Scallops In A Leek And Lemon Butter Sauce
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 large leek (white and pale green part only), thinly sliced
1 tablespoon water
1 cup dry white wine
2 shallots, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 fresh thyme sprig
6 large sea fresh scallops
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter for the sauce, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
For the spinach
10 oz package of frozen spinach, defrosted
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
For the leeks:
Wash the leeks well to rid them of sand. Drain.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet with a cover over medium low heat. Add the sliced leeks and water.
Cover and simmer until the leeks are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Remove the leeks to a bowl and cover while the other ingredients are being prepared.
For the sauce:
In a small saucepan boil the white wine, shallots, lemon juice and fresh thyme sprig until the mixture is reduced to half.
Strain the sauce into a measuring cup. Reserve the pot.
For the scallops:
Remove the side muscle from the scallops and dry the scallops well on a paper towel. Sprinkle the scallops with salt and pepper.
Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the skillet that the leeks were cooked in over medium-high heat.
Add the scallops and saute until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Place the scallops on a plate and cover with foil.
Pour the wine sauce into the skillet and bring to simmer. Gradually add the cold butter cubes to the sauce, whisking just until melted.
Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the leeks and warm the mixture.
For the spinach:
Heat the olive oil and garlic in the small saucepan that the sauce was made in and add the spinach. Cook just until the spinach is hot.
Remove the pan from the heat.
To assemble the dish:
Divide the leek sauce in half and pour into the center of two round individual pasta bowls.
Place 3 scallops over the leek sauce in each dish.
Arrange the cooked spinach around the scallops in each dish and serve.
The market was full of lovely produce this week and, therefore, very difficult to decide what to purchase. I settled on several baskets of beautiful tomatoes and bright green Swiss chard. Redfish is in season here and it is a fish we like a lot, so this recipe was made with redfish. You can use any white fish fillets that you like. You may also add rice if you want another side. The parsley butter adds a lot of flavor and it can also be used on other meats. It is even a good on vegetables. The muffins make a good addition to this dinner. This dinner is also gluten-free and would work perfectly if you had a family member or guests that needed this special diet. On the other hand, this dinner is delicious for anyone.
Fish Fillets With Parsley Butter and Roasted Tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb white fish fillets of choice
1 tablespoon Parsley Butter, per fish fillet
Roasted Tomatoes, recipe below
Kalamata Olives, pitted
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2 cup salted butter at room temperature (If you use unsalted butter, add ½ teaspoon of salt)
1/4 cup fresh, finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons grated onion
2 teaspoons grated garlic
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
For the Parsley Butter:
Be sure the butter is at room temperature and soft enough to mash with a fork.
In a small bowl mash the butter and add the remaining ingredients. Mix very well, cover and chill until it is time to cook the fish.
For the Spice Rub:
In small bowl, combine the black pepper, paprika, onion powder and seasoning salt.
To cook the fish:
Pat the fish fillets dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the Spice Rub on both sides of the fish fillets.
In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium. Cook the fillets about 4 minutes on one side.
Remove the fish to a serving plate and place 1 tablespoon of Parsley Butter on each piece of fish.
In the same pan place the roasted tomatoes and olives. Heat until warm and spoon next to the fish on the serving plate.
Note: The Parsley Butter will keep at least 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Make this recipe early in the day or even the day before and refrigerate them in a covered container.
2 pints miniature mixed heirloom tomatoes
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Heat the oven to 400°F.
Combine all the ingredients in a single layer in a baking pan.
Roast for 60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are caramelized and have released their liquid. Pour into a serving bowl.
Use as a side dish, as an ingredient in a main dish or on pizza. Drizzle some of the thickened balsamic sauce on each serving.
Sautéed Swiss Chard
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion finely chopped
2 bunches of swiss chard, washed in several changes of water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste
Drain the washed chard very well. With a knife, remove and discard the chard’s stems that run up the middle of each leaf.
Cut the leaves into smaller pieces.
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onion, garlic and black pepper.
Heat, covered, for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are tender.
Add the chard leaves and cook, covered, another 3-5 minutes until the leaves are wilted and brightly colored.
Add a tablespoon of water to the pan if it seems like the leaves are getting too dry.
Add salt to taste and serve.
Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
12-15 muffins depending on the size of your muffin tin
2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup coconut flour
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup salted butter, melted
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
Spray the inside of the liners with cooking spray to make for easier removal.
In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, sugar, coconut flour, poppy seeds and baking powder.
In a large measuring cup or medium mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, eggs, almond milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla extract.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir well to combine.
Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups filling them ¾ of the way and bake 25 to 35 minutes, until tops are just golden brown and the muffins are set. Remove to a wire rack and let cool.
When the weather heats up, take advantage of the all the fresh produce that is available during the summer months. Many recipes for creating salads or cold soups do not require any cooking. If an ingredient needs to be cooked, do it early in the day and serve it chilled. Below are a few ideas to keep you cool, including a delicious dessert.
Cold Appetizer Plate
Burrata Cheese drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Olives, Roasted Peppers, Fresh Melon
The breasts can be cooked early in the day and the rest of the recipe can be prepared later. This makes enough so that there will be plenty for several meals. Serve over lettuce with sliced tomatoes and cut up veggies.
Cooking the chicken breasts
1 1/2 pounds of bone-in, skin on chicken breasts
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts in a baking dish and rub the skin with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
Roast for 40-45 minutes, until the chicken registers 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer .
Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Remove the meat from the bones and save the skin and bones to make chicken broth.
Dice the chicken into bite-size pieces and place in a bowl.
For the salad
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped sweet (Vidalia, Walla Walla) onion
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup red grapes, cut in half
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix the mayonnaise and Dijon mustard together in a mixing bowl with a cover.
Add the celery and onion; stir, Add the chicken and mix carefully to keep the chicken from breaking up.
Fold in the pecans and grapes. Adjust salt and pepper, if needed. Cover and chill.
Triggerfish with Caper Sauce
Triggerfish were once ignored by commercial fishermen, however, they are now considered among the finest fish on the Gulf seafood menu. Their clean white meat carries a uniquely sweet flavor when cooked. Since this fish lives in warm waters, you might not find it in your area. Use any thin mild white fish fillets in the recipe below, if you cannot find triggerfish. If you do see it in your fish market, be sure to give it a try. I like to serve this dish with the tomato salad shown below.
2 ounces butter, room temperature
1 lb triggerfish fillets
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 ounces white wine
Hot sauce, to taste
Half a small onion, chopped fine or one shallot
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon capers, rinsed
Add the butter to a saute pan or skillet and place over medium heat.
Season the fish with the salt and pepper and dredge the fillets in all-purpose flour.
Place each fillet in the skillet and saute until light golden brown.
Add a few drops of hot sauce to the pan as the fish browns.
After the first side is golden brown, turn the fish over and cook until the second side is golden brown.
Remove the fish from the pan to a plate. Reduce the heat to low and add the wine to the skillet.
Add the onion or shallot and stir slowly but continuously for about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and capers.
Continue to stir until a thin sauce forms. Return the fish to the skillet and spoon the sauce over the fillets.
Place the fish on serving plates and spoon any sauce in the skillet onto the fish.
Tomato Feta Salad
4-5 medium plum tomatoes, sliced thin
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
2 tablespoons good quality white wine vinegar or Champagne vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Place the sliced tomatoes on a serving plate.
In a mixing bowl combine the onion, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, basil and parsley and toss well.
Pour the dressing over the sliced tomatoes and sprinkle with the feta cheese. Serve at room temperature.
Makes 12 squares
1 (3-4 ounce) package chocolate pudding mix
Two 3-ounce packages ladyfingers, split
1/3 cup chocolate liqueur (Kahlua)
1/3 cup brewed espresso or strong coffee
One 8-ounce carton mascarpone cheese
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, grated
Unsweetened cocoa powder
Do ahead: Prepare the chocolate pudding mix according to the directions on the package. Chill in the refrigerator.
Mix the coffee and Kahlua together in a shallow dish.
In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the mascarpone cheese, whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer just until stiff peaks form.
Add the chocolate syrup and mix until just combined.
To assemble the tiramisu:
Line the bottom of an 8 x 8 x 2-inch or 11 x 7 x 2 inch baking dish with some of the ladyfingers dipped in the espresso/Kahlua mixture.
Spoon a thin layer of chocolate pudding over the ladyfingers in the baking dish.
Spoon half of the mascarpone mixture over the chocolate pudding layer, spreading it evenly.
Sprinkle with grated bittersweet chocolate.
Top with another layer of ladyfingers dipped in espresso, followed by chocolate pudding and the mascarpone cheese mixture.
Cover and chill for 6 to 24 hours. Sift cocoa powder over the top before serving.
Milan is a metropolitan city in the Lombardy region of Italy and it replaced the Province of Milan. It includes the city of Milan and other municipalities (comuni) and was first created by the reform of local authorities (Law 142/1990). It has been operative since January 1, 2015.
Italy’s fashion houses are legendary, from Dolce Vita to Prada and Versace to Valentino. The country has always been known for its meticulous craftsmanship and luxury materials, but it was only after Word War II that Italy emerged as a fashion destination. After the war Italy’s fashion industry got the confidence and the economic support to come into its own. In an effort to restore and stabilize the Italian economy after World War II, the Marshall Plan provided American aid for Italy’s textile businesses, which were mostly small, family owned operations. This investment spurred the production of leather, fur, silk and wool— the country’s most prized luxury materials to this day.
In 2009, this Italian city was named the fashion capital of the world. Every year, several major runway shows are held in Milan that showcase international fashion icons, buyers and models. The fashion industry in Italy is known for providing fashionable clothing and accessories that boast comfort, elegance, quality and fantasy. The purpose of Italian fashion is somehow different from the ones in New York, Paris and Tokyo. Italians prefer to buy clothes that will remain stylish longer, comfortable to wear and of good quality rather than fading trends.
During the ’50s and ’60s, while French labels like Christian Dior and Jacques Fath turned their focus fully on couture, only Italian fashion designers truly understood the need for women to have comfortable, versatile clothing that was also tailored and refined. Italian day wear took off in America and paved the way for the ready-to-wear collections coming out of Italy’s fashion houses today. Part of the reason Italy was the first market for day wear was a coterie of women designers who understood the needs of women. Germana Marucelli, Mila Schön, Simonetta and Galitzine: These women all came from Italian aristocracy and they found themselves without jobs and without any money after the war. What they knew were clothes and they had the technical know-how to create new designs.
In Italy, designers have shown excellence when it comes to creating clothes and accessories that are functional and practical. In terms of design, designers make sure that the fabrics and other materials used in producing clothes are of equal quality. The country’s fashion industry has remained competitive in the international fashion industry and the industry is playing a significant role in the recovery of the Italian economy from the recession that recently hit the country. Any improvement in the condition of the fashion industry will also be beneficial to other industries in Italy. This is because most of the regions and small factories in the country are involved in the production of fashion accessories, textiles, shoes and apparel.
Spring Fashion Week 2016
Some of the largest fashion companies in the world are also headquartered in Italy. Many of the major Italian fashion brands, such as Valentino, Versace, Prada, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Marni, Iceberg, Missoni, Trussardi, Moschino, Dirk Bikkembergs, Etro, and Zegna are currently headquartered in the city. Among the newest labels are young designers, such as Sara Battaglia, Angelos Bratis and Aquilano.Rimondi.
Milan also hosts a fashion week twice a year in Milan’s main upscale fashion district, where the city’s most prestigious shopping streets (Via Monte Napoleone, Via della Spiga, Via Sant’Andrea, Via Manzoni and Corso Venezia) are found. Italy also is home to many fashion magazines, such as Vogue Italia, Vanity Fair, Elle, Glamour, Grazia, Amica, Flair and Gioia.
In Milan not even the onslaught of the fall collections can prevent some of the city’s most stylish from preparing delicious, fresh food.
Want to feel like you are in Milan – make some of the recipes from their well-known cuisine.
Milanese Tripe Soup
- 2 1/4 pounds (1 k) boiled veal tripe
- 12 ounces (300 g) cranberry beans, soaked overnight
- 2/3 pound (300 g) carrots, chopped
- 1/2 pound (200 g) canned tomatoes
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 onions, minced
- A small stick celery, minced
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- A sprig of sage
If you haven’t bought the tripe already boiled, wash it very well, then cut it into fairly large pieces and boil it in a large pot for 30 minutes. Drain and discard the liquid.
Cover the tripe again with water and add a carrot, a celery stalk, an onion and salt. Bring to a boil. Skim the surface often and simmer for 4 hours, adding water if needed.
Drain it well and cut it into the traditional thin strips. Fill a pot with water and simmer the sliced tripe for another hour.
When the hour is almost up heat the butter and the oil in a Dutch oven and sauté the onions. When they are golden, add the tripe with its liquid, and, a few minutes later, the beans, celery, carrots, tomatoes and sage.
Season the pot with salt and pepper and add a little boiling water (just enough to cover). Cover and simmer on low for about three hours. Serve with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese.
- 3 1/3 cups (400 g) flour
- 4 eggs, divided
- 10 ounces (250 g) ground beef
- 3 cups (150 g) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus extra for serving
- 1/4 cup (50 g) softened unsalted butter, plus additional for the sauce
- A few tablespoons of beef broth
- A pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
Work the flour with a pinch of salt, two of the eggs and just enough water to obtain a smooth elastic dough. Knead it well, for 10-15 minutes, cover it with a damp cloth and set it aside.
Combine the ground beef with the butter and the grated Parmigiano. Add a pinch of nutmeg, the remaining 2 eggs, a few tablespoons of broth to moisten and mix well.
Divide the dough into two pieces and roll them out into two very thin rectangles.
Lay one of the sheets on the work surface and dot it with tablespoons of filling, separating them by a couple of inches (5 cm).
Lay the second sheet over the first, press down between the filling, so the sheets stick together and then cut each ravioli free with a serrated pasta wheel.
Bring a pot of water to boil, salt it and cook the ravioli for a few minutes, remove them with a strainer to a serving bowl. Serve them with melted butter and grated cheese.
Involtini di Vitello alla Milanese
- 12 thin slices veal, about one and one-half pounds, cut for scaloppine
- 1/4 cup chopped prosciutto
- 1/3 pound chicken livers, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon, plus 3 tablespoons,butter
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 teaspoon finely minced garlic
- 1/2 cup fine fresh breadcrumbs
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup fresh or canned chicken broth
- 1/4 cup chopped sage or parsley
Put the slices of veal between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a flat mallet until even without breaking the tissues. Set aside.
Combine the prosciutto and chicken livers in a mixing bowl.
Heat one teaspoon of the butter in a small skillet and cook the onion, stirring, until it is wilted. Add this to the mixing bowl. Add the garlic, bread crumbs, nutmeg, pepper, lemon rind, egg and cheese. Blend well.
Lay out the pieces of veal in one layer on a flat surface. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon an equal portion of the filling on each slice.
Wrap the meat around the filling, folding and tucking the ends in envelope fashion. Tie each bundle neatly in two pieces of kitchen string. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Dredge the bundles all over in flour and shake off the excess.
In a heavy skillet large enough to hold the rolls, without crowding, in one layer, heat the remaining three tablespoons of butter and add the veal bundles.
Cook, turning the bundles occasionally, until they are browned all over, about three or four minutes. Reduce the heat and continue cooking over moderately low heat for 15 minutes. Remove the veal rolls to a serving plate.
Add the wine to the skillet and stir to dissolve the brown particles that cling to the bottom and sides of the pan. Add the chicken broth and herbs. Bring to the boil and let cook over high heat about five minutes.
Remove the strings from the veal rolls and pour the sauce over the rolls. Serve immediately.
From La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy by Academia Italina Della Cucina, 2009.
- 2 sticks room temperature butter
- 6 egg yolks
- 2 egg whites
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- Zest from 1/2 lemon
- 2/3 cup flour
- 1 1/4 cups potato starch
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Butter and flour a 9 inch circular cake pan.
Beat the butter in an electric mixer until soft. Mix the egg yolks into the butter one at a time. Slowly add in the sugar. Add the zest, flour and potato starch.
In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes and insert a toothpick into the center of the cake to check if it is cooked. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done. If not, cook for a few minutes more until the toothpick is clean.
Remove the cake from the pan and set on a wire rack to cool. Top with Mascarpone Cream.
From La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy by Academia Italina Della Cucina, 2009.
- 1 egg, separated
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Amaretto liqueur
In an electric mixer, combine the 2 egg yolks with the sugar.
In a separate bowl, whip the egg white until still. Fold the egg white into the egg yolk and sugar mixture.
Mix the egg and sugar mixture with the mascarpone cheese. Add the Amaretto and stir to combine.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to set. Spread over the cooled Torta Paradiso.
I oven roasted 1 lb of small new potatoes last week. I used half of the potatoes as a side for dinner and saved the remainder to make a potato salad for another meal. See the recipe below.
I also sautéed one pound of green beans (they are in season here where I live) and served half with the potatoes for dinner and saved half for a green bean salad later in the week. I prefer to saute green beans rather than boil them and the recipe is below.
Oven Roasted Potatoes
- 1 pound small potatoes (about 1 3/4-inch diameter), scrubbed
- 1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Put the potatoes into a heavy large baking dish. In a glass measuring cup, whisk the herbs, garlic and oil together until blended and then pour over the potatoes.
Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Spread the potatoes, spacing them evenly apart, in a single layer.
Roast the potatoes until they are tender and golden, turning them occasionally with tongs, for about 45 minutes.
Sautéed Green Beans
- 1 lb green beans, trimmed
- 1 garlic clove, sliced thin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet with a cover, heat the oil and garlic. Add the green beans and seasonings. cover the pan.
Simmer the beans, turning occasionally until crisp tender, about 10 minutes. Serve half for dinner and refrigerate the remaining beans for the salad recipe below.
Oven Fried Chicken
This chicken tastes even better cold the next day.
- 4 chicken thighs, skin removed
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup Panko crumbs
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon each salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cover a rimmed baking pan with heavy-duty foil. Spray the foil with cooking spray.
Melt the butter and add the garlic. Set aside to cool.
On a sheet of wax paper, combine the flour, panko crumbs, paprika and salt and pepper.
Dip the chicken in the meted butter and then press the chicken in the crumb mixture. Place the breaded chicken pieces on the prepared pan.
Drizzle any remaining butter over the chicken. (Chicken can be prepared in advance of cooking and refrigerated until cooking time.)
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until crispy, brown and cooked to at least 165 degrees F.
- ½ lb leftover oven roasted new potatoes (about 8), sliced thin
- ¼ cup finely diced onion
- ¼ cup finely diced celery
- ¼ cup finely diced red bell pepper
- ¼ cup finely diced bread and butter pickles
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup low-fat mayonnaise
Combine all the ingredients together in a serving bowl. Cover and chill until dinner time.
Green Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad
- Half a pound of sautéed green beans, chilled
- Half a pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Combine the mustard, vinegar and olive oil in a serving bowl. Cut the green beans into 2 inch pieces. Add the green beans and cherry tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
Let sit at room temperature for one hour before serving.
I was chosen to participate in Castello’s Summer of Blue #BluesdayTuesday campaign. Beginning with this month, May, Castello Blue Cheese will be featuring creative blue cheese recipes on Tuesdays, also known as #BluesdayTuesday, until September. Castello has a wide range of wonderful cheeses. Check out Castello’s website for more information and don’t forget to enter the sweepstakes. You can win a season’s worth of blue cheese for your summer entertaining. See the link at the bottom of this post to enter the sweepstakes.
I was sent samples of Castello’s crumbled Danish Blue to use in my recipes for this campaign. That was very exciting in itself, since I am a big fan of blue cheese and love to put it on my salad. However, I wanted this delicious tasting cheese to be a star in a menu I would use for entertaining my guests.
If you are not that familiar with blue cheese, start simply and pair it with different foods to see how they complement each other. Try it alongside sweeter ingredients like figs or pears for a great appetizer. Add blue cheese to spicy recipes to tone down the heat and, then, add it to some of your main dish recipes. Once you start experimenting with blue cheese, you’ll become a fan also.
Now that May is here and the weather has warmed, I look forward to entertaining outdoors. It is also the time I think about grilling. I find it very creative to plan a menu for entertaining and, in thinking about what to serve, I always think it is best to go with seasonal foods because they are going to be flavorful and fresh. This entrée is excellent to serve when you have company because the chicken rolls can be prepared early in the day and refrigerated. I always try to plan a menu where most of the preparation can be done early in the day, leaving me free to spend time with my guests.
Below is my suggested menu for an outdoor dinner party for 4. This menu is easily doubled for additional guests.
Eggplant Compote, (recipe link)
Grilled Chicken Rolls with Danish Blue Cheese Stuffing, recipe below
Lettuce and Green Bean Salad, (recipe link)
Grilled Vegetables, (recipe link)
Almond Panna Cotta with Blueberry Sauce, (recipe link)
Grilled Chicken Rolls with Danish Blue Stuffing
A technique I like to use for cooking fish and chicken on the grill is to coat them in Panko crumbs and grill them on heavy-duty foil over indirect heat. This technique keeps food moist and delicious. The chicken only uses one side of the grill, which leaves the direct side to use for grilling vegetables.
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
Danish Blue Stuffing
- 4 oz Castello Crumbled Danish Blue Cheese
- 4 large fresh basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 4 slices Pancetta, about 4 oz
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 medium boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 6 oz each)
- 3/4 cup Panko crumbs
For the sauce:
In a small bowl combine lemon zest, lemon juice and melted butter. Divide the sauce in half and set one bowl aside. Refrigerate the other bowl until serving time.
For the chicken rolls:
Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a small skillet and saute the pancetta and garlic until the pancetta is crispy. Drain on a paper towel. Set aside.
Butterfly each chicken breast and place each piece between 2 layers of plastic wrap.
Use the flat side of a meat mallet to pound the chicken into rectangles of an even thickness.
Divide the cooked pancetta evenly on each chicken breast.
Add 1 oz of Castello blue cheese to each breast and top with a basil leaf.
Fold in the sides of each chicken breast and roll up.
Dip chicken into one of the dishes with the reserved lemon sauce and then roll in the Panko crumbs, pressing the crumbs into the chicken.
Secure the rolls with skewers and place on a tray lined with heavy duty foil. Refrigerate the chicken rolls until it is time to grill. Discard the lemon sauce used for the coating.
Preheat the grill on high.
Turn off one side of the grill and place chicken with the foil on that side of the grill.
Grill for 10 minutes, turn the chicken rolls over with grill tongs and cook for 10 more minutes or until the chicken registers 160 degrees F on an instant read meat thermometer.
Move the chicken rolls to a serving platter. Let grilled chicken rest 5 minutes.
Reheat the reserved lemon sauce in the microwave while the chicken rests. Drizzle the sauce over the chicken rolls and garnish with basil leaves. Serve.