Simplest of shortcuts make delectable meal Fast & Fresh: Upside- down apple dessert is the perfect finish after a hearty no-cook chicken salad.

April 24, 1996|By Rita Calvert | Rita Calvert,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

This week we are reversing the focus for this speedy meal and we'll turn on the oven for the dessert and stick to a cool and simple entree. Dessert is an upside down classic that hails from France. It beats the clock over a traditional apple pie and I have a higher success rate and plenty of raves.

This scrumptious chicken Caesar salad can be prepared within minutes at home when taking advantage of the many shortcut foods available at the supermarket.

Chicken Caesar salad

Serves 4

8 cups washed, torn romaine lettuce from a salad bar or packaged prepared lettuce

1 (10-ounce) package roasted, carved chicken breasts or turkey 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 cup large croutons

Caesar salad dressing (recipe follows)

Make the salad dressing.

Place the lettuce in a large salad bowl. Add most of the dressing and toss well to coat. Place the lettuce on individual plates top with equal amounts of turkey (or chicken), Parmesan cheese and croutons. Drizzle additional dressing over the top.

Quick Caesar salad dressing

Makes 2/3 cup dressing

1/2 cup mayonnaise (calorie reduced or regular)

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon anchovy paste

1 clove garlic, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 to 3 tablespoons water

Place all of the salad dressing ingredients in a small bowl except the water. Stir with a fork or whisk to combine. While stirring add 1 to 3 tablespoons of water to thin dressing to the desired consistency.

Tarte Tatin

Serves 6

2/3 cup sugar

4 large tart apples, microwaved for 4 minutes and then thinly sliced, no need to peel

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed

whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Heat the oven to 450 degrees.

Place a heavy medium-size oven proof skillet on medium high heat. Add the sugar and watch carefully. Stir with a wooden spoon until melted to a thick caramel color. Remove very quickly form the heat and stir in the apples and cinnamon. It will not mix thoroughly. Now place the puff pastry sheet over the apples, rolling the edges to fit the skillet. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for about 10 minutes. Now very carefully, using oven mitts, place a large plate over the top of the skillet and flip out the tart as you would for an upside down cake. Cut into wedges and serve immediately, topped with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

Pub Date: 4/24/96

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