Tonight’s dinner is proof that I occasionally make the same dish twice. Last weekend we loved the healthier fried chicken so much that I decided to serve it again. I made a big salad to go with it, and thought that a homemade honey mustard could serve as both dressing or dipping sauce for the chicken.
I’ve made a lot of different honey mustards in the past, and they’ve always been based on olive or canola oil. I don’t keep canola oil in the kitchen anymore, and sometimes I find that the flavor of olive oil can be overly dominant in dressings. I decided to experiment using my other favorite oil: coconut.
In previous posts I have touched on the health benefits of coconut oil, but here are a few helpful links on the subject:
Here are some tips and information on buying, storing and using coconut oil:
-Look for an unrefined oil, which will be labeled either “virgin” or “extra-virgin.” This will ensure you are getting pure coconut oil which has not been subjected to any chemicals or processing. Some products labeled coconut oil contain trans fats and aren’t the healthy product they might appear to be!
-Coconut oil is shelf-stable and does not require refrigeration. A jar can last up to two years without going bad. In warm weather, however, keep in mind that it will liquify in its jar. It is perfectly fine and safe to use if it has liquified and then solidified again. You can refrigerate it, but I find this makes the coconut oil so hard that’s it quite difficult to scoop from the jar.
-You can substitute coconut oil in baking recipes that call for butter. It will work as a one-to-one sub. Similarly, you can use it for stovetop cooking just as you would olive or vegetable oil.
-Trader Joe’s now sells organic coconut oil at a very decent price. Vitacost also sells it own house brand inexpensively, and Amazon has several available through its Subscribe & Save program.
Since coconut oil is solid at room temperature, you’ll need to melt it before combining it with your other ingredients for today’s salad dressing. If you make the dressing ahead of time and it solidifies again, simply heat it up until the coconut oil liquifies again.
The coconut really complimented the tangy vinegar and mustard of the dressing; I find it added its own sweetness which really worked well with the honey. For experimentation’s sake I added lime juice to half of the dressing. The kids liked it better without, but I actually thought the citrus added a pleasant tropical flavor. Perhaps not necessary for a fried chicken and salad dinner, but it would work very well on a salad with some fun summer ingredients like mango or macadamia nuts.
I used a granular mustard because it was what I had on hand. I do think a creamy dijon mustard would make a dressing that’s more kid-friendly. The boy asked what the seeds were in his sauce…
Honey Mustard Salad Dressing
2 tbs. apple cider vinegar
2 tbs. dijon mustard
1 minced garlic clove
1-2 tbs. raw honey
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
juice of 1/2 lime (optional)
salt & pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid; shake well until thoroughly combined.
If a salad dressing recipe hasn’t totally sold you on coconut oil yet, wait until my upcoming post on a tasty trick that allows you to create your own healthy chocolate “shell” for ice cream. When I was a kid I thought Smucker’s Magic Shell was just about the coolest thing ever…