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Menu Plan and Recipes

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tomatoes with pesto
Baked Tomatoes with Pesto

chicken stuffed with mozzarella
Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breasts

potatoes bay
Potatoes Braised in Olive Oil with Bay Leaves

green beans
Green Beans with Prosciutto and Garlic Chips

 

Menu Plan for the week of Sept. 13, 2013:  Saturday's Recipes

Baked Tomatoes with Pesto
Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Mozzarella and Basil
Potatoes Braised in Olive Oil with Bay Leaves
Green Beans with Prosciutto and Garlic Chips

Cooking time:  40 minutes for menu      Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

     My tomato was quite large so I served half per person. If you use a spoon to drizzle the sauce on the chicken as it cooks you don't need to worry about 'contaminating' the sauce with uncooked chicken.

Baked Tomatoes with Pesto                       Preparation and cooking time:   20 minutes
    If you have a very large, Beefsteak type tomato, cut in in half, through the stem, hollow each half and fill.   

2 medium garden ripened tomatoes
3 tbs pesto
3 tbs freshly grated Parmesan

Core tomatoes - cut into the stem end at an angle to take out the stem and center of the tomatoes.  Hollow out sufficiently to hold half of the pesto and cheese.  Divide the pesto and put into each of the tomatoes. Divide the Parmesan and sprinkle over the top.  Put into a small baking dish and bake at 375F (185C) for 10 - 15 minutes.  The tomatoes should be cooked through but still hold their shape and the cheese should be starting to brown.  Remove and serve.

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Mozzarella, Basil    Preparation, cooking time: 30 minutes
     Grilled chicken stuffed with whole basil leaves and fresh mozzarella and based with a light barbecue sauce.

2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
1/2 fresh mozzarella ball
8 large fresh basil leaves, or more small
kitchen string
Barbecue Sauce
4 tbs ketchup
2 tbs sherry
1 tbs Balsamic vinegar
1 tbs maple syrup
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dry mustard

Chicken: With a sharp knife make a long slit in the edge of the chicken breast - cutting horizontally and being careful not to cut through the other side.  Make the cut on the 'straight' edge of the breast.  You should have a pocket the shape of the breast with 1/2 inch of 'uncut' chicken around 3 sides. 
Slice the mozzarella as thinly as possible, divide and fit into each pocket. Place the basil on top of the cheese, folding it in to fit. Wrap entire breast with kitchen string to hold it together.
Grill on barbecue for 5 - 8 minutes per side or until done or bake in oven for 25 minutes at 400F or until done, basting frequently with barbecue sauce. 
Barbecue sauce:  Put all ingredients for sauce in a bowl and whisk well to combine.

Potatoes Braised in Olive Oil with Bay Leaves      Preparation, cooking time: 40 minutes
     This is a simple dish of potatoes and bay leaves, braised in olive oil.  They can be done in a skillet or a covered dish in the oven.

2 medium potatoes
4 bay leaves
3 tbs olive oil

Slice the potatoes about 1/4" (.5cm) thick. Put the oil in a baking dish large enough to hold the potatoes in one or two layers, but not tightly packed.  Add the potatoes and turn to coat thoroughly.  Tuck the bay leaves in amongst the potatoes, cover and bake for 35 minutes, 400F (200C). 
To serve:  Remove from oil, discard bay leaves and serve.

Green Beans with Prosciutto, Garlic Chips           Preparation, cooking time:  20 minutes
     I used the flat, Italian beans for this but any tender green bean will work.  Garlic chips are not as strong as you might think, and they get lovely golden and crisp. You can just used the garlic-infused oil if you think the chips might be too strong.... but, taste one....  Sage is good with beans, a change from the more traditional savory.

6oz (180gr) green beans,
2 slices Prosciutto (2oz, 60gr)  optional
10 - 12 fresh sage leaves  substitute 2 tsp dried, rubbed sage
4 cloves garlic
2 tbs olive oil

Put an inch of water in the bottom of your steamer and bring to a boil, covered. Cut the stem end off of the beans, leave whole, with tail on.  Add beans to steamer, cover and steam for 10 minutes. Remove beans and place on serving dish.
While beans steam, peel and slice the garlic cloves as thinly as you can.  Roughly chop the Prosciutto.  Heat oil in small skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and fry until golden, turning once, about 5 minutes total.  Add ham, sage leaves and sauté until starting to crisp, another 3 - 5 minutes.
To finish, spoon ham, sage and garlic chips on the beans, then drizzle the oil over all and serve.
Note: If making in advance, when beans are done plunge into cold water to preserve color.  Remove and drain.  When ready to finish put beans on a baking sheet and into a warm oven, 220F (100C) to warm for 5 - 10 minutes.

Cooking Schedule: 40 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
foil, small bowl, medium bowl, whisk, plate, 2 baking
dishes, kitchen string, large pot / steamer basket with
lid, small skillet, barbecue grill

Turn oven on, 400F (200C), arrange 2 shelves
Turn on / light barbecue grill
Slice potatoes
Put potatoes in baking dish, coat with oil
Add bay leaves, cover, bake
Grate Parmesan
Hollow tomatoes
Stuff tomatoes, put in baking dish, set aside
Cut chicken breasts
Slice mozzarella
Stuff chicken breasts
Tie chicken breasts securely, set aside
Bake tomatoes
Slice garlic, sauté in oil

Make barbecue sauce
Turn garlic
Top and tail beans
Chop prosciutto
Add Prosciutto, sage to garlic, sauté
Start to cook chicken, baste
Heat water in steamer
Remove garlic, prosciutto, sage from oil
Remove oil from heat
Add beans to steamer, cover, steam
Remove tomatoes
Baste chicken, turn
Put tomatoes on plates, serve
    Done?
Baste chicken
Reheat oil for beans
Remove beans, plate, sprinkle with ham, garlic, sage
Pour oil over beans
Remove potatoes
Remove chicken, serve all