Monday, July 11, 2011

1 Year…

Happy First Wedding Anniversary to the King!  We survived one year of wedded bliss!  In honor of this event, the King took me away for a weekend to a bed and breakfast a couple weeks ago.  It was fabulous.  We ate way too much, went wine tasting, and got to relax together.  His gift was so awesome that when it came to figuring out a gift for the King, I had a bit of difficulty.  The guideline that this is the paper anniversary didn’t really help me out too much either.  I didn’t want to add to his already busy/stressful schedule by adding something he needed to do by giving him a gift certificate to go somewhere or do something.  In the end, I came up with many ideas (a concert, a restaurant gift certificate, a massage, a magazine subscription, [wine, beer, ice-cream, cookies, cake, chocolate, etc.] of the month club) and put them into envelopes for the King to choose.  
I told him that he could pick one, and then if he thought there was something better, he could pick a different one.  We went through three before he choose the massage.  Naturally, he wanted to know all of his choices anyway, but he stuck with the massage.

There was an easy decision in all of this.  I knew exactly what I wanted to make for dinner.  While we stayed at the B&B a couple weeks ago, we headed up to the resort that we had gotten married at for dinner in their restaurant.  The food left more than something to be desired.  I ordered a chicken dish, and the King ordered cannelloni.  When the food came, we wound up switching plates.  The tubes of canelloni had vegetables in one corner, ricotta in one corner, and chard in the other half.  The chicken was fatty and lackluster.  Not what we wanted to remember.  Our wedding dinner was so delicious!  So I thought I would recreate elements from it for our first anniversary.  Here is what I came up with...
Harbour Stuffed Chicken with Basil Pesto Cream Sauce

Ingredients for chicken:
·   2 Chicken breasts
·      ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, diced
·      ½ cup artichoke hearts, diced
·      ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
·      ½ cup panko bread crumbs, seasoned with salt and pepper
·      2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil for brushing the chicken

Ingredients for Basil Pesto Cream Sauce:
·      ¾ cups fresh basil leaves
·      1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, grated
·      3 Tablespoons pine nuts, extra for stuffing chicken
·      2 cloves of garlic, peeled
·      Salt and Pepper, to taste
·      1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup heavy cream
·      2 Tablespoons of butter

Instructions for Chicken:
1.     Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2.     Slice each chicken breast in half, taking care not to slice through both sides of the chicken breast.
3.     Evenly distribute diced sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, pine nuts, and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese in each chicken breast.
4.     Dredge each chicken breast in seasoned panko breadcrumbs.
5.     Place the chicken breasts on a greased and lightly brush the tops with olive oil.
6.     Bake for 20 minutes.

Instructions for Basil Pesto Cream Sauce:
1.     Add basil leaves, ½ cup Parmesan, pine nuts, and salt and pepper to a food processor or blender.
2.     Turn machine on, drizzling olive oil in as it mixes.  Blend until combined, adding additional olive oil if needed.  Set aside.
3.     Heat cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
4.     Add pesto and stir.
These little beauts were served on the side.

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