Caprese Stuffed Balsamic Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4  7-ounce chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper , to season
  • 1 teaspoon each of dried oregano and dried basil
  • 2 roma tomatoes , sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomato strips in oil
  • 4 mozzarella cheese slices (or cheese of choice)
  • 12 basil leaves , divided
  • 4 cloves garlic , minced or finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup TAO Traditional Style or Fig balsamic or Herb de Napoli condimento
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C | 350°F. Cut a pocket about 3/4 quarter of the way through on the thickest side of each breast, being careful not to cut all the way.
  2. Season chicken with salt, pepper, and dried herbs. Pour 1 teaspoon of sun dried tomato oil (or TAO Pesto Olive Oil) over each breast, rubbing some of the seasoning inside the pockets.
  3. Fill each with 2 slices fresh tomato, 2 teaspoons sun dried tomato strips, one slice mozzarella cheese and basil leaves. Seal with 3-4 toothpicks diagonally to keep the filling inside while cooking.
  4. Heat 2 teaspoons of sun dried tomato oil (orTAO Pesto Olive Oil ) in a skillet or non stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and fry for 2 minutes on each side until golden.
  5. While the chicken is cooking, mix together the garlic, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a small jug. Pour the mixture into the pan around the chicken; bring to a simmer while stirring occasionally, until the glaze has slightly thickened (about 2-3 minutes).
  6. Transfer pan to the preheated oven and continue to cook for a further 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese has melted.
  7. Remove toothpicks and drizzle with pan juices.

This recipe and photo were taken for Karina’s beautiful website/blog: Cafe’ Delights


Classic Tomato Bruschetta

The outcome of this really depends on the quality of the ingredients.  Pick from the store or farmers’ market the ripest, heaviest you can find. We like the “ugly” and heirloom varieties, but when we can’t find great fresh tomatoes we’ll use high-quality, petite diced canned San Marzano tomatoes or fire roasted, petite diced from Muir Glen. Just be sure to drain the tomatoes thoroughly. Save the juice and add to pasta water or use the juice when steaming spinach or broccoli!

 INGREDIENTS:

  • 20-24 oz fresh tomatoes (4-5 roma tomatoes or 3-4 regular tomatoes) diced small. Or use canned, petite diced tomatoes that have been drained completely. Fire roasted tomatoes are excellent choice, too!
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons The Ancient Olive single varietal EVOO or Tuscan Herb or Basil olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon TAO PEDRO XIMENEZ AGED SHERRY WINE VINEGAR
  • TAO balsamic vinegar for drizzling. We like our extra dense, traditional and fig for this dish. Red wine vinegar is typically used to create a classic bruschetta, but you can optionally drizzle the bruschetta with balsamic vinegar just before serving.
  • salt & pepper (or to taste)
  • Optional: Grated parmesan Reggiano** do NOT use finely ground cheese as this will make the bruschetta look cloudy our muddy; grate should be like tiny pieces of angel hair or capellini pasta.
  • 1 baguette
  • EVOO & fresh garlic pieces
  • Our olives, as a side dish. Obviously, this is optional but a mistake not to serve them with this dish!

DIRECTIONS:

  • Dice tomatoes about 1/4″ and lightly drain.
  • Mix all ingredients and let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
  • Slice the baguette, brush with olive oil and toast or grill until lightly browned. Rub each toasted slice baguette with a clove of raw garlic.
  • Top with tomato mixture and sprinkle with grated cheese. Best served at room temp and with a big bowl of our amazing olives!

 


Gremolata with Pasta

Gremolata is a dressing or garnish made with chopped parsley, garlic, and grated lemon zest (and sometimes mint), served as an accompaniment to meat, chicken or fish, or in this recipe, as the perfect match for pasta!

You can use the gremolata on flatbreads and as a marinade to baked chicken and fish. Gremolata also makes a bright accompaniment to oysters and shrimp! Always serve with fresh lemon slices or wedges.

Note: To make a bright Gremolata marinade or salad dressing, combine the first 6 ingredients of this recipe and add ¼ cup of TAO Citrus Mint balsamic vinegar.

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ cup minced parsley (leaves only)
  • 1 TBS fresh mint, minced (optional)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lemons – zested carefully to avoid the pith, plus the juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup TAO EVOO or TAO Milanese Gremolata olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb pasta

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Mix the parsley, mint, garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Season with salt, pepper and olive oil.
  • Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • Toss the gremolata and the pasta until thoroughly coated. Serve immediately with sliced lemon.

Short Ribs with Balsamic Reduction
Ingredients:
  • 4 pounds short ribs
  •  Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons TAO EVOO
  • 1 cup red bell pepper 1-inch dice
  • 2 cups carrots 1-inch dice
  • 2 cups celery 1-inch dice
  • 12 cipollini onions peeled, whole OR save time and use La Piana Grilled Cipolline Onions
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spice in a muslin bag
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 package instant Polenta, follow package directions or make this fast recipe: Simple Olive Oil Polenta
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Season ribs with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven with 3 Tbs. olive oil over medium-high heat, sear all sides of ribs, in batches, ends included, and then remove. Add in vegetables, cook for 5 minutes, add flour and spices, cook for 3 minutes longer and deglaze pan with red wine. Put the ribs back into pot and add stock to cover 3/4 of the way up the ribs. Cover and cook in oven for 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes or until fork tender.
  3. Remove ribs to a baking dish and brush with balsamic reduction (see below), cover with foil and keep warm in a preheated 250 degrees oven. Reduce broth by a third. Broth to be served with polenta.
  4. Balsamic Glaze: In a small pot over low heat, combine pomegranate and honey. Whisk occasionally and reduce by one third.
  5. Prepare polenta according to package instructions, or make our recipe: Simple Olive Oil Polenta
  6. Spoon hot polenta equally amongst 4-6 plates. Top with short ribs and good amount of the broth.
Recipe Notes

Balsamic reduction: reduced by one third over low heat

  • 2 cups pomegranate balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey

 

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