Monday, April 25, 2011

Chicken Spiedies

1/2 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest plus
   1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 breasts), trimmed
6 (6-inch) submarine rolls, split partially open lengthwise, or 6 large slices Italian bread

Combine the oil, garlic, basil, oregano, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes in a large bowl. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the oil mixture to a separate bowl and whisk in the mayonnaise, vinegar, and lemon juice; refrigerate until ready to serve. (The sauces can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 days.)

Prick the chicken breasts all over with a fork, cut them into 1 1/4-inch chunks, and transfer to the bowl with the remaining oil mixture. Refrigerate, covered, for 30 minutes or up to 3 hours.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and thread the chunks onto six 12-inch skewers. Grill on high, turning frequently, until lightly charred and cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to the rolls, remove the skewers, and drizzle with the mayonnaise mixture. Serve.

Frozen Preparation:
Defrost chicken in refrigerator. Thread onto bamboo skewers which have been soaked in water for 20 minutes prior to using. Grill as directed above. Serve as directed above. To prepare sauce, defrost and whisk in 3 tablespoons mayonnaise.

Flank Steak Stuffed with Spinach, Provolone, & Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

1 (2lb) flank steak
1 (12oz) jar roasted red bell peppers, rinsed, drained, & patted dry
5 tbls olive oil
1/2 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 c)
1 medium shallot, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbls fresh thyme, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
8 oz thinly sliced Provolone cheese
3 oz baby spinach (about 2 c)

Lay steak on large plate and freeze until firm, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, puree peppers, 2 tbls oil, Parmesan, shallot, garlic, thyme, and 1/8 tsp salt in food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds. Set aside.

Slice chilled steak in half horizontally to within 1/2 inch of edge and open like a book. Pat steak dry with paper towel and season with salt and pepper.

Layer provolone over steak, leaving 1" border around edges, then cover with spinach. Spoon roasted red pepper mixture evenly over spinach. Roll steak up tightly and tie. Brush steak with additional 1 tbls oil.

To Store/To Freeze: Wrap steak tightly with plastic wrap for up to 24 hours or freeze. Thaw 24 hours before cooking day.

To Serve: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450. Brush steak with additional 1 tbls oil and transfer to wire rack set over foil-lined baking sheet. Roast until registers 120 degrees, about 45-50 minutes, rotating steak and brushing with 1 tbls oil halfway through cooking. Transfer to carving board, tent with foil, and let rest about 10 minutes. Remove twine and slice steak crosswise.

*Note: I only used about half the amount of red pepper pesto called for- it makes a ton and can be a little over-powering.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Creamy Pasta Sauce with Fresh Herbs

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 TBS sweet butter
1/2 tsp salt (I used half that)
1/8 tsp nutmeg
pinch of cayenne
1/4 cup grated imported parmesan cheese
1 cup finely chopped mixed fresh herbs (I used a combo of basil, mint, chives, watercress Italian parsley)
1 pound angel hair pasta

Combine the cream, butter, salt, nutmeg, and cayenne in a heavy saucepan and simmer for at least 15 minutes or until sauce is slightly reduced and thickened.

Whisk in the parmesan and herbs and simmer for another 5 minutes. Taste and correct seasonings. Serve immediately.

For the freezer version I simmered just a tad less as you will have to reheat it and I didn't want it to thick. Place in freezer bag to freeze. I would recommend cutting it out of the bag frozen when you are ready to thaw it. That way you wont loose sauce:)

2 cups of sauce is enough for 1 pound of pasta.
This recipe is from the Silver Palate Cookbook