Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Homemade Pesto Chicken, Sauteed Squash and Port Peaches

Remember the basil that Allyson and I purchased at the Farmers Market LAST WEEK? Well I looked up online how to store the stuff and based on what I read I wrapped a slightly damp paper towel around the base of the bunch and then put the entire thing in a zip top bag and in teh fridge. I had fresh basil for an entire week! I had to pinch off some ugly leaves, but I had enough of the good stuff to make homemade pesto which is something I've been wanting to try.

I put my good looking basil leaves in the cuisinart with two chopped garlic cloves. I needed more basil, so I added a tablespoon of basil from the squeeze tube.

I read that you could use any kind of nuts here, get creative! I would love to try this again with pistachios. Here I had pecans because that was what I had on hand. I put these over medium heat in a skillet and tossed until "fragrant," about two minutes. Don't walk away from these, they toasted quickly.

I added two packets of splenda. I don't know why, I read it somewhere so I thought I would try it. In the future I would leave this out because either the splenda or the sun dried tomatoes made this a sweet pesto and I was going for more savory here. Still good though.
What you can't see is the two sun dried tomatoes I threw in. Next I grated a good amount of parmesan cheese, maybe 1/2 cup...maybe less. I ended up adding more later, I like my cheese!

Then turn that baby on and watch it blend! Remove the top little lid and start streaming in some good olive oil. I don't know how much, maybe 1/4 cup?
Voila, homemade pesto!!

For dinner, I thawed two frozen chicken breasts and seasoned with salt and pepper.

I simply put these in a medium hot skillet with a tad bit of olive oil until browned on one side, then flipped.
Here is the beautiful squash from the farmers market. I sliced it up first.
Then put it in a medium hot skillet with salt, pepper and olive oil. Again, keeping it simple. I tossed it to coat and let it heat through. Then I added a tablespoon of my homemade pesto.
THEN, I remembered I had a handfull of spinach left, so I tossed that in with the squash.
This turned out really well.
To the chicken I added pesto to the top and added a lid to the pan to get it all melty. I let it heat like this for 5 minutes then called to Jim, "I'm about to plate!" which means that he comes in and asks me what I want to drink with dinner, he sets out the TV trays, gathers the utensils that we will need and pulls napkins for us. Yes, we eat on TV trays every night. Like tonight, we are watching the Astros AND the Yankees (not playing each other, lucky for me we are flipping between two games.) Yippee! (can you feel the sarcasm?)

DESSERT!! This peach was on its last leg. I had to do something with it tonight or throw it away.
Since we just got back from California, I'm still on my wine kick. (May never get off this wine kick). I sliced the peach and then soaked it in some lovely port.

From Paso Robles in California. This dessert wine is made from petite sirah grapes.

Here are the rest of the ingredients...
Brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, lime juice, homemade ice cream (not pictured is butter).
I melted a tablespoon or two of butter then threw in the marinated peaches (strained the port out first)

I let this bubble, stirring often for about seven minutes. The peaches were really soft. Next I threw in two tablespoons of brown sugar, a splash of lime juice, a good healthy dash of cinnamon and a small sprinkle of nutmeg. I stirred it up and let boil for one minute longer then turned off the heat. I don't know what the brown sugar would have done had it boiled longer. I tried making homemade caramel once and it was a disaster. I think this falls in the "baking" category somehow.
Here are two beautiful bowls with a scoop each of my homemade peach ice cream.
Then I scooped the warm peaches over and added a little bit of the sweet sauce.
You can imagine how quickly the softened homemade ice cream began to melt after I added the hot fruit and syrup. I even had my camera right there, but I blinked and everything melted. No worries, Jim likes his ice cream more like soft serve. I...well, I like ice cream. Frozen, soft, liquid, anything in between. This was really good...I mean REALLY good! I didn't think of it until now, but it would have been nice to strain the port that I was previously using for marinade into two little port glasses. Sounds yummy. Maybe it would have been too much. So there you go, in one night I made homemade pesto, added it to my chicken entree and my vegetable side, then this lovely dessert.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments mean a lot to me, I love hearing from you!