In an effort to save money, i've been trying NOT to purchase expensive "special ingredients" which is HARD for me! I get our usual "pantry" items and go with those. (Hence the Pantry pasta salad, etc.)
Also this weekend we bought a smoker at a garage sale ($5! Friend price from my dear friend and neighbor Jenny - came with delivery too!) For our first experiment we did: a brisket, some salmon and a whole chicken. Okay, THOSE were "special ingredients" but so worth it, we've used, or have plans for every single delicious bite! Most of the brisket (w/ BBQ sauce) and salmon were eaten Saturday night along with another batch of pantry pasta salad and grilled potatoes (done in my new lovely square cast iron skillet with "grills" on it. $4.98 on clearance at Bed Bath & Beyond!) We even had enough to provide my jet-lagged MIL her friend with dinner.
So - here is Pantry Chinese Chicken Salad
2 cups shredded chicken from a smoked chicken. (a store done rotisserie one would work well too)
1/4 cup mayo ('cause that's all that was left!)
1 T lime juice
1 T honey
1 T soy sauce
½ t curry powder
1/4 cup water
4 interior stalks of celery with fronds - sliced thin
1/4 of a large vidalia - cooked until brown in 2 t canola
1/4 cup sliced almonds½ cup sliced red grapes (green would be fine or dried cranberries or even mandarin oranges)
cilantro for garnish
So - these were all things I had on hand. I made the dressing in the mayo jar to get every last drop of the scant 1/4 cup I had left - shook it up and dressed the salad.
How do you say delicious in Mandarin?!