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Carpese Chicken Breasts

This is a guaranteed way to cook chicken breasts that will turn out juicy, tender and delicious. The cheese and tomatoes create a moist and flavorful filling enhanced by the basil leaves. 

Resist the urge to over-stuff the breasts. All that extra filling looks beautiful,but most of it will wind up in the bottom of the pan. You should be able to close the pocket and secure it with a toothpick or two.

Searing over high heat insures a nice light crust without the need for breading. The oven finishes the cooking process quickly and evenly.

This is a time when a meat thermometer becomes your best friend. Check at the 15 minute mark. Once it is flirting with 140 degrees remove it from the oven. It will continue to cook as you garnish it with the pesto.

This will lend itself to any filling you can dream up. Just keep the filling moist and the amount in moderation. 

Carpese Chicken Breasts
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Servings
2
Servings
2
Carpese Chicken Breasts
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Servings
2
Servings
2
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. While the oven heats prepare the chicken
  2. Carefully cut a pocket in each of the chicken breasts. Do this at the thickest part being careful not to cut completely through.
  3. Fill each breast pocket with half of the tomatoes, 1/2 ounce of cheese, and 4 of the basil leaves. Gently pull the pocket closed and secure it with tooth picks,
  4. Heat an over proof skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and heat until it begins to ripple.
  5. Sprinkle the Italian herb blend evenly over the chicken. Carefully place the chicken in the skillet. Brown for 3 minutes, turn the breasts, and brown the other side 3 minutes more.
  6. Carefully pour in the chicken stock and transfer to the oven.
  7. Bake 10 minutes. Add the remaining cheese to the top of the chicken and return to the oven for 5-8 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness (140 degrees).
  8. Remove the chicken to serving plates. Pour a little of the pan drippings over the chicken. divide the pesto evenly on top of the chicken and serve.
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Herb Pesto

Herb Pesto
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This is a twist on classic basil pesto. Use any herbs in the amounts that suit your taste. Adding panko bread crumbs turns it into a stuffing that is perfect for chicken breasts. You can leave out the bread crumbs if your are tossing it with pasta or vegetables.
Servings
2
Servings
2
Herb Pesto
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This is a twist on classic basil pesto. Use any herbs in the amounts that suit your taste. Adding panko bread crumbs turns it into a stuffing that is perfect for chicken breasts. You can leave out the bread crumbs if your are tossing it with pasta or vegetables.
Servings
2
Servings
2
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Combine all the ingredients expect the panko in a processor. Stop when it is finely chopped.
  2. Scoop into a small bowl and add the bread crumbs.
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Roasted Garlic Pesto

Roasted Garlic Pesto
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Servings
1-1/2 Cups
Servings
1-1/2 Cups
Roasted Garlic Pesto
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Servings
1-1/2 Cups
Servings
1-1/2 Cups
Ingredients
Servings: Cups
Instructions
  1. Cut the top off the head of garlic (just enough to expose the cloves a bit). Place in the center of a square of heavy duty foil. Drizzle with a little olive oil and wrap sealing completely but leaving a little breathing room. Place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 40 minutes or until the kitchen smells wonderful and the garlic feels soft. Unwrap and allow to cool.
  2. Toast the pine nuts on top of the stove. Place them in a dry non-stick pan and toast over low heat shaking frequently to prevent burning. This should take 6 or 7 minutes.
  3. Place the basil and parsley leaves in the bowl of a processor. Squeeze the cooled garlic into the bowl. Add the pine nuts. Pulse to coarsely chop the ingredients.
  4. Add the grated cheese and pulse to combine.
  5. With the motor of the processor running, stream the olive oil into the feed tube. Stop as soon as the mixture is the texture that you like. (Do not process until smooth).
  6. Scrape the pesto into a bowl. Check for seasoning Add some ground pepper and a pinch of salt if you want.
  7. It is now ready to use. It can be frozen in 1/4 cup (or whatever amount you like) packages. It will keep in the refrigerator for a week. Pour a thin layer of olive oil on the pesto before you put it in the refrigerator to help preserve color and flavor.
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Italian Tacos

Italian Tacos
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Servings
4
Servings
4
Italian Tacos
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Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Salsa Verde
Italian Tacos
Servings:
Instructions
  1. To make the salsa: Combine the herbs, capers, garlic, lemon zest and juice in the bowl of a processor. Process until coarsely chopped, scraping the bowl as necessary.
  2. Add the olive oil and process until finely chopped, scraping bowl as necessary. If mixture is too thick add water a little at a time until the consistency is as you like it. Pour the salsa into a container cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Grill or broil the sausages. Allow to cool enough to slice thinly. Combine the sausage slices and the marinara sauce in a saucepan. Simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  4. While the sausage simmers, saute the the onions and peppers in the olive oil. They should be lightly browned but still crunchy.
  5. Assemble the Tacos: Divide the sausage between the tortillas. Top the sausage with the peppers and onions. Add the tomato slices. Drizzle with the Salsa Verde and sprinkle with the cheese.
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Panzanella Salad

Panzanella is a wonderful vehicle for the bounty of summer vegetables, It’s also a bread lover’s best friend. Any assortment of vegetables can be combined with toasted bread cubes. Toss it all with the vinaigrette of your choice and you’ve got a hearty salad that almost eats like a meal. DIGITAL CAMERASlice up some grilled meat or an interesting cheese and call it dinner. The ingredients listed below are what I made this time. I honestly make it differently every time. I’ve even grilled the vegetables. Choose a crusty bread that is just a little stale. This go round I used a multi-grain baguette, but sour dough would be wonderful, too. The bottom line for this recipe is use what you like to make the panzanella salad you’ll love.

Panzanella Salad
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Servings
4
Servings
4
Panzanella Salad
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Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Dressing
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet that has been lightly sprayed with olive oil cooking spray. Spray the bread cubes lightly with the olive oil spray. Bake 15 minutes until the cubes are lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
  2. Quarter the tomatoes lengthwise. Remove the seeds and cut crosswise into 1/2 slices. Cut the onion in half crosswise. Cut each half in thin vertical strips.
  3. Put the onions and tomatoes in a large bowl. Add the chopped pepper, cucumbers, and the bread cubes. Tear the basil leaves into bite size pieces and add to the bowl.
  4. Dressing: Mash the garlic, anchovy paste and a pinch of salt in a mortar. It should be a fairly smooth paste. Combine the oil, vinegar, herbs, and the garlic anchovy paste in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake until the dressing is completely blended.
  5. Pour the dressing over the ingredients in the bowl and toss to coat. Cover and chill for several hours. Serve.
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