Another great summer dinner

When the weather gets hot, we all want simple and light.  This grilled chicken Caprese is so easy to fix and very refreshing.  It pairs nicely with the pesto corn.

Grilled chicken Caprese

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, split and pounded between wax paper
  • 4 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB Balsamic vinegar
  • 4 thin slices fresh Mozzarella (I had some leftover from last week’s sandwiches)
  • 2 tomatoes sliced
  • fresh basil leaves

Whisk olive oil and vinegar together and marinate chicken for 1 hour.  Grill over high heat 3 – 4 minutes a side until done.  (You need to move the chicken around on the grill so it doesn’t burn.  The pounding made it easier to cook quickly and evenly.)  Serve topped with Mozzarella, tomatoes and basil.

Pesto corn
  • corn cut off the cob – allow at least 1 1/2 ears per person (Keith wanted to know if there was more)
  • butter – 1 TB per 3 ears of corn
  • pesto – 1 TB per 3 ears of corn (adjust to your taste)

Saute corn with butter in a heavy pan for 4 -5 minutes until soft.  Add pesto and stir well to combine.

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The ultimate Maryland summer dinner!

We have a friend whose wife and kids are away for a good bit of the summer.  We know he gets lonely so enjoy having him join our crazy group for a weeknight dinner.  He came for dinner after tennis last Thursday and we had a great meal of summertime Maryland specialties – crab cakes, corn sautéed with pesto and sliced tomatoes.

Crab cakes

  • 1 lb lump or jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TB Dijon mustard
  • 4 TB mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • dash paprika
  • 1/3 cup panko or bread crumbs
  • wondra flour
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp olive oil
Whisk together egg, mustard, mayo, spices and panko.  Gently fold in crabmeat.  Sprinkle Wondra flour on a plate and form crab cakes with your hands – place on flour.  Sprinkle tops with flour and refrigerate until ready to cook.
Heat a heavy saute pan over medium heat.  Melt butter and olive oil and add crab cakes.  Cook 4 – 5 minutes per side until crisp and golden brown.
Pesto corn
  • corn cut off the cob – allow at least 1 1/2 ears per person (Keith wanted to know if there was more)
  • butter – 1 TB per 3 ears of corn
  • pesto – 1 TB per 3 ears of corn (adjust to your taste)

Saute corn with butter in a heavy pan for 4 -5 minutes until soft.  Add pesto and stir well to combine.

The boys were late coming home from tennis so I didn’t get a picture.

Pesto = Summer

I planted a bunch of basil this year.  It is probably my favorite herb and one of my favorite things to do with it is make pesto.  To me, pesto is the taste of summer.  I made my first batch and immediately used it to make shrimp and pesto pizza.  If you have a blender or food processor, you can make pesto.  (Technically you can make it in a mortar and pestle but I don’t think most of us are inclined to do that!)

Pesto

  • 2 cups of basil, rinsed and dried
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 TB pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Combine basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic and salt in a blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Pour into a bowl and combine with cheese.  Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.
Once you have your pesto, here are some things you can do with it (besides the obvious of putting it on pasta):
 – put on sliced tomatoes and then grill or broil
 – mix with sautéed corn, cut off the cob
 – spread on top of a boneless, skinless chicken breast (with or without sundries tomatoes), roll up and cook
 – spread on tilapia and bake
 – toss with shrimp and then broil or grill shrimp
 – serve with grilled or seared scallops
 – use on pizza instead of tomato sauce
 – use in lasagna as a substitute for tomato sauce in one of the layers
 – mix with mayonnaise and use as a sandwich spread or as the dressing on my soft-shell crab salad
If you search the blog for pesto, you’ll soon realize that it is one of my favorites.  I hope you like it as much as I do.  And if you love it but neglected to plant basil, there is always pesto available at the supermarket.