10 hours ago
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
There is nothing like a last minute dinner guest to throw you off.
A friend of mine had a layover in our area and called at the last minute to "stop by" and see us between flights. Hmmm, not a big fan of drop-ins, except for afternoon coffee and cake, so what to make at 5 pm to satisfy a 6 pm hungry guest?
Just because I write a food blog doesn't mean I can whip things up in my sleep.
Most meals are planned and shopped carefully for..... Ok, enough complaining, this is what I made.
I was thawing boring boneless chicken breasts anyway.............
Caprese Chicken (turned out GREAT!):
4 boneless chicken breasts (medium thickness, not the thin ones)
kosher salt & pepper
1 large ball of fresh mozzarella, packed in water
roasted pepper strips (you can use jarred in a pinch)
a few fresh basil leaves
So here's the deal. You can grill your breasts or use a grill pan, like I did, since we haven't opened the grill for the season yet.
I used to make my own balsamic syrup by reducing balsamic vinegar in a saucepan until syrupy, but I find that I like the store bought easy squeeze bottled stuff better. It's great to have on hand, and makes everything look finished and pretty before presenting.
Season the chicken breasts liberally with kosher salt & pepper.
Heat some olive oil in a grill pan or brush your outdoor grill w/ cooking spray (so the chicken doesn't stick).
Grill the chicken about 6 minutes per side. During the last minute of grilling, lay a slice of the fresh mozzarella on top and criss cross the pepper slices. The cheese will not totally melt, but will be nice and warm. Sprinkle the cheese with some sea salt if you like.
Using tongs, arrange the breasts on a large platter and sprinkle w/ fresh basil leaves. Drizzle all over w/ balsamic syrup.
These are delicious served warm with toasted garlic bread and a side of broccoli sauteed in garlic. Great for a summer party.
Dinner is served.