Friday, February 27, 2009

Lemon Fusilli Pasta with Grilled Lemon Chicken

YUMMO! I loved this dish. Of course, it came from my friend Katherine the Great. This is definitely a keeper. Like I have said before, I just love finding such wonderful new recipes like this one. And a bonus for this one is that it isn't very time-consuming. Boil the noodles, whip up the sauce, steam and cut up some veggies and you're done. All those things can be done simultaneously too, with ease.

1 T. good olive oil
1 1/4 T. garlic, minced
2 1/2 c. heavy cream
3 large lemons
Kosher salt
Black pepper, freshly ground
1 large bunch broccoli
1 lb. dried fusilli pasta
1/2 lb. baby spinach or arugula
1 c. Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 pt. grape tomatoes or seeded/diced Roma's
1 recipe grilled lemon chicken, prepared (requires 2-day marinating for best results)

Heat olive oil in medium saucepan over medium high heat until hot. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add cream, zest from 2 lemons, the juice from both lemons, 2 t. salt, and 1 t. pepper. Bring to a boil then lower heat to med-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until it starts to thicken. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions and cut broccoli in florets, discarding stems. Steam broccoli on stove top or in microwave until tender, 5-6 minutes. Drain broccoli and run cold water over to stop the cooking. Set aside. Once pasta is done and sauce is thickened (hopefully at about the same time) immediately combine the 2 in the pasta pot. Cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Slice remaining lemon longways, then crosswise into thin slices. Add spinach/arugula and heat over medium heat for an additional 3 minutes. Turn off heat and add 1/2 c. Parmesan, tomatoes and broccoli. Stir lightly to combine. Turn mixture into a large pasta bowl. Top with remaining Parmesan and sliced lemons. Serve hot.

Grilled Lemon Chicken

4 chicken boneless, skinless breasts, thawed
lemon juice
olive oil
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. dried thyme

Marinate chicken in equal parts lemon juice and olive oil (1/2 - 3/4 c. of each), salt, pepper and thyme for at least 2 days (3 days is best). Grill on outdoor grill or George Foreman. If you don't have either, the chicken can be baked or cooked however you usually cook your chicken. In a pinch, saute un-marinated chicken in above ingredients over medium heat. Some of the flavor will be there, but not all. This chicken is SO good!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Buffalo Ranch Taco Salad

My mom's creation.

Toss in large salad bowl:
2-3 heads of romaine lettuce, washed and torn
1-14 oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
1-14 oz. can black beans, drained
1-14 oz. can light red kidney beans
1/2 c. cilantro, washed and torn into pieces
1/2 c. red onion, chopped coarsely
1 c. finely shredded cheddar cheese

2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into thin strips, and tossed in a bit of lime juice, olive oil, paprika and cumin (optional, if you want to make a meal out of it)

Top with tortilla chips for garnish.

Mix 1 c. buttermilk ranch with 1T. - 3T. (or more) Franks hot sauce. This depends on your taste!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Creamy, Spicy Buffalo Chicken Dip

It really isn't yellow, more of an orange color. My camera didn't know what to do with the color I guess!
Ok, this dip is amazing! If you like fattening creamy dips with a little zing, this is for you! I LOVE anything with the word "buffalo" in the title!

3 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped or shredded
12 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. blue cheese dressing
1/2 c. ranch dressing
1 1/4 c. Franks Red Hot sauce
1 1/2 c. sharp cheddar cheese

In a glass, microwave-safe bowl, heat cream cheese for 1-2 minutes until melted. With a whisk, mix in dressings. Mix in the Franks and cheddar cheese and transfer mixture to a small slow cooker. Cook on low setting until hot and bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

White Chocolate Fruit Tart

From my friend Ruth Gough.

3/4 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. confectioners sugar
1 1/2 c. flour

1-12 oz. package real white chocolate chips
1-8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
Fresh fruit (I like to use a package of strawberries, 1 pint blueberries, 2-3 kiwi and 1 pint raspberries. The recipe calls for 1-20 oz. can pineapple chunks (juice reserved), 1 pt. strawberries, 1-11 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained and 2 kiwis)

3 T. sugar
2 t. cornstarch
1/2 t. lemon juice

In small mixing bowl, cream butter and powdered sugar until creamy. Gradually add flour until mixed well. Press into greased 11 inch tart pan (I have used a 10 in. spring form pan and a 9x12 pyrex too) and bake at 300 degrees for 25-30 minutes until you see a hint of golden brown.

For filling, melt chocolate chips in microwave at 30 second intervals and let cool for 3 minutes. Beat in cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth. Spread over cooled crust and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Filling will firm up in that time. Meanwhile, prepare fruit. Arrange over tart in a beautiful design. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the glaze (which I have just left out before b/c I ran out of time and didn't use pineapples, and the tart was still amazing... it is great either way) combine sugar and cornstarch in small saucepan. Stir in lemon juice and reserved pineapple juice until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes or until thickened. Allow to cool and drizzle over tart.


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