Mushroom and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Mushroom and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Mushroom and Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

These stuffed chicken breasts are extremely low maintenance, but oh so tasty!  I chose to stuff mine with just mushrooms but I have also made them with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, etc.  You can put whatever you like in them and the cooking instructions will be the same.

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts (a decent size so you’ll have room to stuff them).
  • 1 package of soft goat cheese (I LOVE Boursin brand Garlic and Fine Herbs flavor, it adds so much to the dish).
  • 1 small package of mushrooms.
  • 1/2 cup of mayo (don’t measure it out though… you’ll see why).
  • 1/2 cup of bread crumbs (I like Italian bread crumbs for the little extra spice).
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic.
  1. Make a large incision into each chicken breast to create a pocket.  You want to cut deep enough so that you can fill the chicken evenly but not too deep that you break through to the other side.
  2. Dice up mushrooms into small pieces (pea sized) and put into a bowl.  Add minced garlic and a dash of vegetable oil (even less than a teaspoon) and mix it together.
  3. Add goat cheese into the mushroom and garlic mixture and then stir it around until the cheese and mushrooms are evenly distributed.
  4. Coat a baking sheet with butter (I usually like to cover the baking sheet in aluminum foil for easy clean-up) and place chicken breasts onto it.
  5. Spoon the mixture carefully into the pocket of each chicken breast.  Careful not to tear the chicken.  Stuff the mixture in as tightly as you can because some will spill out during baking.
  6. Scoop a tablespoon of mayonnaise onto the top of each chicken breast (not inside the pocket) and smooth out with the back of the spoon until it has evenly coated the top of the chicken.
  7. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the mayo until you can’t see mayo anymore.
  8. Preheat over to 400ºF and place chicken on middle rack.  Cook for about 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Let cool and Enjoy!

I love pairing this with a baby spinach salad dressed with balsamic vinaigrette!  It really compliments the chicken.

I hope you enjoy!!

Marinated Pork Tenderloin Kabobs

Marinated Pork Tenderloin Kebabs

Marinated Pork Tenderloin Kabobs

Easy, fast and oh so delicious!  These marinated pork tenderloin kabobs (kebabs? kebobs?…I looked it up and even Google is unsure of the spelling) are guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser… unless your crowd is full of vegetarians…then sorry about your luck.

This requires very little explanation, but here it goes:

For Kabobs

  • 1.5 pounds of pork tenderloin (or beef or chicken or whatever else floats your boat!).
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 large red onion
  • skewers (I know if I don’t put this on here someone is going to get all the way home with their ingredients and then curse my name because they didn’t pick up skewers!)

For Marinade

  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  1. Soak the kabob skewers in water for about 10 minutes prior to putting anything on them.  This will help prevent them from catching on fire on the barbecue.
  2. Mix the ingredients for the marinade together in a measuring cup (makes it easier to pour later).
  3. Cut up pork tenderloin into cubes (a little bigger than bite-sized because the meat will shrink on the grill).
  4. Cut up onion and bell peppers into bite-sized pieces
  5. Skewer the veggies and meat through the center of each piece.  Try and aim for a pattern so that each kabob has a good variety.  Also, don’t jam pack the skewers because it makes it difficult to cook evenly.
  6. in a single layer, place the kabobs into a casserole dish (or something with a flat bottom and sides).
  7. Stir marinade and pour 1/2 of it evenly over the kabobs.
  8. Continue to “baste” the kabobs with the remaining marinade for about 10 minutes (not constantly, just between tidying up and setting the table, go back and pour a little bit more on.
  9. OIL YOUR BARBECUE GRILL or believe me, these will stick and you’ll lose chunks of your hard work!
  10. Preheat your barbecue to medium heat.  Place the kabobs on the grill.
  11. Turn each kabob every 4 minutes.  Should take about 12-14 minutes depending on how big your chunks of meat are.
  12. Once internal temperature of pork reaches 160ºF/70ºC then they are DONE!
  13. Let cool and enjoy!

I should probably mention that there might be the occasional flame that comes up from your grill as a result of the oil in the marinade dripping down and burning off, so please… don’t stick your face too close to the barbecue.  I may or may not have singed some arm hair because of high flames.

For more reasons on why not to look at the barbecue with your face, please see attached video (and be prepared to laugh your a** off!)

Grilled Chilli-Stuffed Bell Peppers

Grilled Chilli-Stuffed Bell Peppers

Grilled Chilli-Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed bell peppers are one of my favorite dishes to prepare!  They’re fun, easy and a hit at backyard barbecue parties!

Now you can make these two different ways: the slow way and the fast way.  I’ll explain them both and you can decide which route you’d like to take.

The Slower, More Delicious Way

First, you’ll have to decide on what kind of chilli you want.  I like to go with a really good beef and bean chilli because that’s always a crowd pleaser!  One of my favorite recipes comes from Canadian Living Magazine which you can find below.

Chilli (Fills 4 Peppers)

  • 1 lb (454 g) lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) hot pepper sauce
  • 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (19 oz/540 mL) bean medley, drained and rinsed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large pot, add onion, celery, carrot, garlic, chilli powder, thyme, salt, pepper, oregano and hot pepper sauce; fry, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 4 minutes.
  2. In a separate frying pan, sauté beef over medium-high heat, breaking up with spoon, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Once beef is cooked and onions are softened, add beef to the vegetables in the pot and stir.
  4. Stir in tomatoes and beans; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes.

While the chilli is simmering, it’s time to prepare your bell peppers!

Bell Peppers

  1. When buying your peppers, aim for the largest ones (because they can hold more goodness).
  2. Cut off tops of peppers and hollow out (removing all seeds and bitter white parts).
  3. Preheat barbecue to medium heat and coat grill in oil.
  4. Place peppers on their sides and once you can see grill marks, turn them.  Do this for all 4 “sides” of the pepper.
  5. On a tray, stand peppers up and fill with chilli.
  6. Sprinkle with cheese and put back on the grill (ON THE TRAY–or they’ll fall over) and continue to cook for about 2-3 minutes.
  7. Remove, let cool and enjoy!

I chose to top mine with home-made tzatziki sauce (plain yogurt, cucumber, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, dill and garlic. Combine in food processor or blender to make it quickly).  It adds a really nice punch to the chilli.

The Fast Version

Sometimes the last thing I feel like doing after a long day at the office is slaving away to make a perfect meal.  Thank the lord for short cuts!  If you’re pinched for time or you just don’t flippin’ feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen, the you can:

  1. Buy canned chilli and stuff peppers with that (might I recommend Stagg Chilli…it’s awesome!
  2. Stuff peppers with chilli and put on a baking sheet and top with shredded cheese (optional).
  3. Preheat oven to 350ºF and bake for about 50 minutes, or until cheese starts to brown.
  4. Let cool and Enjoy!

Both of these options will leave you with happy taste buds!  So next time your friends come over for dinner, break these bad boys out, sit back and wait for the praise!

Cheers!

Grilled Italian Sausage Pasta with Vodka-Tomato Sauce

Grilled Italian Sausage Pasta with Vodka-Tomato Sauce

Grilled Italian Sausage Pasta with Vodka-Tomato Sauce

I made this pasta the other day for dinner and it was VERY tasty!  It only took about a half-hour to cook with maybe fifteen minutes of prep work.  No big deal, even if time is an issue.

This recipe is very subject to personal preference so feel free to throw anything but the kitchen sink into your skillet and see what happens!

I used:

  • 1/2-1 onion (1/2 if the onion is enormous)
  • 1 package of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 zucchini , sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • a handful of green beans (cook separately)
  • 2-4 sausages (I chose Italian)
  • 2-4 servings worth of whatever pasta/rice you want (I chose rigatoni because it holds the sauce better)
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • A jar of vodka-tomato sauce (or one that you prefer)

Now all you need to do is:

  1. Barbecue the sausages on medium heat for between 10-12 minutes (or pan fry them if you feel like cheating but you and I both know that they will taste way better barbecued).
  2. On medium heat, melt a spoonful of butter (not an exact science but enough to coat the bottom of the pan) and then toss the diced onion into a large skillet (I used a wok because I’m messy and the high sides are my hero) until they begin to soften.
  3. Meanwhile, put a pot of water on the stove for pasta, once boiling, throw in enough pasta for 2-4 servings, cook pasta al dente and then set to the side.
  4. Toss in the zucchini and then about two minutes later throw in the mushrooms.  Sauté veggies until mushrooms turn that deep brown and zucchini softens up (but isn’t limp!).
  5. Cut sausage into pieces and add to veggies.
  6. Add teaspoon of minced garlic and stir well.
  7. Cut the cooked green beans into bite-sized pieces (you can just boil them in a pan on the stove) and add to the sausage/veggie mixture.
  8. Add pasta to the deliciousness in the pan and stir.
  9. Once you’ve mixed everything around, it’s time to add the sauce!  I almost used an entire jar but you can decide how saucy you want it!
  10. Let cool and enjoy!

If you have the time, I recommend doing the prep before hand.  Honestly it doesn’t take long and the time you’ll save yourself, especially if you’re making this after a long day at work, will be such a help!

I hope you enjoy it!

Barbecue Sea bass and Citrus Salad

Great Idea from BBC Good Food that I found on “Jono & Jules do food & wine” blog.

Enjoy and happy eating!

Jono & Jules do food & wine

This is such a clever idea, especially if you don’t have one of those fancy things for cooking fish on the barbecue. The fish doesn’t stick to the grill but you still get all the smoky barbecue flavours plus a  delicious spike of citrus. The idea has us thinking of other combinations and we loved the caramelisation that happened to the oranges which gives the dish an extra dimension.

Wine Suggestion: This cries out for a Spanish white, like Albarino or Godello, where the best examples balance a depth of texture with a lightness of being. We drank a Dominio de Tares Godello from Bierzo which was amazing on its own and then with the fish. Perfectly matched.

Barbecue Sea Bass & Citrus Salad – serves 4

  • 2-3 large oranges
  • zest of 1 lemon (keep the juice for the salad)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 x 300g whole sea bass…

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Greek-Style Marinated Chicken Breasts

Greek-Style Marinated Chicken Breasts

Greek-Style Marinated Chicken Breasts

Add a punch of flavor to your barbecued chicken with this Greek-inspired marinade (serves 6-8 depending on size of chicken breasts):

  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of red onion, minced (prepare to cry)
  • 1/8 cup of red wine vinegar
  • juice from 1/2-1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Now that you’ve got your ingredients together, mix them together in a bowl.
  2. Use one or two Ziplock bags (I recommend freezer bags for the double seal) and place chicken breasts inside.  If you’re using the larger freezer bags, pack about 4 breasts per bag.
  3. Once chicken is in bags, pour marinade over top, seal bags and massage around so the marinade covers each chicken breast.
  4. You can leave this for as little as an hour but I suggest at least a few hours.  The longer you leave it, the juicier the chicken will be!
  5. PUT IT ON THE GRILL!

 

Now, I’ll let you in on a little family secret.  If you’re super pinched for time, Paul Newman’s Oil and Vinegar salad dressing makes a wonderful marinade!  Combine that with a little lemon juice and garlic and it’s almost as good as mine!

Cheers and Enjoy!

 

Barbecued Chicken and Romaine Lettuce Wrap

Barbecued Greek-style chicken breast with tomato, avocado, cucumber and tzatziki sauce wrapped in a romaine lettuce leaf.

This is so simple to make yet it’s super tasty and most importantly, it’s HEALTHY!

  1. Start by marinading the chicken using whatever marinade floats your boat. I chose a Greek-style marinade because it goes great with the tzatziki sauce. You can also use a different kind of meat if chicken isn’t your thing.
  2. Next, I recommend grilling the chicken on the barbecue because it adds so much more flavor! You can also bake or fry the chicken if you’re crunched for time.
  3. I added tomato, cucumber and avocado to the wrap but you can add whatever veggies you want! Dice them up (doesn’t have to be perfect) and scatter them onto a large romaine lettuce leaf. I chose romaine because it is the most sturdy and wraps very well (others tear/fall apart).
  4. Add the chicken once it’s cooked and then pour on the tzatziki sauce and you’re good to go!

WARNING: This can get messy! So make sure you have lots of napkins handy!

Cheers and Enjoy!