Light lunches are a summer standard at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, and this year four new salads are featured during the summer months in the hotel's Peacock Alley.
Executive Chef Kurt Ermann seeks out the finest shellfish, fruits, and vegetables for his recipes, taking advantage of the summer season's bounty of fresh produce.
In the following recipe, fresh mango sweetens a chicken salad served with a creamy avocado and cucumber dressing. Chef Ermann finds that mangoes, just beginning to be discovered by Americans, are one of the most refreshing fruits of summer.
In another of the summer salads, a delicate salmon sauce adds delicious flavor to a spinach and peach salad, and a rich texture. Chicken Salad With Cucumber and Avocado Dressing 1 double breast of chicken 1 ripe mango 1 small tomato Fresh mint
Cucumber and avocado dressing, recipe follows
Simmer chicken breasts in chicken broth gently for 30 minutes. Remove and chill in broth to retain moisture. When chilled, remove skin and bones, and slice diagonally on the bias about 1/2-inch thick and fan on 2 serving plates.
Peel mango and cut in thin slices and fan on plates opposite chicken. Garnish each plate with fresh mint and slices of tomato. Serves 2. Dressing: 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and medium diced 1/4 avocado, peeled and medium diced 1/4 avocado, peeled and mashed smoothly 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 2 tablespoons plain yogurt 2 tablespoons sour cream Juice of 1/2 lemon 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh dill Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together gently, taking care not to mash the diced avocado. Serve separately or over chicken. Summer Salad With Salmon Dressing 1 bunch fresh spinach, washed well and patted dry 1 small bunch fresh sorrel leaves 1 small bunch fresh basil leaves 2 peaches, skinned and sliced 2 strawberries, sliced Dressing: 5 ounces fresh poached salmon or canned salmon 2 tablespoons sour cream 1 tablespoon mayonnaise 1/2 cup heavy cream, approximately Juice of 1 lemon Salt and pepper to taste
Break all greens into bite-size pieces and toss in bowl. Attractively arrange peaches and strawberries on top.
In food processor or with mortar and pestle, make a paste out of cooked salmon. Add all remaining ingredients. Consistency will depend on amount of moisture in fish. This can be adjusted by amount of heavy cream added.