To Taste: Roasted Tomato, Mushroom, & Smoked Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breast

I love Thanksgiving! Family, friends, turkey/stuffing/gravy-filled meals, and four days to fill with whatever I felt like doing. I went Black Friday shopping, but dodging salespeople & shopping bags got old pretty quick. I just wanted to be in my warm kitchen cooking yummy food!

The grocery store was pretty empty (whew!), so I quickly grabbed my ingredients… and some Stoli to get me thru a long evening in the kitchen. I’ve got nothing to do tomorrow! I kicked off my prep work at 4pm-ish to have the meal almost complete when Dre got done work. The components of the main dish took up most of my time: roasting grape tomatoes with garlic & fresh basil; sautéing mushrooms with minced onions & butter; and, gleefully pounding chicken breasts to a 1/4 inch thick. Every smokey, juicy morsel of the resulting Roasted Tomato, Mushroom, & Smoked Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breasts reminded me that  it’s always worthwhile.

Tomatoes with Garlic, Basil, & Olive Oil to be Roasted

Just Stuffed

Roasted Tomato, Mushroom & Smoked Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Roasted Tomato, Mushroom & Smoked Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Roasted Tomatoes

  • Grape Tomatoes – (1-2) pints, halved
  • Minced Garlic – (2) T or more
  • Fresh Basil – a few chopped leaves
  • Olive Oil – (3-4) T, to grease dish & coat tomatoes
  • S&P
  1. Coat baking dish with olive oil or line with non-stick sprayed foil.
  2. Add all ingredients and toss with olive oil.
  3. Cook 30-40 min in a 400 degree oven. Stir a few times until tomatoes are bubbling, but not burnt.
  4. Make a big batch, leftovers are great on French bread and added to pasta sauce

Sautéed Mushrooms

  • White Mushrooms or Creminis or Baby Bellas -(2-3) cups, cored and sliced
  • White Onion – 1/2 med onion, chopped
  • Butter – (2) T
  1. Melt butter in a saucepan on Med. Add onion & cook about 2 min.
  2. Add mushrooms and give them room to breath. Julia says so.
  3. Stir and cook until tender.
  4. Use leftovers on a quick pizza or in pasta sauce, red or alfredo.

Stuffed Chicken Breasts

  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast – (3-4) breasts – trimmed, sliced lengthwise, & pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
  • Smoked Mozzarella or Gouda – 1 oz per breast
  • Roasted Tomatoes
  • Sautéed Mushrooms
  • Chicken Stock – (1) cup or so
  • S&P
  • Stovetop to Oven Sauté Pan
  • Long toothpicks or Bamboo picks
  1. Pound filleted chicken breasts to 1/4 inch thickness between sheets of plastic wrap.
  2. Add a few spoonsful of tomatoes & mushrooms onto half of each chicken breast.
  3. Layer slices of smoked cheese.
  4. Fold chicken breast in half and secure by sewing a toothpick or bamboo pic to secure. S&P each side of the breast.
  5. Pan sear breast in olive oil on Med-High until golden brown, about 5 min on each side.
  6. Add chicken stock to pan and bring to a boil.
  7. Cover pan with lid or foil and tranfer to 375 degree oven.
  8. Bake for 20 min, let cool for 5 min, and serve with pan jus.
  9. Leftovers make one KILLER sandwich!

Family-Style: Build Your Own Pizza

Last season of Top Chef, we started a tradition of “Family Dinners” at my house to watch each week’s episode along with a home-cooked meal! Tom, Dre, & Lex were the regulars at last season’s dinners, but couldn’t be happier to add Sarah to this year’s season. She brought along her homemade pizza dough for the return of Top Chef AND the return of “Build Your Own Pizza Night,” my favorite dinner theme!

The original plan was to do grilled pizzas, but after a summer of cooking and roasting Grape Tomatoes (via The Bitten Word’s amazing recipe) & Yellow Bell Peppers for pizza toppings, my grill ran out of gas. At least we always have the oven for back-up. I also prepared sauteed Zucchini, Chicken Andouille Sausage, Crab Meat, & Creole Shrimp, along with shredded Mozzarella, Smoked Gouda, Asiago, & Ricotta Cheeses, as topping options. Can’t forget some tomato sauce, as well! We all got to loading our shells with Dre opting for a Crab White Pizza & Tom piling on just about everying!

We were 3 episodes behind with all of our busy schedules, so we got together on a Thursday night to cook & recap via the DVR while the pizzas baked to perfection…

Dres Crab White Pizza - Pre-Baked

Dre's Crab White Pizza - Pre-Baked

My Pizza w/ the works

My Pizza w/ the works

Build Your Own Pizza Night

Homemade Pizza Dough a la Sarah

Roasted Tomatoes, Yellow Bell Peppers, & Zucchini

Chicken Andoille Sausage

Crab Meat

Creole Shrimp

Mozzarella, Smoked Gouda, Asiago, & Ricotta

Fresh Basil & Lemon-Thyme

Leftover Lightning! Sweet & Spicy Garlic Shrimp Lettuce Wraps!

Portioning is definitely not my forte when it comes to cooking… but who can deny leftovers! With my Spicy Fish Taco dinner, I went a bit overboard with the Mexi-Risotto! I also had an avocado, grape tomatoes, romaine, & green onion to use at their peak freshness. I defrosted some U-30 shrimp and made the tastiest Sweet & Spicy Garlic Sauce (recipe via Big Oven) to toss them in! I added some extra water in the end as the result was a bit too sticky for me, but I’ll def be keeping this simple recipe in my back pocket & suggest you do too! Next time I may just make the sauce & pour it over rice (or drink it straight)!

I wasn’t sure about the blend of flavors once I combined all of my lettuce wrap ingredients, but they meshed perfectly!

Sweet & Spicy Garlic Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

Sweet & Spicy Garlic Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

Sweet & Spicy Garlic Shrimp Lettuce Wraps:

Sweet & Spicy Garlic Shrimp – U-30 Shrimp tossed in this amazing & easy Big Oven Recipe

Leftover Mexi-Risotto

Tomato-Avocado Salsa – Leftover Avocado, Grape Tomatoes, & Green Onion w/ Lime Juice & S&P – made by Dre

Whole Romaine Leaves

Weekend Update: Mmmm, Bacon Sunday

Sunday morn, the man & I made a quick Italian Market trip for some fresh bacon! We popped into Cappuccio’s Meats  (1019 S. 9th St.) for 2lbs & headed home for a very late day brunch for 4. My awesome mama sent me Kona Chocolate Chip Pancake Mix from Hawaii, the perfect main course. I’m glad I remembered I had a heart-shaped pancake mold in my kitchen gadget stash, as they were adorable & delicious with ripe bananas & strawberries!

 

Heart-shaped Banana Kona Chocolate Chip Pancakes (breath), Fresh Banana & Strawberries, Bacon, & OJ

Heart-shaped Banana Kona Chocolate Chip Pancakes (breath), Fresh Banana & Strawberries, Bacon, & OJ

Bacon Sunday wasn’t complete without another round of fried piggy greatness! The next best way to serve bacon besides straight-up at breakfast is the trusty BLT. I stuck to a pretty traditional setup of Bacon, Ripe Tomatoes, & Romaine on Country White Bread.

My man requested some Garlic-Herb Mayo to finish it off & I couldn’t let him down! The result was perfection on a new level!

Shallot-Garlic-Herb Mayo – Classic Hellman’s w/ minced Garlic & Shallots, sauteed in bacon fat (of course!), & chopped Parsley, Lemon-Thyme, & Thai Basil

 

BLT w/ Sauteed Garlic-Shallot & Fresh Herb Mayo on Country White Bread

BLT w/ Sauteed Garlic-Shallot & Fresh Herb Mayo on Country White Bread

Visit my Flickr Photostream for more pics of my Heart-Shaped Brunch & Garlic-Herb BLT!