Bruschetta Chicken

Fresh, flavorful, uncomplicated and healthy.  What’s not to love??

It’s always nice to find a new recipe that is different than anything else I make. To find one that we love which is also so easy to prepare is a huge bonus. The combination of fresh tomatoes, flavorful herbs and tangy balsamic vinegar over juicy chicken topped with a combination of Italian cheese is superb. Pair it with freshly baked ciabatta bread and an oaked Ox-Eye Vineyards Pinot Noir and it defies description.

Bruschetta Chicken

1 lb. thin-cut boneless chicken breasts
1/4 cup EVOO
2 Tbls. balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 Tbls. Italian herb seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 pint diced cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup shredded Italian blend cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil

Place chicken breasts in a large resealable plastic freezer bag. Combine the EVOO, balsamic vinegar, garlic, Italian herb seasoning, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Pour HALF of the marinade over the chicken, reseal bag, and in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours. (Overnight is fine.)
Preheat your grill to medium high or about 350 degrees F. Combine remaining marinade with diced tomatoes; set aside. Transfer chicken from marinade onto grill surface and discard marinade. Grill chicken for 3-4 minutes per side or until cooked through. (It is also okay to fry them in a pan over medium heat.) Transfer the chicken to a serving plate and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Spoon bruschetta mixture over chicken and top with basil; serve immediately.

The Ciabatta Bread is mixed in a bread machine on the Dough Cycle and then baked in the oven. I honestly could make a meal out of just it dipped in a high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil seasoned with real grated Parmesan cheese and some fresh ground pepper. The dough is very sticky. Don’t give into the temptation to add more flour. Treat it gingerly to keep from bursting all the lovely air bubbles that form. It makes two loaves. If you don’t need both immediately, double bag one and stick it in the freezer. Thaw it at room temperature for several hours. It was pretty darn close to fresh baked.

 

Fish with Tomatoes and Caper Sauce

Monday evening is usually “fish night” at our house. This is a holdover from when we weighed in at Weight Watchers on Tuesdays. Yes, eating a light meal Monday night really did make a difference!

For years, the only kind of fish dish I knew how to prepare was fish sticks. Trust me, that is not considered light or healthy when you are trying to lose weight! We’ve discovered a few favorites, but this recipe definitely tops the list. I have prepared it with tilapia, hake, flounder and cod. Basically, any mild white fish. I usually serve it over Parmesan couscous.

Pan-Fried Fish with White Wine and Capers

1/4 cup dry white wine
1 (15 oz.) can tomatoes (use fresh when in season)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp capers, drained
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 to 1.5 pound uncooked tilapia fillets
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 spray cooking spray
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp light butter
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 medium lemon, cut in wedges (optional)

Combine first 6 ingredients, stirring well with a whisk; set aside.
Sprinkle fillets with salt and pepper. Dredge fillets lightly in flour, and coat both sides of fillets with cooking spray.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fillets; cook 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; turn fillets, and cook 3 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Remove from pan.
Add wine mixture to pan; cook 30 seconds up to a few minutes, depending on how much you like your tomatoes cooked in a sauce, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat; stir in butter until melted. Spoon wine mixture over fillets; sprinkle with parsley. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.
Yield: 4 servings