Friday, August 1, 2008

New Recipes This Week

I try to make at least one new recipe every week so maybe I will remember to post the recipes and reviews to share. This week I tried 3 new ones. I choose to make these 2 dinner recipes this week since both call for fresh basil, red peppers and arugula (which I replaced with spinach and romaine lettuce since I needed those in other recipes this week). On the first day, I marinated the chicken in the yogurt sauce for the sandwiches and also the chicken in Italian dressing with a little balsamic vinegar for the salad. Then I grilled them both that night. So on the second night, I just pulled out the grilled chicken and chopped it up and made the rest of the salad along with the side dishes. See? I was thinking ahead! (You won't see that too often.)

Basil Grilled Chicken Sandwiches With Red Pepper Relish
***** (5 star)

I marinated the chicken for 3 hours and it made the chicken very tender. To me, the red pepper relish made this recipe outstanding, but my kids didn't even try it. Usually at least one of the would, but no luck this time. Instead of using focaccia bread, I bought large rosette rolls, cut them in half and toasted them in the oven.
1 cup plain yogurt (low-fat or non-fat)
1 lemon, juice and zest of
1 garlic clove, minced
10 basil leaves, chopped
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onions
1 garlic clove, minced
fresh ground black pepper
1 c. fresh red peppers, chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
10 basil leaves, chopped
1 cup arugula leaves
4 small loaf focaccia bread, sliced in half

Mix the yogurt, lemon juice and zest, garlic and basil together in a large mixing bowl. Add the chicken and coat it evenly with the yogurt mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Meanwhile, prepare the red pepper relish. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the red pepper, onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat, cool and stir in the basil. This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
For the chicken preheat the grill to high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken on both sides until it is cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes per side. Let the chicken cool slightly and slice it on the bias.
For the sandwiches spread 4 halves of the focaccia with some of the red pepper relish, then top with sliced chicken and arugula. Finish the sandwiches with a dollop of relish and the other half of the focaccia.
Chicken-Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese or Feta

I do LOVE salads, and this is so fresh and delicious! I served this with the Feta on the side since Elisa and I are the only ones who eat Feta. I forgot to buy grape tomatoes so I just used half a tomato that I had leftover in the refrigerator. I also didn't buy fresh oregano so I was going to add dried oregano, but I forgot. It was still good. I might add olives next time. This is my new favorite chicken salad.
1 1/4 cups uncooked orzo

3 cups chopped grilled chicken breast strips

1 1/2 cups trimmed arugula

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped red onion

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

6 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese or feta

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain well. Combine pasta, chicken, and the next 6 ingredients (through oregano) in a large bowl; toss well.
Combine vinegar, oil, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle vinegar mixture over pasta mixture; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with cheese.
Yield: 6 servings (It made more than 6 of our portions.)
Chocolate Mint Brownies

Elisa was having a sleepover and was searching the internet for a mint brownie recipe we could make. She found this one and we had the ingredients, so we gave it a try. After the brownies were cooled, before we put the mint layer and the chocolate layer on top, I tried a tiny bite of the brownie. It was unimpressive and I even said that I doubted we'd be making this recipe again. There is no leavening agent in the brownie so they stay thin. BUT after we finished it, let it cool and tried it, I couldn't resist having more. It is really good and the pieces come out of the pan perfectly when I left the brownies out of the refrigerator for just a few minutes before cutting (which is not what I did for the photo). If you don't care for mint, I think it would still be good with either vanilla or almond extract added to the middle layer. For those of you who have had BYU mint brownies, these are similar. It's even pretty low-fat, although obviously not low carb. Good choice, Elisa!

Bottom layer:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (16-ounce) can chocolate syrup
Mint layer:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
2 drops green food coloring
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350°. Coat 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray. To prepare bottom layer, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and salt; stir.
In separate bowl, combine granulated sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter, 2 tablespoons water, vanilla, eggs, and chocolate syrup in a medium bowl; stir until smooth. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture, stirring until blended. BATTER WILL BE VERY THIN! Pour batter into baking pan. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
To prepare mint layer, combine powdered sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter, and next 3 ingredients (through food coloring) in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer until smooth. Spread mint mixture over cooled cake.
To prepare the glaze, combine the chocolate chips and 3 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until melted, stirring after 30 seconds. Let stand 2 minutes. Spread chocolate mixture evenly over top. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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