/3 cup of your favorite prepared honey-mustard dressing
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon lime juice

Mix or shake the dressing until well blended;  pour over the salad, toss well to coat, and serve immediately with a glass of your favorite crisp white California wine.


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