Tag Archives: marinara

Grilled Chicken Tortilla Pizza ~ Two Ways!

25 Jun
Tortillas Pizzas and Monkey on Unicycle Pizza Cutter

Because one cannot have too many Monkey on a Unicycle Pizza Cutters, right?

I have a friend who joked that my family will only eat grilled tortilla pizzas the rest of the summer. I am afraid she might not be far off the mark! This week’s riff included my daughter’s standard pepperoni and black olive, and my new take on the chicken pesto version by adding quartered artichoke hearts. My husband still was not sold on the pesto idea (even though he really liked my last one) and his vision was a remake of a popular take-and-bake pizza with both chicken and bacon.

I let him fry up the bacon outside on the grill’s external propane burner while I grilled the chicken on the regular grill. Teamwork!

Grilled Chicken and Artichoke Pesto Pizza

Grilled chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
10-inch flour tortilla
Pesto sauce (store-bought or homemade)
Canned or frozen artichoke hearts, quartered
Sliced tomato
Fresh mozzarella cheese chunks
Fresh basil ribbons

Grilled Chicken, Artichoke, Bacon and Mushroom Pizza

Grilled chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
10-inch flour tortilla
Marinara sauce (store-bought or homemade)
Canned or frozen artichoke hearts, quartered
Sliced mushrooms
1 or 2 slices cooked bacon, torn into chunks
Fresh mozzarella cheese chunks

Marinating Chicken

Marinating Chicken

Start off by cutting the smallish chicken breast in half lengthwise and pound it thin, grind a bunch of black pepper over it, and marinate it in an olive oil and vinaigrette dressing (store-bought) for a half hour. You can use any oil-based dressing for this, or make your own! Or for a time-saver, you can use rotisserie chicken from the deli.

Grilling the Chicken

Grilling the Chicken

Meanwhile, preheat the grill to high heat. When ready, cook the chicken on the grill about 4 minutes on each side, or until no longer pink in the center. Remove, tent with foil, and set aside. Turn the heat on the grill down to medium to medium-low.

Frying up the Bacon

Frying up the Bacon

If you have a bacon-eating spouse, they can cook the bacon while you are grilling.

Spray the tortilla(s) on one side and grill for about 3 minutes, until crisp and starting to puff up on the top side. Remove to plate, then spray the non-grilled side with oil. Flip over, then spread sauce of choice over top on the grilled side. Then add your toppings of choice.

Tortilla Pizzas Ready to Grill

Tortilla Pizzas Ready to Grill

Place back on grill, cover, and cook for about 5 more minutes until cheese is melted. Add a green salad on the side, and dinner is served!

Tortilla Pizzas Fresh off the Grill

Tortilla Pizzas Fresh off the Grill

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Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Mozzarella Rollups

21 May
Spinach-Stuffed Chicken and Mozzarella Rollups

Spinach-Stuffed Chicken and Mozzarella Rollups

My daughter and I were browsing through Pinterest recipes last week looking for dinner ideas. This one immediately caught her eyes and she said “Make THAT ONE for dinner sometime!” So, I did! This came out so purdy and tasted so good — it is even dinner guest-worthy. But what’s even better is it is not that overly difficult to make and can be prepared in just under an hour. You just have to be set to get bread crumbs all over the place if you’re as sloppy a cook as I am!

When I went shopping for the cheese I accidentally bought shredded Parmesan instead of grated.

Shredded Cheese and Bread Crumbs

Shredded Cheese and Bread Crumbs

I really didn’t want to use the fake-shake cheese in a green can that is used in emergencies, so I did the next best thing. I simply put some of the shredded cheese into my Ninja food processor and BAM! Instant grated cheese. I just love that little appliance!

Now on to the recipe:

Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Mozzarella Rollups
Adapted from Pinch of Yum Baked Mozzarella Chicken Rolls

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (2 large breasts)
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
3 ounces fresh baby spinach (about 4 cups, chopped)
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
Drizzle of olive oil
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons part-skim ricotta cheese
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
Spray oil
Marinara sauce, for topping
Fresh basil, ribboned, for topping

Slice the chicken in half lengthwise into 4 pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and pound the pieces with a meat mallet until they are about 1/4 inch thin. (I used a smallish cutting board so had to keep moving them over as I pounded each one.) Season both sides with ground black pepper, to taste.

Chicken Pounded Thin and Seasoned

Chicken Pounded Thin and Seasoned

Add the breadcrumbs to a shallow bowl and mix in half the grated Parmesan cheese. (I used the glass lid off one of my Pyrex dishes.) Set all aside.

Grated Cheese and Bread Crumbs

GRATED Cheese and Bread Crumbs ~ Note the Grated Part

Drizzle some olive oil into a skillet over medium heat. Add in the spinach and garlic and saute it for just a few minutes until the spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and add the spinach to a bowl.

Spinach and Garlic

Spinach and Garlic

Add the ricotta, the rest of the Parmesan, and 1 tablespoon of the beaten egg into the bowl with spinach and combine well. Place the rest of the egg in another shallow bowl (or in my case, another glass lid). Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spread 1/4 of the spinach-cheese mixture over each of the chicken pieces.

Filling Spread Over Chicken

Filling Spread Over Chicken

Roll one of them up starting with the narrowest end. Gently dip the entire chicken roll in the egg, then gently roll it in the bread crumbs, patting the crumbs into the chicken. Place in a 2-quart baking dish sprayed with oil, seam side down. Repeat process with the other three pieces.

Chicken Rollups Ready to Bake

Chicken Rollups Ready to Bake

Spray the top of the chicken lightly with oil and place in preheated oven. Bake for 25 minutes.

While that is all cooking, slice your fresh mozzarella and chop up any salad fixin’s you want on your green salad, if you are serving the dish with that.

Mozzarella and Salad Fixings

Mozzarella and Salad Fixin’s (and the forgotten breadsticks)

Remove from oven, then spoon desired amount of marinara sauce over the chicken. Top each piece with a slice of fresh Mozzarella. Place back in oven and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh ribboned basil.

Spinach-Stuffed Chicken and Mozzarella Rollups

Spinach-Stuffed Chicken and Mozzarella Rollups

Serve with a light green salad and Italian breadsticks or garlic bread. (In our case, we ate the breadsticks AFTER dinner because I forgot to serve them — DOH!) I’ll be making this dish often in our household, as it was fairly easy to make and the flavors are outstanding! And my daughter, who picked out this recipe, really loved it.

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Paul’s Spicy Spaghetti Sauce

15 Jan
Spicy Spaghetti Sauce and Noodles

Spicy Spaghetti Sauce and Noodles

I’ve mentioned numerous times in my posts about my husband’s spaghetti sauce. While it’s not completely made from scratch, he adds just the right amount of spiciness, meats, and veggies to make this taste “just like homemade.” One of the tricks is to use a quality jarred marinara sauce (and lots of garlic and pepper!) Another special ingredient is Hot and Spicy Italian Sausage. Our local grocery store mixes this up themselves. But if that is not available in your area, you can mix cayenne pepper into ground Italian sausage to your liking. Sometimes he adds a yellow or red pepper to the sauce, but we didn’t have one for this go-round.

Lots of Garlic and Pepper

Add Lots of Garlic and Pepper!

Paul’s Spicy Spaghetti Sauce

3/4 pound Spicy Italian Sausage
3/4 pound ground beef
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 jars quality marinara sauce
2 jars homemade canned tomatoes or 2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons minced garlic
4 to 6 ounces mushrooms, sliced or chopped
1 small red or yellow bell pepper, chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
A bunch of ground black pepper, to taste
2 bay leaves

Lots of Mushrooms

Add Lots of Mushrooms Too!

Brown the sausage, drain, and set aside. Wipe the skillet, then brown the ground beef with about a quarter of the chopped onions until cooked through. Drain and set aside. In a large pot or deep-sided skillet, pour in the marina sauce and the rest of the ingredients, plus the sausage and ground beef mixture. Stir to combine, then bring up to a simmer. Turn down to low, partially cover the sauce, and simmer for at least a couple of hours.

Simmering Spaghetti Sauce

Simmering Spaghetti Sauce

Remove bay leaves and serve over cooked spaghetti noodles and grated Parmesan cheese. (Don’t forget the garlic bread!) Freeze the extra sauce in quart-size zip-top baggies for a quick and easy future meal!

Spicy Spaghetti Sauce and Noodles

Spicy Spaghetti Sauce and Noodles

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

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