Saturday, November 8, 2014

BIG HERO 6 WEEK: Aunt Cass' Almond Chicken w/ Salad

          One of the many, skillfully designed structures in Disney's "Big Hero 6" (there are 83,000 or so buildings in all) is the Victorian-and-Japanese-fused building that is home to both the Hamada family and the "Lucky Cat Cafe". The San Fransokyo home (upstairs) and cafe (downstairs) is based on a real-life, San Francisco building discovered by the "BH6" crew. It was then redesigned to incorporate Japanese elements like kawara tiles on an exposed/hidden roof and the maneki-neko ("beckoning cat", commonly referred to as "lucky cat"). Hiro's guardian and aunt, Cass Hamada (voiced by Maya Rudolph), is the hard-working and caring proprietor of the cafe that boasts a delicious and varied menu full of smoothies, tea, salads, sandwiches, and sweets. After scrutinizing the tiny writing on the "Lucky Cat Cafe" menu below, I decided to make a salad that incorporates the colors of Baymax's suit along with the listed "Almond Chicken" (center panel, right column, 3rd from the bottom).



Aunt Cass' Almond Chicken w/ Strawberry Blueberry Salad

Ingredients:
Chicken
~1 lb (2 big pieces) Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Cup Coarse-Ground Almond Meal or Well-Chopped Blanched, Slivered Almonds (chopped in a food process works great)
1 tsp Cumin Powder
1/4 tsp Garlic Salt
1 Egg, beaten
Dressing
3 Tbsp. White Granulated Sugar
3 Tbsp. Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. Milk or Plain Soymilk
1 Tbsp. White Vinegar
1/4 tsp. Salt
Pinch Ground Black Pepper
Salad
Mixed Salad Greens w/ Spinach (or simply get all spinach)
Strawberries
Blueberries

Directions:
1. Baking the Chicken: Preheat your oven to 375ºF & line a baking tray with parchment paper. Cut the chicken breasts in half diagonally. Mix together the almonds, cumin, & garlic salt in one large bowl & have the beaten egg in another. Dip each piece of chicken in egg & then coat with almond mixture. Place the pieces on the tray & bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven & let cool for about 5 minutes.
2. Putting Together the Salad: Slice a few strawberries into small pieces. Place a handful or 2 of salad greens into a shallow bowl. Sprinkle with blueberries & strawberry slices. Using a large, sharp knife & a downward motion, cut the chicken pieces diagonally into ~1" strips. Place several strips on the side of the salad. Stir together the dressing ingredients until smooth & creamy & then drizzle over the salad & chicken.

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