Friday, May 26, 2017

Grilled Pesto Chicken with Gouda & Roasted Red Pepper

Memorial Day is right around the corner and if you're hosting you should be in full menu planning mode.   Keeping the menu simple is key to feeling like a guest at your own party.  Choose recipes with few ingredients that are simple to prepare.   So you're not a slave to the grill, have a mix of recipes for the grill and recipes that can be prepared ahead of time.  

This grilled chicken recipe has only 4 ingredients, but looks - and tastes - impressive.  Prepared pesto gives this recipe a big flavor punch and makes it easy for you to get dinner on the table in no time.
Recipe developed for Beemster

Prep Time:  5 minutes
Cook Time:  15 minutes
4 servings

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
3 tablespoons refrigerated prepared pesto, divided
4 ounces roasted red pepper (about 3/4 cup)
4 ounces Beemster Paradiso Gouda, thinly sliced

Coat chicken all over with 2 tablespoons pesto.   Grill chicken 12 minutes, turning once and brushing with remaining pesto until thoroughly cooked.  Top each piece of chicken with roasted peppers and Beemster.  Grill 2 minutes or until Beemster is melted.

Tip: If you're not a fan of roasted peppers, used sliced tomatoes instead.  Tastes just as delicious, especially when they're summer Jersey tomatoes.

Serving suggestion:  Serve on Italian rolls for a hearty sandwich.


My new favorite refrigerated pesto is Rana Basil Pesto.  While it's nice to make your own, there's really no need since this pesto tastes as good as home-made.  I keep it in the fridge for a quick flavor boost in everything from pizza to pasta.  

If you can't find Rana, Buitoni is a good second choice.


are a perfect first course or accompaniment to the Pesto Chicken

Friday, May 12, 2017

Caesar Chicken Salad with Parmesan Crisps

Whether you're doing brunch, lunch or dinner for Mother's Day, this recipes fits the bill. Parmesan Cheese Crisps take this chicken salad to the next level.  They're surprisingly easy to prepare, yet they make an impressive presentation. Not to mention, they're so delicious, you're going to want to make extra for snacking!  

Equally impressive is the 15 minute prep time so you can have a delicious meal ready in no time - which leaves more time to spend with mom!
Photography by Paul Gelsobello Studio
Recipe developed for Chef's Joy


Prep Time:  15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Makes: 4 servings

1 can Chef’s Joy Extra Virgin Olive Oil Non-Stick Cooking Spray
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 cups torn Romaine lettuce 

Preheat oven to 425°F.  Spray baking sheet with Chef's Joy spray.  Divide 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese into 4 2-inch circles on prepared baking sheet.  Bake 5 to 8 minutes or until cheese melts and turns golden brown.  Immediately remove from oven and cool for 1 minute.  Gently remove crisps using metal spatula and place on wire rack to cool completely.   Can be made 2 days ahead and stored at room temperature in a closed container.

Combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire, garlic and lemon zest in small bowl.  Remove 2 tablespoons of mixture and toss with chicken.  Stir remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese into remaining mayonnaise mixture and toss with romaine.

Spray 12-inch skillet with Chef's Joy spray and heat skillet over medium heat.  Cook chicken 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through, stirring occasionally. 


Arrange lettuce on serving platter, top with chicken and Parmesan crisps.



Tip: Make extra Parmesan crisps by doubling or even tripling the recipe.  Store in an airtight container until ready to use.  You can vary the size of the crisps as well.  Make them mini with 1/4 cup cheese and reduce baking time to 3 to 6 minutes.



food stylist: Cathy Paukner
prop stylist: Heather Bean
food stylist assistant: Lauren Dellabella

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Cranberry Goat Cheese Stuffed French Toast

It doesn't get better than starting the day off with a home cooked breakfast, preferably in bed...with a mimosa!  Anyway, that would be the perfect start to my Mother's Day.  So if you want to show mom some love, start off her day with this fabulous French Toast for breakfast or brunch.   The cranberry goat cheese makes this French Toast a little sweet and a little savory at the same time.  Drizzle with real maple syrup for the perfect finishing touch.
Recipe developed for Celebrity

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Serving size: 4

4 slices challah bread 
1 (4.5-ounce) package Celebrity Cranberry Goat Cheese, crumbled 
1 large egg 
3 tablespoons half and half or milk 
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest 
2 tablespoons butter 

Arrange crumbled Goat Cheese evenly over 2 slices challah. Cover with remaining bread slices to make 2 sandwiches.

Beat egg, half ‘n half and orange zest in shallow bowl until well blended. Dip sandwiches, one at a time, into egg mixture, allowing egg to soak into sandwich.

Melt butter in large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Add sandwiches and cook 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown on both sides, turning once. Slice each sandwich in half and serve with syrup, if desired.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Roasted Asparagus with Gouda

If you're not eating asparagus right now, you should be.  Spring is when asparagus is at its prime. Look for spears with a purplish hue as they are likely to be sweeter and more tender.  Spring asparagus is so good on its own, the less you do to it the better.  A quick saute or roast is all that's needed.  Be careful not to overcook it.  Here I've roasted it for a short time at high temperature (you can also cook it on the grill) and then a simple finish with balsamic and grated Beemster is the perfect finish.

Recipe developed for Beemster


Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes

Serving size: 4


1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup balsamic glaze
1/2 cup shredded Beemster XO


Preheat oven to 425˚F. Arrange asparagus on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 6 to 8 minutes until tender-crisp. Remove from oven and arrange on a serving platter.

Drizzle with balsamic glaze and sprinkle with Beemster.