Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Grilled Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Panini

Who doesn't love a good panini? Crisp bread, warm filling, gooey cheese, yum! I'm not a sandwich-for-dinner kind of gal (blame it on my big appetite), but this is one exception. The grilled chicken makes it filling and satisfying, while the marinade and peppers make it scrumptious. This is a great technique for marinating chicken that could be used again and again. Enjoy!

Grilled Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Panini
A satisfying sandwich packed full of flavor.
Makes 4

2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
8 whole Sundried Tomatoes, Packed In Oil
3 Tablespoons Prepared Basil Pesto
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
½ teaspoons Kosher Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
¼ cups Mayonnaise
1 jar roasted red bell peppers
8 whole Slices Provolone Or Mozzarella Cheese
8 slices Good Whole Grain Sandwich Bread
4 Tablespoons Butter, Softened

Slightly flatten chicken with a mallet (just until uniform thickness.)

In a blender or food processor, puree sundried tomatoes, pesto, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add half the mixture to a ziploc bag with the chicken breasts. Smush around to coat the chicken, then refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

After marinating, heat heavy skillet or grill to medium. Grill or cook chicken until done. Slice chicken into strips.

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and 3 tablespoons of the sundried tomato mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

To make the panini, spread generous amounts of the sundried tomato/pesto spread on one side of all the pieces of bread. On four of the pieces, arrange 1/4 of the chicken slices, 1/4 of the pepper slices, and two pieces of provolone. Top with the other four pieces of bread with the spread face down. Butter both sides of sandwich, then grill in panini maker or on a skillet over medium-low heat. (If you use a skillet, set a heavy pan or skillet on top of the sandwich as each side browns.)

Recipe adapted from http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/, a blog by Ree Drummond (AKA The Pioneer Woman) that I LOVE!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Chicken, Pesto & Broccoli Calzones

While I always love pizza dough topped with delicious ingredients, it is so fun to wrap the dough around the toppings and make a calzone! All you have to do is buy a pound of dough (check your local pizzeria, Whole Foods or other higher-end grocery store) roll it into circles, pile on the ingredients, seal and bake. Get out of the pizza box with calzones tonight!

Chicken, Pesto & Broccoli Calzones
Delicious ingredients wrapped up in fresh dough!
Makes 3 calzones

1 pound fresh pizza dough
Cooked cubed chicken from 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup Pesto sauce
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
1/2 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 head of broccoli, florets removed and cut to bite-size pieces
6 slices fresh mozzarella cheese or 1.5 cups shredded
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Pizza sauce

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Leave the pizza dough out at room temperature for a few hours. This will make it more easy to work with. Use your hands or a rolling pin to flatten it out on a large cutting board or countertop sprinkled with flour. Cut it into thirds and roll out each portion into an oval.

To prepare the filling heat a large skillet with a drizzle of EVOO. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook an additional 5 minutes, then add the garlic and stir until fragrant. Add the cooked chicken, sundried tomatoes, roasted peppers and pesto sauce and stir to combine. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn off heat.

Put a big scoop of the mixture onto the bottom half of one of the dough rounds and top with cheese. Use a pastry brush or your fingers and spread a little water around the edges. Fold the top over the filling and press to seal. Use a fork to crease the edges and poke a few holes in the top so it can breathe while in the oven. Drizzle with EVOO. Repeat with other two calzones.

Bake for 30 minutes until lightly browned. Cut the calzone in half, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve with pizza sauce on the side.

Recipe by Sarah Lang

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Thai Coconut Curry with Shrimp and Tilapia

I've fallen in love with curry over the past few years, but up until this week I'd never made it at home. I think I was worried it would be difficult and require me to buy all sorts of weird, expensive ingredients I'd never use again. But, I gave it a try and- Surprise! It's easy, affordable and delicious! All it takes is a little jar of red curry paste mixed with coconut milk, lime juice and a few other easy ingredients. Kevin and I both loved this dish and I can't wait to make it again. If you're new to curry I highly recommend this recipe. Feel free to use shrimp only or subsititue cooked chicken. Enjoy this culinary excursion to Thailand tonight!

Thai Coconut Curry with Shrimp and Tilapia
A light and flavorful curry broth with seafood
Serves 4

3 large limes
1 T. vegetable oil
1 cup chopped shallots
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 T. minced peeled fresh ginger
2 1/2 tsp. Thai red curry paste
1 14 oz. can unsweetened light coconut milk
1 T. fish sauce
1 pound tilapia filets, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1 pound peeled deveined uncooked large shrimp
1/2 cup fresh cilantro

Cut one lime into wedges and set aside. Into a medium bowl finely grate enough lime peel from 2 limes to measure 1 1/2 teaspoons and squeeze enough juice from 2 limes to measure 2 tablespoons. Whisk in curry paste, fish sauce and coconut milk and set aside.

Heat vegetable oil in large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add chopped shallots, diced red bell pepper and minced ginger. Saute until shallots are tender and pepper softens, about 5 minutes. Stir in coconut curry mixture. Simmer gently, stirring often, about 5 minutes. 

Sprinkle fish and shrimp with salt and pepper and add to curry sauce. Return to a very gentle simmer and cook junst until fish and shrimp are opaque in center, 5 to 6 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in cilantro. 

Serve in bowls over steamed jasmine rice with lime wedges on the side.

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pesto Shrimp Papperdelle with Broccoli and Garlic Parsley Bread

Papperdelle is my all time favorite noodle. It's like fettucini on steroids and is so darn delicious. The long, wide noodles are soft and creamy, and expertly soak up my favorite sauce. I like to serve pappardelle in red sauce with broccoli. The crunchy texture of the broccoli is a nice contrast to the creamy noodle. I added a few shrimp tossed in pesto sauce for some protein and extra flavor. I recently discovered a deliciously new and fun way to make garlic bread, and it was the perfect compliment to the noodles. Enjoy!

Pesto Shrimp Papperdelle with Broccoli
Creamy noodles with crunchy broccoli and flavorful shrimp delight the tastebuds!
Serves 2

1/2 pound (8 oz) pappardelle noodles (fettuccine, tagliatelle or spaghetti can be substituted)
2 cups spaghetti sauce
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
1/2 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup prepared pesto sauce
Kosher salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

Cook the pappardelle according to package directions until al dente. Reserve and keep warm.

In a bowl combine the shrimp and pesto and let marinate.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet with a tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and broccoli and cook 5-6 minutes until softened. Add garlic and cook 1 minute, then reduce heat to low and add sauce. Add the noodles to the sauce, stir to combine and keep warm.

Heat another skillet over medium heat with a tablespoon of oil. Add shrimp and cook 3-4 minutes until just cooked through. Reserve and keep warm.

To serve pile the noodles onto a plate and top with Parmesan cheese, parsley, and shrimp.

Garlic Parsley Bread
An easy and flavorful bread for any meal!
1 loaf

1 loaf of Italian, French or Ciabatta bread
1/2 cup olive oil
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 T. fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut a loaf of bread lengthwise. Set aside.

In a small saucepan heat 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped garlic and parsley and let sizzle for 30 seconds to one minute, keeping an eye on it to ensure garlic doesn't burn. Remove oil from heat and use a brush to spread the mixture evenly over both sides of bread.

Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes until hot and crispy. Drizzle fresh lemon juice over immediately, sprinkle with salt and pepper, cut into wedges and serve.

Recipes by Sarah Lang