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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
Print Recipe
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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Lemony Asparagus and Chicken with Penne

Lemony Asparagus and Chicken with Penne
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Servings
2
Servings
2
Lemony Asparagus and Chicken with Penne
Print Recipe
Servings
2
Servings
2
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Toss the chicken with the lemon pepper seasoning. Cover and let marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken and cook for 4 minutes or so. The chicken should be light golden. Remove the chicken from the pan and reserve. Leave the drippings in the pan.
  3. Add the onions to the pan and saute for 3 minutes or until the onions begin to become translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so.
  4. While you prepare the vegetables, cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 2 minutes less than the package directs. Drain and set aside.
  5. Add the asparagus to the pan and cook for 3 - 4 minutes. Toss frequently to insure even cooking. Add a little chicken broth if things seem dry.
  6. Add the vermouth (or broth) and the juice of the lemon to the pan. Lower the heat slightly and allow to cook for 3 minutes or so.
  7. Add the Italian seasoning and the lemon zest, stirring to combine. Return the chicken to the pan. Toss to mix evenly.
  8. Add the olives, tomatoes, and pasta to the pan and continue to cook 3 minutes or so until everything is heated through. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.
  9. Spoon the mixture into a serving bowl and sprinkle with the feta cheese and serve.
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Farfalle with Grilled Chicken and Asparagus

DIGITAL CAMERAMost of the time grill meals stand alone as do pasta meals. That changed the other night when the two meals collided. What could be better than pasta, grilled chicken and vegetables? It’s kind of the best of both/all worlds. This makes a wonderful dinner and the leftovers (if there are any) get better with a day or two in the frig.

The dressing does double duty acting as a marinade for the chicken and vegetables as well as the sauce for the finished dish. This can be eaten warm, at room temperature or throw it in the frig to get cold and call it pasta salad.

A few healthy words on the ingredients. Whole wheat pasta is really delicious. It turns out “al dente” just by it’s very nature. It’s bigger taste and texture allow smaller quantites to feel like more. Less pasta means more veggies and a big bowl of goodness for a lower calorie and carb investment. While there is a good bit of olive oil in the dressing/marinade, some goes away in the marinating process and when you split this dish four ways, the impact isn’t too serious.

 

Farfalle with Grilled Chicken and Asparagus
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Servings
4 Servings
Servings
4 Servings
Farfalle with Grilled Chicken and Asparagus
Print Recipe
Servings
4 Servings
Servings
4 Servings
Ingredients
Marinade and Dressing
Servings: Servings
Instructions
  1. Dressing: Zest the lemon and squeeze the juice into a container with a tight fitting lid. Add the balsamic, zest, mustard, and anchovy paste. Finely chop the parsley and add it to the jar. Mince the garlic on a cutting board. Add the salt and continue to chop/smash until a paste forms. Add this to the jar. Pour in the olive oil and a few grinds of fresh ground pepper. Shake vigorously until mixture is completely blended.
  2. Place the chicken in a zip top bag. Add 2 tablespoons of the dressing and seal the bag. Squeeze to distribute dressing over chicken. chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Place the asparagus in another zip top bag and add 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Seal the bag. Turn and shake the bag to distribute the dressing over the asparagus. Chill at least 2 hours or overnight. Store the rest of the dressing in the refrigerator.
  4. When it's time to grill, remove the chicken and asparagus from the frig. Peel the onion and cut it in half crosswise. Use two wooden skewers to hold the onion together. Brush with a little bit of the dressing. Grill the chicken and vegetables. (15-20 minutes or so). Remove to cutting boards when cooked.
  5. Cook pasta in salted water until "al dente" while the chicken and vegetables grill.
  6. Cut the grape tomatoes in half lengthwise. Roughly chop the olives. Tear the basil into small pieces
  7. Drain the pasta and put in a large bowl. Slice the chicken into bite size pieces and add to the pasta. Cut the asparagus in thirds and add to the pasta bowl.
  8. Add the tomatoes, olives, and basil to the bowl and toss gently to combine. Add the rest of the dressing to the bowl and toss once more to mix everything together.
  9. Serve in pasta bowls topped with the crumbled Feta Cheese.
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Gazpacho

DIGITAL CAMERAIf I invited you to dinner and told you we were having cold soup, you’d probably think I had lost my mind. But if the cold soup was Gazpacho, you’d be quite happy, indeed. This Andalusian transplant is the consumate summer soup. Garden fresh vegetables are blended into a chunky soup that is hearty yet light, satisfying enough to fill you up, but light enough so you have room for dessert.

Traditionally this is made with tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, but fruits and other vegetables can be included. Gazpacho can be chunky enough to eat with a spoon or smooth enough to drink as a remarkable Bloody Mary mixer.Chicago Open House 2013 130We had these at Mercat a la Planxa, a Spanish restaurant that has one of the most impressive Bloody Mary Bars I’ve ever seen. This is about my gazpacho, so if you want to learn more about the restaurant click here.

My gazpacho included the above mentioned ingredients along with some grilled corn. I used vegetable juice to keep things moving as well as sherry vinegar for a little tang.DIGITAL CAMERAThis is one of those dishes that I make differently every time. It’s usually based on what’s in season and what looks the most beautiful. Sometime I give it some spice with jalapenos and a plethora of peppers. Other times it’s a cucumber extravaganza. It all depends…

This recipe is a guideline that includes the techniques needed to make gazpacho. As I always say, make it you own. Add or subtract at your whim. Fruit gazpacho is quite tasty, so feel free to go there.  Don’t let the summer go by without trying this recipe.

Gazpacho
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Servings
4
Servings
4
Gazpacho
Print Recipe
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Peel the cucumber and chop into pieces about 1 inch. Quarter the tomatoes. Core and seed them and chop into pieces about the same size as the cucumber. Put both in a large bowl.
  2. Chop the onion into one inch chunks. Do the same with the bell pepper. Add them to the bowl.
  3. Roughly chop the garlic, parsley, and cilantro and toss them in with the other vegetables. Mix everything together.
  4. Cut the corn kernels off the cobs and set aside
  5. Place a manageable amount of the vegetable mixture into the processor bowl. Add some of the vegetable juice and process until the mixture is slightly chunky. ( make this as smooth or chunky as you like) Put the processed vegetables back in the bowl.
  6. Continue to process the vegetables with the vegetable juice until they are all the consistency you want. Add the corn to the bowl of vegetables and stir to mix everything well.
  7. Add the juice of the lemon half, the vinegar, paprika, and cumin. Stir well and taste for seasoning. Add a little salt and any more of the flavorings that you want.
  8. Cover and chill for several hours. Serve in soup bowls or goblets and garnish with cilantro or whatever you would like.
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Simple and Delicious Artichokes

Simple and Delicious Artichokes
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This recipe is the essence of artichoke. These are wonderful warm or at room temperature.
Simple and Delicious Artichokes
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This recipe is the essence of artichoke. These are wonderful warm or at room temperature.
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Cut stems off artichokes even with the bottom. Slice 1/2 -3/4 inch off the top of the artichoke. Snip sharp ends off the leaves. Wash well and drain.
  2. Place the prepared artichokes top side down in a microwave safe shallow pan. Add enough water to come up about 1/2 inch on the artichokes.
  3. Squeeze the lemon half over the artichoke bottoms then place it in the center of the artichokes. Drizzle with the olive oil. Cover it all with plastic wrap
  4. Microwave on high for 15 minutes. Without removing the plastic, press on the bottom of the artichokes. They should yield easily to your touch. If they don't microwave another 3 - 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from microwave and carefully remove the plastic wrap. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Place upright in individual bowls. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
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