Saturday, September 24, 2011
Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken and Boba Feta (Coconut Crumbles)
My quest began last week to figure out a way to make something that vaguely resembles feta out of coconut. The other day I made coconut milk from scratch and the spent coconut meat that results has a consistency similar to Parmesan cheese. It made me think. What could I add to this to make it more cheese like?
Cheese has very distinct qualities. Texture varies between cheeses, but nothing else in the world has a texture similar to cheese. It's usually salty and has a sharpness or tangy-ness unique to itself. It can also be a little sweet. Coconut is a little sweet and it does have a creamy texture. Since feta is crumbly, pureed coconut that's been drained of it's liquid is a good start. A little liquid would first have to be added. My first attempt used fresh squeezed lemon juice, but the results were too sweet. (Holy Cannoli! I might have the makings of a future faux-mascarpone . . . fauxscarpone. . . mascarfaux?) My second attempt, which came out better, used dry white wine vinegar. It gave it enough of the bitter/sourness without any sweetness.
Because I'm a geek, I'm going to call this Boba Feta:
1/2 cup fresh coconut meat, pureed and drained of milk
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Any improvements and suggestions are welcome. You can make it ahead and keep it in the fridge. Plus if you're like me and don't have a food dehydrator, what else can you do with the spent coconut? It doesn't keep long and I'm likely to eat it by the spoonful.
For the chicken:
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced thin
Juice from 1 lemon
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
oregano and pepper to taste.
Marinate the chicken for a couple of hours then grill.
For the salad I use arugula, spinach, tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, Kalamata olives, green or red onions, bell pepper and slivered almonds. Making a salad isn't rocket surgury. If all you have is spinach and cucumbers, there you go. I always make my own salad dressing. It's pretty simple: 1 part oil to 2 parts vinegar or lemon/lime juice. For a Greek salad, olive oil and either lemon juice or white wine vinegar are good.
2 tsp Oregano Infused White Balsamic Or juice from 1/4 -1/2 of a lemon or 1 tsp of any white wine vinegar
1 tsp Garlic Infused Olive Oil (I get mine from here but it's not hard to find in some supermarkets or gourmet shops, or simply make your own)
Salt, pepper, oregano to taste, or Penzey's Greek seasoning
Sea Seasoning Kelp Granules (optional, great natural source of iodine)
If you leave off the Chicken, it makes a great side dish and it's Vegan! You could also top it with shrimp, salmon, lamb, etc. Go nuts.