Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cherry Tomato and Chicken Puff Pastry Tart

After a long, leisurely day at the pool today, in which the temperature hovered steadily around 80 degrees, I wanted a light and fresh dinnertime meal that wouldn't take ages to make.

A few days ago, I stumbled across this delicious looking
puff pastry tart at The Italian Dish, and I've been thinking about it ever since. But... I needed something a little more... substantial (read: need some meat!). I wanted something that was more dinner-worthy (rather than just an appetizer). Then I remembered this great marinated chicken from Life's Ambrosia. And an idea was born. A great idea. A deliciously fabulous idea.

Paired with fresh corn on the cob, this delicious tomato and chicken tart was the perfect summertime meal. Great for a weeknight meal, or even to impress your next dinner guests.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
pinch of pepper
2 tsp. Herbs de Provence
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 puff pastry sheet, thawed
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 c. fresh herbs (I used parsley)
1/4 small onion, finely diced
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1/3 c. grated Gruyere cheese
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 c. grated mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, Herbs de Provence, salt and pepper. Whisk to incorporate. Add chicken and toss to coat. Marinate for at least one hour.

Once chicken has been marinated, preheat grill. Grill until cooked through and no longer pink, about 4 minutes per side. Remove to cutting board and cut into thin slices. Set aside.

Toss halved cherry tomatoes with 2 Tbs. olive oil, fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Set aside.

In the meantime, thaw your puff pastry. This can be done overnight in the refrigerator, or 40 minutes on the counter. Make sure puff pastry is completely thawed before using it.

On a lightly floured surface, carefully unfold puff pastry. Dust with flour and roll dough to flatten seams, using a floured rolling pin. Transfer to a cookie sheet topped with parchment paper. Using a sharp knife, score a 1/2 inch border around the edge of the puff pastry sheet. Inside the border, dock the pastry liberally with a fork.

And now, assemble your tart (all toppings inside the scored border). Light brush the puff pastry with Dijon mustard. Sprinkle 2/3 c. cheese over tart, then top with sliced chicken. Place tomatoes cut side up on the tart. Sprinkle with onions. Top with remaining cheese.

Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until puff pastry is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Slice and serve.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Strawberry Pie

With the strawberry season in full swing, we have been enjoying our share of this fabulously wonderful sweet fruit. Strawberries are one of my favorite foods to eat, so it's no wonder that every time I walk into the store, I'm picking up a container or two.

Here are a few recipes we've thoroughly enjoyed recently...
Strawberry & spinach salad, found here (p.s. Add some goat cheese...yum!)
Strawberry and lemon muffins, found here
The perfect waffles, found here, topped with fresh sliced strawberries

And a few I've bookmarked to try soon...
Strawberry lime yogurt popsicles, found here
Strawberry and cream cheese muffins, found here
Strawberry cake, found here

While visiting my family over Memorial weekend, my sister whipped up a really easy, yet delicious strawberry pies using fruit straight from my dad's garden. This pie was devoured in seconds, it was that delicious. So when my dad sent me home with a big bowl of strawberries for myself, I knew exactly what I was going to make.

1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell
1/2 to 3/4 c. white sugar
2 Tbs. cornstarch
1 c. water
1 (3 oz.) pkg. strawberry gelatin
4 c. fresh strawberries, sliced
fresh mint (optional garnish)
Whipped cream (optional topping)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line unbaked pie shell with heavy duty aluminum foil. Bake for 8 minutes, remove foil, and continue baking for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven to a wire rack. Cool completely.

Meanwhile, combine sugar, cornstarch and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then cook an additional two minutes, until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat, stir in gelatin. Cool for 15-20 minutes.

Arrange sliced berries in the cooled pastry shell. Pour gelatin over strawberries. Refrigerate until set, at least two hours. Garnish with whipped cream and/or mint when serving, if desired.

Recipe via