Friday, September 11, 2009

Another use for pesto

Chicken Fettuccine with Pesto Cream Sauce

We love this simple pasta recipe-
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound fettuccine
  • 4 cubes (1/2 cup) frozen Basil Pesto
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream


  1. Place chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap.With a meat mallet or heavy skillet, pound chicken to an even 3/4-inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet; cook the chicken until golden brown and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Slice each piece across the grain into 4 or 5 strips; cover to keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water. Drain pasta and return to pot.
  4. In a small saucepan, heat pesto over low until liquefied. Stir in cream; heat until warm.Toss pasta with reserved cooking water and half the sauce. Divide among shallow bowls; top with chicken. Drizzle with remaining sauce.
From Everyday Food, September 2005

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Spaghetti Squash

Trying out this new recipe tonight-


  • 1 spaghetti squash (about 3 lbs.)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 to 3 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for pans
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded jack cheese


1. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Poke several holes in skin of squash with a fork and microwave it on high 10 minutes. Squash should be tender when pierced with a fork; if it isn't, microwave on high in 1-minute intervals until tender. Let sit until cool.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm milk and jalapeños until bubbles form along the edge of the pan. Remove mixture from heat and let sit 15 minutes. Strain and discard jalapeños.

3. When squash is cool enough to handle, use a large spoon to scrape the strands out of the skin and into a large bowl.

4. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 2 tbsp. butter. Whisk in flour and salt and cook, whisking, until flour smells cooked (like piecrust), about 3 minutes. Slowly pour in jalapeño-infused milk while whisking. Reduce heat to medium and continue whisking until mixture thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Pour mixture over squash and stir to combine. Transfer mixture to a buttered 2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with jack cheese and bake until bubbling and brown on top, about 30 minutes.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Chicken Mozzerella Panini

Here's what's cooking this week:
Slice a loaf of focaccia in half (ciabatta works well too) .

Make the sandwich:

Spread bread with pesto (store bought or this homemade). Top with two grilled chicken breasts thinly sliced (I marinate them with some balsamic salad dressing and rosemary).

Add sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and red onions.

Brush a grill pan with olive oil. Preheat to med. high and weigh the sandwich down (I sit my heavy dutch oven right on top, some people use a brick wrapped in foil).

Turn sandwich and grill until the cheese is melted.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Simple Vinaigrette

Here is my new favorite vinaigrette -perfect for a simple green salad.

1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
3 Tablespoons of olive oilWisk together and add kosher salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Making Pesto

I'm making pesto to stock my freezer for easy fall dinners. If you don't have basil in your garden, now is a great time to buy it at the farmers market. This recipe has never failed me. (I'll share a couple of dinner recipes using this pesto in the next couple of days)
Makes 1 3/4 cups
  • 1 cup walnuts or pine nuts
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 8 cups (4 ounces) lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread nuts evenly on a rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until golden and fragrant, tossing once, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
  2. Meanwhile, bring 4 cups salted water to a boil; add basil, and submerge with a spoon. Immediately drain in a colander. Rinse with cold water until cool, then pat basil completely dry in paper towels.
  3. In a food processor, combine nuts, basil, and garlic; season generously with salt and pepper. Process until nuts are finely chopped. With machine running, pour oil in a steady stream through the feed tube; process until smooth. Use immediately, or freeze. To freeze, spoon pesto into an ice-cube tray (2 tablespoons per cube); cover with plastic wrap. Freeze overnight, then transfer cubes to a resealable plastic bag; keep up to 6 months. Defrost pesto at room temperature, about 20 minutes (or at 30-second intervals in the microwave). Mash with a fork before using in recipes.