Friday, October 29, 2010

Tomato Chicken Stack Salad

12-15 fresh basil leaves (rinsed)

4-5 fresh Italian parsley sprigs (rinsed)

1 small shallot (rinsed)

4 large red and yellow (or heirloom) tomatoes (rinsed)

1 chilled rotisserie chicken plain or flavored

2 T white balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (or avocado) oil

½ t. dried Italian Seasoning

¼ t pepper

½ cup crumbled feta, goat, or blue cheese

Slice basil into thin strips; set aside. Chop parsley coarsely and shallot finely. Cut tomatoes into ¼ inch thick slices

Remove meat of chicken from bones (discard skin and bones). Chop chicken coarsely (wash hands); measure 2 cups (reserve remaining chicken for another use.)

Prepare dressing by combining in medium bowl, vinegar, oil, Italian Seasoning, pepper, parsley and shallots; whisk until well blended.

Arrange salad on serving plates, alternating tomato slices, chicken, basil strips, and crumbled cheese. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Basil and Tomato Pasta Salad

8 oz. dry rotini or penne pasta

6 oz. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 –inch pieces

1/3 cup olive oil

¼ cup white balsamic vinegar

½ t salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ t. dry mustard

¼ t. ground black pepper

3 medium tomatoes, cut into thin wedges (about 1 pound)

¾ cup finely shredded parmesan cheese (3 ounces)

½ cup sliced pitted ripe olives

1/3 cup finely shredded fresh basil

Shaved Parmesan cheese

Cook Pasta according to package directions, adding green beans the last five minutes of cooking; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain again.

In a screw top jar combine olive oil, vinegar, salt, garlic, mustard, and pepper.

In a very large bowl toss together the pasta mixture, dressing, tomatoes, shredded cheese and olives. Cover and child for 4 to 24 hours. Add basil and toss gently before serving.

Top with shaved Parmesan Cheese, if desired

makes 12-16 side-dish servings.

Chicken Divan

I love a good Chicken Divan casserole, but some of the folks at my house don’t like the broccoli, so I took this recipe and prepared it leaving the broccoli out. We had it on the steamed on the side drizzled with olive oil and minced garlic.

I boiled some chicken tenders, chopped them up and set them aside. I also prepared 4-6 cups of rice and set that aside as well.

To make the sauce I melted ¼ cup butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat until melted. I stirred in ¼ cup all purpose flour and 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg. Stir constantly until smooth and bubbly; remove from heat.

I added 1 ½ cups chicken stock and 2 T. of white wine heating the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. I turned off the heat and added ½ cup to 1 cup shredded swiss cheese. In a chilled bowl I whipped ½ cup heavy cream until stiff. I then folded the cheese mixture into the whipped cream and stirred until fully mixed.

Add the chicken pieces and broccoli (optional) to the cheese sauce.

Serve the sauce over cooked rice.

Variation: Layer cooked rice in the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole. Spread chicken, broccoli and cheese sauce over rice and top with additional shredded cheese. Bake until bubbly at 350.
Serves 6
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