Grilled Parmesan Basil Cherry Tomatoes

May 21, 2014 Appetizer, Menu, Salads No Comments

Cherry tomatoes and grape tomatoes are a fun and versatile fruit/vegetable (whichever you prefer) that I enjoy all year round, especially during the summer season. Whether mixed in a salad, or popped as a quick snack, their juicy flavor always brings a smile to my face. For this recipe I added a little extra complementary taste and texture which really added a nice, yet subtle complexity and made for a beautiful summer side dish. You can prepare this dish either on a grill (using a grill basket) or in an oven. The tomatoes cook quickly using both methods, but I prefer the slightly charred taste of being cooked over an open flame. Whichever method you prefer, you’ll be sure to enjoy these tasty and juicy treats.




Grilled Parmesan Basil Cherry Tomatoes

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 tspn garlic powder
1 tspn chopped basil
1 tbspn parmesan cheese
pinch of salt
olive oil

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, lightly drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil so that they are all evenly coated. Roll the tomatoes in breadcrumb mixture. The breading may not coat evenly but rather clumpy. This is fine, as the breading will adhere to the tomatoes when cooked.

Grilled – Pour the tomatoes into a grilling basket. Place the basket on an indirect heated portion of a hot grill. Close the lid and let cook for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes start to shrink.

Oven Roasted – Heat oven to 400˚. Place tomatoes on a cooking sheet. Roast until tomatoes start to shrink and the skin starts to shrivel, approximately 10 minutes.




Baked Pasta, Chicken and Artichoke Hearts in a Lemon Cream Sauce

May 8, 2014 Entrees, Menu, Pasta No Comments

For this recipe, I’m combining chicken with two of my favorite ingredients – lemons and artichoke hearts – to make a tasty and filling baked pasta casserole, perfect for the spring season. You’ll need a little bit of time to prepare this dish, as it is a multi-step recipe. For the first step, we’ll sauté the artichokes and chicken in a lemon, wine and butter sauce. For the second step, we’ll prepare Lidia Bastianich’s lemon cream sauce recipe. We’ll then combine everything and bake it for 30 minutes. This is a great dish to serve to your family and friends as a beautiful weekend afternoon meal.





Step 1: Sautéing the Chicken and Artichokes

1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ to 2″ pieces
2 tbspn olive oil
2 tbspn butter
1 shallot, minced
zest plus juice of one lemon
1/4 cup white wine
6 oz jar artichoke hearts, roughly chopped

Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When butter melts, add chicken. Sauté until chicken is browned and cooked. Remove chicken, set aside. Add shallots, cook briefly until shallots start to soften. Add wine to deglaze pan. When the liquid starts to reduce, add lemon zest and juice, stir well. Add artichoke hearts and chicken, stir well. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until liquid reduces by half. Remove from heat, set aside.


Step 2: Preparing the Lemon Cream Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Lidia Bastianich
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons butter
zest plus juice of 2 lemons
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream

Drop the butter into the large skillet, and set it over medium heat. As the butter melts, scatter in the grated lemon zest; stir it around until sizzling. Pour in the white wine and lemon juice, add the salt, stir, and bring the liquids to a bubbling simmer. Cover the skillet, and let cook for a couple of minutes.

Uncover the pan, and slowly pour in the cream, whisking it steadily into the simmering wine and lemon juice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquids reduce to a saucy consistency you like, 2 or 3 minutes more.

Note: as you are making the lemon cream sauce, you will also start to prepare a pot of boiling water to make 1 lb of pasta (zit, rigatoni or small shells will work well with this dish). As the sauce simmers, start to boil the pasta.


Step 3: Combining the Ingredients

When the pasta is done boiling, you will combine the pasta with the chicken and artichoke mixture (and its reduced liquid) in a 13″x9″ baking dish. Carefully pour the lemon cream sauce over the pasta mixture and stir it until the pasta, chicken and artichokes are all covered with the sauce. Loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake in a 350˚ over for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, stir, serve and enjoy.



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