Easy Baked Chicken Breast
4 pounds chicken breasts, skinned (approximately 8 ounces per person)
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon garlic salt
3 cups potato chips in a bag, plain
2 sprigs parsley, garnish (optional)
*20 asparagus spears, pencil size (8 per person)... (optional)
Dip chicken breasts in melted butter.
Open the bag of potato chips, add garlic salt and pepper. Crush the chips using a rolling pin as finely as possible. Add the chicken breasts to the bag and coat each one.
Transfer breasts to a shallow greased baking sheet arranging chicken so that they do not touch. Bake at 375° for 25 to 45 minutes without turning until juices run clear and they are thoroughly baked.
*If using asparagus, cut the spears into two pieces; steam al dente; drain and toss with melted butter, salt and pepper, set aside.
On each plate, arrange 2 rows of 4 asparagus spears on top of each other in a grid pattern; place a chicken breast on top of asparagus.
Blue Cheese Fig Crostini Appetizer
24 slices French bread baguette slices 1/2-inch thick
4 ounces blue cheese, room temperature
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup fig preserves**
To make Crostini:
Place bread slices on a cookie sheet and broil one side for approximately 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly toasted. Can be made in advance, kept at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350°.
In a small bowl blend cheese together. Flip the bread over and spread approximately 1-1/2 teaspoons cheese mixture on each un-toasted side. Top crostini with approximately 1/2 teaspoon preserves. Place back on the cookie sheet and bake 8 minutes.
**If you cannot find fig preserves make your own recipe:
8 dried figs, finely chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
Combine ingredients and let stand 6 hours or more to soften.
Wine recommendation: Cabernet, Merlot, Port
Twice Baked Potato Cups
4 large baking potatoes
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, finely grated
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions: Pre-heat oven to 425°
Scrub potato to remove any dirt, prick several times with a sharp knife, brush with olive oil and bake at 425° for 1 hour or until tender. Can be made ahead of time.
Remove from oven, cut a thin slice from the bottom of both ends of the potato in order that they will sit square on a plate. Cut the potato in half crosswise; scoop out into a bowl the pulp from each halved potato leaving a 1/4-inch shell making a cup.
Add to the potato pulp in the bowl, grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, butter, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Mash potato mixture until almost smooth. Using a spoon or pastry bag fitted with a star tip fill the two potato cups. Put the the filled potato cups upright on a baking sheet, brush skins with olive oil and place them in the oven. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes.
Garnish with thyme or parsley
Arugula, Pear and Asiago Cheese Salad
2 tablespoons walnuts coarsely chopped
8 cups baby Arugula , washed, spun dry
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
4 red pears, cored and sliced thin (Bosc Pears work well for this recipe)
1/4 cup Asiago cheese coarsely grated
Place walnuts in a dry, non-stick sauté pan over medium-high for 3 to 5 minutes until lightly toasted. Stir nuts to prevent burning. This can be done ahead, covered at room temperature.
In a large bowl toss, arugula with the olive oil; add salt and pepper to taste. Arrange pear slices on 8 individual plates.
Arrange 5-6 pear slices in a fan-shape on each plate; using tongs add greens to the top of the pears, piling as high as possible for a gourmet presentation; sprinkle with grated Asiago, toasted walnuts and serve.
Wine recommendation: Pinot Grigio