Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fresh Basil Pesto


2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

2. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Makes 1 cup.

Serve with pasta, over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices.

Compliments of Simply Recipes

I love pesto, and this is a great recipe! I use it for chicken pesto pasta or on bread. Delicious!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Chicken Alfredo

There is ridiculously unhealthy, but it is delicious!! I'm just posting it because it's yummy, but maybe you could put a few drops of green in the sauce if you want to make it for St. Patrick's Day.

2 chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
2 green onions, chopped
1 c. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dry)
2 c. heavy cream
3/4 c. parmesan
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Stir fry chicken strips in olive oil. In a separate pan, saute green onions in butter, then add mushrooms and garlic powder. Add to chicken. Add all remaining ingredients and cook on low until chicken is tender.

*Sometimes the sauce is runny, so I usually bring it to a boil, then add some corn starch mixed with water to it.

Skillet-Browned Broccoli with Pan-Toasted Garlic

3 large broccoli stems with stem end attached
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt
Ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. thinly sliced garlic cloves

1. Preheat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Slice broccoli heads lengthwise in a 1-inch-thick slices, cutting from the bottom of the stem through the crown to preserve the shape of the broccoli (reserve any florets that fall away for another use). Brush both sides of each broccoli slice with some of the olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

2. Place half of the slices in the heated skillet and set a heavy medium skillet on the slices to press them to the cast-iron skillet. Cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until well browned. Turn slices and cook second side for 3 to 4 minutes more or until browned (for more tender broccoli, cook over medium-low heat for 5 to 6 minutes per side). Repeat with remaining broccoli slices. Transfer to a warm platter, cover, and keep warm.

3. Drizzle the remaining olive oil into the hot skillet, reduce heat to medium-low and add garlic slices. Cook garlic, stirring gently and constantly for 2 minutes or until the slices are lightly browned. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

4. Arrange broccoli on serving platter. Sprinkle the toasted garlic slices over broccoli. Makes 8 servings.

5. *Kitchen Tip: Keep cooked broccoli slices warm in a 300 degree F oven or cover with foil while the remaining broccoli cooks.

Compliments of Better Homes and Gardens