Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cheesy Basil- Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Doesn't this sound yummy?? Think I'll make it for supper tonite...

Cheesy Basil-Stuffed Chicken Breasts
4 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (6-8 oz each)
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 slice high quality sandwich bread, torn into quarters
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
toothpick or wooden skewer

Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees.

Combine the cheese, 2 Tbls. basil, cream, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, and pepper to taste in a medium bowl.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and cut off any fat. Cut a horizontal pocket in the thickest part of the chicken breast and gently work the knife back and forth until the pocket extends down into most of the breast.
Scoop one-quarter of the filling into each breast. Seal the opening by threading a toothpick or wooden skewer through the chicken about ¼- inch from the opening.

Transfer the stuffed breasts to a 13 by 9-inch baking dish and spread evenly with mayonnaise.

Pulse the bread in a food processor to coarse crumbs, about 8 pulses. Toss the breadcrumbs with 1 teaspoon garlic, 2 Tbls. basil, and 1 Tbls. EVOO. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the chicken, pressing lightly to adhere.

Toss the tomatoes with 1 Tbls. EVOO, 1/2 teaspoons salt, and pepper to taste. Arrange in the baking dish around the chicken. Bake until the crumbs are golden brown and the thickest part of the chicken registers 160 degrees, about 25 minutes.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Green Bean and Tomato Salad

This is a great way to use fresh green beans.... when you get tired of eating them cooked! And this gets better as it sits in the refrigerator!

1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 pounds tomatoes, seeded and cut into wedges
OR 1 quart grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chopped Vidalia onion
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped, optional

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat ( I use my Dutch oven).
Add green beans and cook for 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain the beans and rinse well with cold water. Place in a large bowl. Add tomatoes, onions and basil (if desired). Refrigerate while preparing dressing.

5 tablespoons vinegar (Balsamic, Rice Wine or white)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Combine the ingredients in a medium bowl, gradually add oil and stir with a wire wisk. Drizzle over bean mixture; toss gently to coat. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Yield: 8 servings. Refrigerate leftovers.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Aunt Ruth's Squash Fritters

Riley, our 9yr old grandson, is with us for week 3 of 3. He's a growing boy and has had a wonderful time trying new foods (well, a few new foods!). This was one of his favorites - he rated it 11 out of 10! Pretty high compliment for a 9 yr old boy!

The recipe comes from "Aunt Ruth", a dear family friend from Marion, Al.

Aunt Ruth's Squash Fritters
2 cups finely chopped yellow squash ( I put it in the food processor)
1 cup finely chopped onion (Vidalia, if available)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Oil for frying

Combine ingredients, stirring until moistened. Heat oil in frying pan, drop mixture into hot oil by tablespoons. Fry until brown, drain on paper towels and serve hot!