Dinner for two (and two)

I have a dear friend who had surgery and I wanted to send a dinner to her.  I went with an old favorite and made two sets of two servings.  One for her and her husband and one for us.  This is another one of those super easy, super popular dinners – easy enough for a weeknight and delicious enough for company.  I was going to make zucchini fritters but decided a vegetable gratin would be healthier (and travel better for delivery to my friend.)

Chicken with Pesto and Sundried Tomatoes

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 per serving)
  • Pesto (prepared or homemade)
  • Minced sundried tomatoes in a jar (packed in olive oil)
  • Pine nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.  Place chicken breasts between 2 sheets of wax paper and pound to about 1/2 inch thickness.  Top each breast with approximately 1 TB of pesto and 2 tsps of sundried tomatoes and then roll up.  Place rolled chicken breasts in a ceramic or glass baking dish and bake 35 – 40 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  I baste them with pan juice about 5 minutes before done (it gives them a nice color.)  If you want to dress them up more, sprinkle with pine nuts.  Serve or let cool and freeze.

Zucchini Gratin

  • 2 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • rosemary
  • oregano
  • Parmesan cheese
In a glass baking dish start with a layer of thinly sliced zucchini.  Top with tomato slices and red onion slices.  Drizzle with olive oil, rosemary and oregano (you can substitute whatever herbs you prefer).  Repeat and add grated Parmesan cheese on top layer.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until zucchini is tender.
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Reentry

We were on vacation last week.  We spent a lovely week on the Outer Banks of North Carolina with my family.  We ate very well – my brother-in-law is a wonderful cook and made a Mexican meal one night and a Vietnamese meal another.  My mom brought beef tenderloin for the first night and made her amazing potato gratin.  I made tuna salad Nicoise one night, crab salad another and then the ranch dressing grilled chicken breasts with zucchini fritters for the last night.  Now we’re back to reality and you’ll notice the menu this week is heavy on grilling.  I wanted to eke out the last bit of vacation feeling by spending most of the day at the pool today so went with an easy dinner.  I found a recipe for grilled steak with blue cheese butter but we thought the blue cheese and butter sounded a bit heavy.  I opted for a mix of fresh herbs from the garden instead.  This was easy, fresh and delicious.

Grilled steak with herb butter

  • steak of your choice (we went with New York strips)
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2 – 4 TB softened butter
  • fresh herbs of your choice (I used chives, tarragon, thyme and parsley)

Combine butter and herbs and mash with a fork.  Roll in parchment paper into a roll and chill.

Season steak with salt and pepper and brush with olive oil.  Grill for about 3 minutes per side and then cover with aluminum foil and let rest for about 5 minutes.  Cut a slice of herb butter and put on each steak.

Zucchini gratin

Zucchini Gratin

  • 2 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • rosemary
  • oregano
  • Parmesan cheese
In a glass baking dish start with a layer of thinly sliced zucchini.  Top with tomato slices and red onion slices.  Drizzle with olive oil, rosemary and oregano (you can substitute whatever herbs you prefer).  Repeat and add grated Parmesan cheese on top layer.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Zucchini gratin

Zucchini gratin

Quick and easy

I had a meeting tonight and knew that I wouldn’t get dinner until late.  I wanted something quick that my husband could eat at dinner time and would hold well for me to eat when I got home.  I went with one of my standbys, chicken with pesto and sundried tomatoes.  This is the perfect thing if someone has a late game or practice because it can easily be reheated in the microwave or served at room temperature.  The vegetable gratin was the perfect side.

Chicken with Pesto and Sundried Tomatoes

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 per serving)
  • Pesto (prepared or homemade)
  • Minced sundried tomatoes in a jar (packed in olive oil)
  • Pine nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.  Place chicken breasts between 2 sheets of wax paper and pound to about 1/2 inch thickness.  Top each breast with approximately 1 TB of pesto and 2 tsps of sundried tomatoes and then roll up.  Place rolled chicken breasts in a ceramic or glass baking dish and bake 35 – 40 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  I baste them with pan juice about 5 minutes before done (it gives them a nice color.)  If you want to dress them up more, sprinkle with pine nuts.  Serve or let cool and freeze.

Vegetable gratin

This is quick and easy and very adaptable.  Feel free to substitute whatever vegetables you like or have handy or customize with your choice of herbs.

  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 2 zucchini thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow squash thinly sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 -5 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp each oregano, basil and garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Pour half of olive oil in a ceramic baking dish.  Layer veggies with herbs (I did a layer of zucchini, a layer of red onion, herbs, yellow squash, tomatoes and then topped with zucchini.)  Drizzle with olive oil and top with Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 350 for 35 – 40 minutes until hot.