Tag Archive for Parmesan

Chicken Tenders with Grilled Romaine

For those of you who live in the Atlanta area, you know that school started for many students last week. My children were among those that headed back.  At the beginning of every school year, I have the energy and desire to cook new meals and be creative. However, it was a bit of an emotional start since I had one kid starting high school and another starting the end of her middle school years. I knew I didn’t have it in me to go all elaborate and fancy (and I’m not Melissa) but wanted something new, healthy and delicious.  As I was thumbing through old Food Network Magazines, I came across a recipe that looked exciting. Of course, I changed it a bit to suit my family’s tastes. The end result was this chicken tenders with grilled romaine dish that was a hit with everyone!!

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 10 min; Cook Time –  15 min. 

Ingredients for 4 servings:

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 T. for drizzling

2 tsp. balsamic vinegar, plus 1 tsp. for drizzling

1 1/2 T. fresh thyme, chopped

1 T. minced red onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Kosher Salt and Pepper

2 artisan heads of romaine, cut in half (or one head of romaine cut in quarters)

12 boneless, skinless chicken tenders

1 1/2 c. seasoned breadcrumbs

1/2 c. shredded or shaved parmesan

Preparing Chicken Tenders with Grilled Romaine:

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, thyme, onion, garlic, red pepper and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Drizzle the cut side of the romaine with 1-2 tsp. of the dressing. 

Add the chicken to the bowl and toss with remaining dressing. Add the breadcrumbs and toss to coat. Thread the chicken onto metal skewers. 

Grill chicken until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Take off the grill and let sit for 5 minutes. Place the cut side of the romaine on the grill, turning once. Grill for about 2 minutes total. Transfer the romaine to plates and drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Place 3 chicken tenders on each plate and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. 

Chicken Tenders with Grilled Romaine

 

Melon with Thyme and Parmesan

In my household, hardly anyone likes melon. It doesn’t matter if it is watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew or some other kind of melon, they just don’t like it. I, for the life of me, don’t get it. Certainly I can understand why people say they don’t like honey dew because you so often get served the hard, tasteless, unripen version. But good, cold, ripe, sweet, and juicy melon is delicious!

This is an elegant way to serve it and make it taste even better. There is something about the nutty parmesan cheese that makes this a dish you’ll go back to for seconds and thirds!

Level of Difficulty:Easy (only thing ‘hard’ is getting a ripe melon)

Time Required:Prep Time – 30min; Cook Time – 1 hour

Ingredients for about 6 servings:

1/2 honey dew, canary or cantaloupe melon

Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 T fresh thyme leaves (lemon thyme if you have it)

Fresh cracked black pepper

4 oz Parmigiano Regianno Cheese

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Vegetable Peeler

How to make melon with thyme and parmesan:

Pick a good, ripe melon. Wash your melon. Slice it in half. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Remove the peel. The links here will provide more detail on picking, washing and peeling a melon if you need it.

Slice the melon thinly into about 3 inch strips. The thinner the better really. I’ve had versions of this at a restaurant where they called this a melon carpaccio.

Place on a  platter.

Drizzle lightly with the olive oil. Crack some fresh pepper on top. Add your fresh thyme leaves.

Using your vegetable peeler, shave thin but long strips of the parmesan and add on top.

Oh my is this a fresh summer treat!!

melon with thyme and parmesan

Important Tips:

Get a fresh melon and serve cold.

Use the real deal for the parmesan. Powdered or already shredded is not going to cut it for this dish!

Variations:

Change out the melon variety or dry small amount of rosemary instead of the thyme.

My kids absolutely love melon. This is something they would eat for sure!! ~Denise

Kale Caesar Salad with Polenta Croutons

Kale Caesar Salad with Polenta Croutons

We all know that kale is the latest rage and is now considered a “superfood”. The first place I ever had a kale salad was at Houston’s. A friend of mine who doesn’t typically eat “leafy greens” said it was fantastic and recommended it to me. She wasn’t kidding! Ever since then, I have typically ordered a kale salad when I have gone out to eat. I was at Marlow’s Tavern recently and ordered their kale caesar salad with grilled chicken. It was outstanding! It came with chopped boiled eggs. Interesting twist, I thought. A few days later, I was eating with some friends at Garrisons. I ordered their caesar salad and it came with delicious polenta croutons. My brain went into overdrive and I decided to try to combine the concepts of these three salads into one. What I came up with is pretty awesome, if I do say so myself!

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 5 min; Cook Time – 45  min. plus an hour to cool

Ingredients:

For the salad:

kale ( I use the mix from Costco)

hard boiled eggs, chopped

Caesar dressing (I use Girard’s Light Caesar)

Shredded parmesan

Avocado

Tomato, chopped

For the Polenta:

3 c. water

1 1/2 c. yellow cornmeal

1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 tsp. salt

2. tsp. olive oil

1/8 tsp. fresh cracked pepper

1/3 c. shredded parmesan

Preparing Kale Caesar Salad with Polenta Croutons:

Before you make the salad, you need to make the polenta. Here’s how: Put water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and pour in the cornmeal, stirring constantly. Simmer, stirring often until thickened, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the cayenne pepper, salt, olive oil and pepper. Spray an 8×8 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the polenta into the pan and spread it evenly. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Let cool. (After it is no longer warm to the touch, I put it in the refrigerator from about 15 minutes).

Polenta Croutons

Preheat oven to 450 Degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove polenta from refrigerator and cut into small squares. Place the squares on the parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes. Using tongs, flip the polenta and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until polenta is crisp and evenly brown on all sides. 

Polenta Croutons

Once the polenta croutons are ready, grab a bowl and put in desired amounts of kale, eggs, and dressing. Mix well and plate the salad. Add tomato, avocado, cheese and croutons!

Kale Caesar Salad with Polenta Croutons

Important Tips:

Make sure your polenta is really cool before cutting and baking it. 

Meal Ideas:

Add a piece of grilled chicken if you’re wanting to add some protein!