Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pesto Penne and Chicken

By Paul Briand

Faced with entertaining my wife, my daughter, my son, my stepdaughter, and my step son-in-law for dinner this week, this one came about solely by inspiration fueled by desperation.

I needed something that could easily feed a lot of people (pasta is usually a good bet there) but that had some bulk, some taste and some flair.

I basically pieced this one together as I shopped, choosing the chicken thighs because of how well they fry up in olive oil and how it all might be enhanced when combined with sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms.

Eight pack of chicken thighs
Box of penne pasta
11-ounce ready made pesto with basil
Package of sun-dried tomatoes, cut into strips
1 cup sliced portabello mushrooms
Minced garlic to taste
Olive oil
Pepper to taste

1. Coat a large skillet with olive oil and over medium high heat cook the chicken thighs. Once no longer pink, remove and set aside. Let rest about three minutes then cut into strips;
2. Add a little more olive oil to same skillet and sautee sun-dried tomato strips and mushrooms, adding minced garlic as vegetables start to go limp;
3. In the meantime, cook the pasta in large pot of water with a splash of olive oil. Cook to al dente and drain;
4. Add a splash or two of sherry to the skillet to deglaze the bottom and pick up all that flavor from the chicken rendering;
5. In large bowl, add drained pasta and pour in all the contents of the skillet and give a big stir;
6. Add pesto to the pasta bowl and mix in thoroughly;
7. Serve by first adding penne pesto mixture to the plate, then top with several strips of chicken.

This serves six easily with enough for seconds and/or leftovers.
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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Calling all recipes for tomatoes

By Paul Briand

My plants are starting to pop with the brilliant red of what I hope is a plentiful crop of beefsteak ??? and cherry tomatoes.

I didn't have such a great year with my tomatoes last season, so I'm looking forward to a bumper crop this year.

Which begs the question: With a bumper crop of tomatoes, what should I do with them?

That's where I'd like your help. I'd like you to send me recipes for any recipe that uses fresh tomatoes.

Send me your concoctions for sauces and salads and whatever.

I'm especially interested in recipes for salsa using fresh tomatoes. Salsa is one of my all-time favorite food groups.

Please don't be shy.

Post your recipes in the comment section below; that way everyone can see. Or email me with your recipes:

Not only would I love to try some of the recipes for my own use, I'd love to share some of them here.
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