Thursday, June 22, 2006

Balsamic Chicken and Pesto Pasta Salad

So the pasta salad came out pretty well. I tried to fake it by not actually cooking the sauce and instead mixing the chilled ingredients, but the consistency came out floury from the mix, so definitely take the time to cook the pesto. The Balsamic Chicken was pretty good, but could have used a little more pizzaz. Perhaps it needed more of the herb rub, since the amount given only covered the top of each breast, rather than the entire thing. Served with fresh wheat bread.

Pasta Salad
Serves 2
On a scale of 1 - 10: 8/10 (if prepared correctly)

1/3 packet of creamy pesto sauce mix
1 1/2 TBS milk
1 TBS olive oil spread

1/2 tomato, chopped (or halved cherry tomatoes)
4-5 kalamata olives, sliced thinly
1/4 cup petit pois

2 cups dried gemelli pasta
parmesan cheese

1) Prepare pasta according to package directions. When tender, drain and rinse with cold water until pasta is cool.
2) In a small sauce pan, blend pesto mix, milk, and olive oil spread until creamy. Simmer until thickened, about 5 min.
3) Toss the remaining ingredients with the pasta and sauce. Add parmesan cheese to taste. Chill for optimal flavor.

Balsamic Chicken
(courtesy of greg's mother's custom cookbook)
Serves 2
Scale of 1-10: 7/10

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp rosemary

1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1 TBS olive oil
dry sherry or white wine

1) Combine garlic, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Rub chicken with herb mixture and drizzle with olive oil. Cover and refridgerate overnight.
2) Preheat oven to 475ºF. Place chicken in a roasting pan and bake for 10 minutes. Flip the chicken. Add a few splashes of the sherry or wine to help scrape the bottom of the pan. Bake for an additional 10 minutes and repeat.
3) Bake for additional minutes, then remove from oven. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Remove chicken to plate. Stir the remaining liquid and serve over the chicken.

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