Tag Archives: Italian salad dressing

These Should Have Been Kabobs Artichokes and Chicken

13 Jul
Artichokes and Chicken in Foil Packet

Artichokes and Chicken Grilled in a Foil Packet

So I opened a can of artichoke hearts the other day to make my small serving of Artichoke and Spinach Stuffed Tomatoes, and had to figure out what to do with nearly a full can of them. My husband had already taken out a boneless, skinless chicken breast to defrost for dinner, so got my thinking cap on for dinner ideas.

It got into the mid-80s and figured grilling would be a good idea, but how does one grill the artichoke hearts with the chicken? In a foil packet, of course! ~ STOP THE PRESSES! No, these should have been grilled as kabobs. Hindsight really is 20-2o. ~ The chicken and artichokes were marinated along with some grape tomatoes and onion in an Italian-type salad dressing, along with lemon juice, fresh-snipped chives, and fresh chopped tarragon leaves. I could have gone ahead and made the entire marinade from scratch, but what the heck, I didn’t.

This made for a light summer meal served on top of a bed of rice cooked in homemade chicken broth. EXCEPT this would have been much better grilled on skewers!

Chicken and Artichokes Marinating

Chicken and Artichokes Marinating

Artichokes and Chicken Foil Packet – but really put them on skewers

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup Girard’s Champagne salad dressing (or any other Italian-style dressing)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon fresh-snipped chives
1 teaspoon fresh minced tarragon leaves
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 carton grape or cherry tomatoes
1/2 medium sweet onion, cut into large chunks
Ground black pepper, to taste

Cube the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces and set aside. In a plastic or glass bowl, whisk together the salad dressing with the lemon juice and herbs. Add the chicken, artichoke hearts, tomatoes and onion, and grind black pepper over all. Toss to coat well, then marinate in the fridge for at least a half hour.

Preheat grill to medium heat, or oven to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, divide the chicken and vegetables into half and place on large sheets of foil cut to fit. Seal foil into packets, then double wrap with another layer of foil. thread onto skewers. Grill for about 30 minutes until chicken is done. Remove from foil, ahem, skewers, then serve over hot rice garnished with more snipped chives.

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Pepperoni Pasta Salad

22 Jul
Pepperoni Pasta Salad

Pepperoni Pasta Salad

It was a pretty warmish day here yesterday, so I thought a summer salad meal was in order for dinner. I used to make this a lot when I was in college, but it’s slipped from my repertoire in the past many years and figured it was a good time to dredge it back up.  I had intentions of making home-made Italian salad dressing for this, but after all the chopping, slicing, and dicing I decided bottled dressing would do the trick just as well. I had a “light” bottle of Ken’s Steak House Italian with Basil and Romano, and I’m sure I couldn’t have done much better with what I had around in the kitchen. I have also made this salad with Kielbasa sausage, but but since we just had Smoked Sausage earlier in the week I decided to use the spicier Pepperoni.  The Pepperoni gives it a good tang so didn’t have to load it up with extra spices beyond black pepper. This makes a really large bowl of salad, and is perfect to take to potlucks and parties. No party here last night, but it made a refreshing dinner on the back porch.

Pepperoni Pasta Salad

1 box of tri-colored pasta
1 cucumber, diced
1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 large green onion, diced
1/3 large red onion, diced
1 small can of sliced black olives
4 oz. sliced Pepperoni, quartered
Cubed Colby Jack cheese
Shredded Parmesan cheese
Shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup Italian salad dressing
Black pepper to taste

Chopped Veggies

Chopped Veggies

Cook the pasta according to directions, and cool under running cold water. Set aside to drain while prepping the veggies. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, adding the various cheeses, salad dressing, and black pepper to taste. Just keep mixing in until it “tastes right.” You’ll want to prepare this a few hours before eating and store in the refrigerator so that the flavors can meld. When ready to eat, serve with a side of fresh fruit and bread, and you have a simple, delicious summer meal!

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