Monthly Archives: June 2014

Pepper Lime Turkey Sliders with Sriracha Yogurt Aioli

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Pepper Lime Turkey Sliders with Sriracha Yogurt Aioli - Colleen's Kitchen

I’ve been on a spicy kick lately. Roasted jalapenos, smoky chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, spicy sriracha sauce — it seems these hotties are literally peppering my recipe development lately. Is it the sunshine that’s been playing peek-a-boo with the rain in my neck of the woods lately? I’m not sure why. But really who needs an excuse to spice up a meal?

Pepper Lime Turkey Sliders with Sriracha Yogurt Aioli - Colleen's Kitchen

Extra lean ground turkey is infused with sweet roasted red pepper and tart lime then formed into patties and grilled on an open flame.

I’ve cleaned off the grill for the summer grilling season, and one of my favorite things to make is a good burger. I rarely use ground beef in my burgers, opting instead for a leaner ground turkey that won’t leave me feeling weighed down. And I especially love to craft burgers into sliders. The nutritional content of 2 sliders is approximately equivalent to that of 1 burger, but somehow I always feel like I’m eating more. I think it’s the visual trick of having 2 sliders on my plate instead of just 1 burger.

Pepper Lime Turkey Sliders with Sriracha Yogurt Aioli - Colleen's Kitchen

Make the aioli in a mason jar for easy prep, serving, and storage!

I elected to use an extra lean (99% fat free) for this recipe. One of the challenges of cooking with extra lean ground turkey is that the lack of fat means the meat can get too dry in the cooking process and also that the burger won’t hold together well on the grill. The trick is to bulk up the meat with additional ingredients that will both keep the meat from drying out on the grill and help to hold it together. In this case I added roasted red pepper, lime zest, and lime juice for moisture and additional flavor. I then added in an egg and a bit of bulgar to help bind the mixture together. It worked like a charm!

Pepper Lime Turkey Sliders with Sriracha Yogurt Aioli - Colleen's Kitchen

These may be the perfect sliders for summer grilling season!

To then offset the sweet red pepper and tart lime in the burger, I created a spicy, low-fat yet creamy aioli using roasted garlic, Greek yogurt, and sriracha. The roasted garlic adds a bit of caramelized sweetness to the aioli while the sriracha brings the heat. Drizzled over the slider patty, it’s a bite of heaven.

Not to be outdone, though, I then love to top each slider with a couple slices of creamy, cool avocado and a sprig of cilantro. Wow! This may be the perfect summer burger!

Check out the instructional video with some super tips on how to make the aioli prep even easier!

 

Pepper Lime Turkey Sliders with Sriracha Yogurt Aioli
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 5
  • Serving size: 2 sliders per person
  • Calories: 201.5
  • Fat: 6.0
  • Saturated fat: 1.3
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.6
  • Carbohydrates: 11.9
  • Sugar: 2.8
  • Sodium: 207.1
  • Fiber: 1.8
  • Protein: 25.1
  • Cholesterol: 73.2
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Poultry
Lean ground turkey is infused with sweet roasted red peppers and tart lime, grilled up and served on a scrumptious slider with a spicy sriracha yogurt aioli. Dee-lish!
Ingredients
  • Sliders:
  • 1 lb. raw, extra lean (99% fat free) ground turkey
  • ½ cup diced roasted red pepper
  • juice of 1 lime
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup bulgar
  • Aioli:
  • 1 whole bulb garlic
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil (divided)
  • ⅓ cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp sriracha sauce
  • juice of 1 lime
Instructions
  1. Sliders:
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients until well blended. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Form the meat mixture into 10 equal-sized balls then press flat into a patty. Use your thumb to press a dimple in the middle of each patty to keep it from over-shrinking on the grill.
  4. Preheat your grill and lightly spray with oil. Cook the patties for 2-3 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
  5. Aioli:
  6. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  7. Slice the top off of the garlic bulb, exposing the cloves of garlic.
  8. Place the garlic bulb in a small baking dish and drizzle 1 tsp of the olive oil over the exposed cloves. Replace the top of the garlic bulb, cover the dish and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the bulbs are roasted and gooey. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
  9. In a mason jar, combine the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil, Greek yogurt, sriracha, and lime juice. Use a fork to pop the roasted cloves of garlic from their papery skin and into the yogurt mixture.
  10. Place a blender blade and cap on top of the mason jar and screw it on firmly. Mount the jar on your blender and puree until smooth.
  11. To serve:
  12. Place a slider patty on the bottom of a slider bun.
  13. Drizzle the patty with a generous tablespoon of the aioli.
  14. Optional: top with 2 slices of avocado and a few leaves of fresh cilantro.
  15. Place the top of the slider bun in place and bite!
Notes
Please note that I did not include the nutritional value of the slider buns in this recipe because the availability and type of slider buns varies from store to store. Please make sure to factor those in to your finished product, the nutritional value shown here only includes the patty and aioli.

 

Jacob Williams 2009 Syrah

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Jacob Williams 2009 Syrah - Colleen's Kitchen

I love discovering wineries in my neck of the woods. Over Memorial Day weekend, I had the pleasure of venturing out to the Washington side  of the Columbia River Gorge to experience some new (to me) wineries.

Jacob Williams was my first stop and a great start to the day. With a fairly new tasting room sitting in a lovely location flanked by a cherry orchard to the north and a stunning view of the river to the south, it was a wonderful find. The lovely lady conducting our tasting happily chatted about the winemaker, their wines, and even the music festival she had attended that weekend when I noticed her Sasquatch t-shirt.

Jacob Williams 2009 Syrah - Colleen's Kitchen

 

A family affair, Jacob Williams takes its name from owner Brad Gearheart’s two sons: Jacob and William. Together, Brad and John Haw, a local wine-making legend of Pedroncelli, Sokol Blosser, and Maryhill fame, create high-quality wine from locally-sourced Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, and Zinfandel grapes.

Jacob Williams 2009 Syrah - Colleen's Kitchen

The 2009 Syrah is a stunning example of their work. Sourced from the Hi-Valley Vineyard just across the river in The Dalles, OR, the 2009 Syrah boasts flavors of plum, pepper, and cocoa. It was a Gold Medal winner at the NW Wine Summit and it’s not hard to see why.

Big, intense, and complex, the 2009 Syrah is perfect with a big meaty barbecue dish. I chose to pair it with my Ribboned Tenderloin Veggie Skewers for that very reason. The big-bodied wine plays well with the hearty steak and intense rosemary on the veggies. Add in a side of grilled red onions, mushrooms and fingerling potatoes and you have an amazing summer meal.

Jacob Williams 2009 Syrah - Colleen's Kitchen

Get the recipe for Ribboned Tenderloin Veggie Skewers here.

Buy a bottle of Jacob Williams 2009 Syrah here and by emailing crystal@jacobwilliamswinery.com.

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation.

 

Ribboned Tenderloin Veggie Skewers

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Ribboned Beef and Tenderloin Skewers - Colleen's Kitchen

I love summer in Portland. The sun is shining, everything is still green from all the spring rain, my garden goes into overdrive, and I get to break out the grill.

Grilling on my propane grill is one of my favorite food prep techniques. The clean-up is easy, it’s an extremely healthy style of cooking, and I love the flame grilled flavor that the food takes on.

Skewers of course are the ultimate grilled food. Prep is easy and you can create skewers of literally unlimited varieties. I like to make skewers as pretty as they are delicious, after all the eyes are the first sense to attract you to a dish. So for these skewers I decided to get a little creative and ribbon the ingredients onto the skewers.

Ribboned Beef and Tenderloin Skewers - Colleen's Kitchen

Zucchini and steak are sliced into thin ribbons for these skewers.

For the veggies, I like to use zucchini sliced thinly on a mandolin slicer. You can use a sharp knife in a pinch, but to get the zucchini really thin so that it will bend without breaking, you really need a mandolin. For additional color, look for both green and yellow zucchini at your store or farmer’s market. Yellow zucchini isn’t available in my area yet, so for this post I only used the green. However, I love the additional pop of color that layering both the green and yellow brings to the dish.

Once the zucchini is sliced, I like to toss the pieces with a very simple mixture of olive oil, rosemary and garlic. It helps the zucchini grill up better, and it adds a real punch of flavor to the skewers.

But let’s talk about the meat. Steak. Flame grilled steak. Is your mouth watering yet?

Ribboned Beef and Tenderloin Skewers - Colleen's Kitchen

The ribbons of meat and veggies are folded into ‘S’ shapes and packed tightly onto the skewers to create pretty little stacks.

To cut the raw steak into thin slices, you not only need a sharp knife, but the meat also needs to be well chilled. I like to wrap the cut of steak in plastic and put it in the freezer for exactly 1 hour, no more, no less. This puts a good chill on the steak so that it firms up without being so hard that it’s impossible to cut. In fact, the thin slices pretty much fall off my knife.

Steak is so rich and flavorful, it really doesn’t need much added for this recipe. Once sliced, I simply lay the pieces out on my cutting board and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. That’s it.

Ribboned Beef and Tenderloin Skewers - Colleen's Kitchen

Grill theses skewers on a low flame with the hood closed for about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes on each of the 4 sides for a medium cooked steak.

To assemble the skewers, I use 2 bamboo skewers for each skewer. This helps keep the meat and vegetables secure and makes them easier to cook evenly. Holding the 2 skewers about a finger width apart, I fold the ribboned pieces of meat and veggies into ‘S’ shapes and push them down the length of the bamboo. Normally I leave a little room between pieces, but for this recipe I really cram them on there, stacking up all the ribbons into these pretty little blocks of color.

Ribboned Beef and Tenderloin Skewers - Colleen's Kitchen

This says it all, right? Delish!

Then all that’s left is to grill up these beauties. Because the ingredients are so packed onto the skewers, I cook them on a low flame with the hood down for about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes on each side. This ensures the meat is cooked at the center – I like my steak medium – and there’s a nice char on the outside.

What’s cooking on your grill this week?

 

 

Ribboned Tenderloin Veggie Skewers
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 2
  • Serving size: 2 skewers
  • Calories: 266.6
  • Fat: 15.0
  • Saturated fat: 4.1
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.1
  • Carbohydrates: 1.2
  • Sugar: 0.5
  • Sodium: 286.4
  • Fiber: 0.3
  • Protein: 30.6
  • Cholesterol: 88.3
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Beef
Tender steak and zucchini are sliced into thin ribbons, dressed, skewered and grilled for a dish that is as pretty on the plate as it is delicious.
Ingredients
  • 2 medium baby zucchini, trimmed and sliced lengthwise into paper thin strips
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • ½ lb. raw steak, chilled in the freezer for 1 hour before slicing into ⅛"-1/4" strips along the longest side
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 8 bamboo skewers about 5" in length, soaked in cold water for at least 20 minutes
Instructions
  1. Preheat your grill.
  2. Whisk together the olive oil, rosemary and garlic. In a large bowl, toss with the zucchini ribbons until combined.
  3. Lay the strips of steak out on a cutting board and sprinkle with the salt and pepper, patting the seasoning into the meat with your fingers.
  4. Holding 2 skewers about a finger width apart, fold a piece of zucchini into an 'S' shape and slide onto the skewer. Repeat with the remaining pieces of meat and veggies. I like to arrange my skewers in this pattern: 2 zucchini, 1 steak, 2 zucchini, 1 steak, 2 zucchini, 1 steak, 2 zucchini. Really push all of the ingredients together to create a stacked skewer.
  5. Repeat with the remaining skewers. As a reminder, you will use 2 of the bamboo skewers per kabob. In the end, you should have 4 complete skewers ready for grilling.
  6. Reduce the flame on your grill to low and spray lightly with grapeseed oil to keep the skewers from sticking. Place the skewers on the grill and cook with the hood down for about 1½ - 2 minutes on each of the 4 sides or until the meat reaches your desired level of done-ness.
  7. Remove from the grill and serve immediately.

 

Matello Rosé of Pinot Noir 2013

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Matello Rosé of Pinot Noir 2013 - Colleen's Kitchen

Is there anything better than a refreshing rosé on a hot summer day? And lucky me, I get to introduce you to an outstanding rosé from one of Oregon’s smallest wineries, Matello Wines.

Rhyming with “cello,” Matello Wines hail from Oregon’s Willamette Valley, that same valley that has become so famous in the Pinot Noir world. Matello is a small independent winery that sources all of its grapes from family owned and operated vineyards in the Northern Willamette Valley. The proprietor and winemaker founder, Marcus Goodfellow, has become a darling of the indie wine circles in the Portland area, and with wines such as this it’s easy to see why.

When picking up my glass, I closed my eyes and inhaled aromas of roses and warm strawberries. Sipping the pale pink wine, I tasted flavors of juicy watermelon and sweet strawberries with the subtlest hint of plum. Absolutely delightful.

Honey Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Farro Salad - Colleen's Kitchen

I especially loved Matello’s Rosé of Pinot Noir 2013 with my Honey Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Farro Salad. The sweet roasted strawberries pull out the strawberry flavors of the wine while the crisp watermelon in the wine plays perfectly against the crisp bite of jicama in the salad. This is a perfect pairing for a warm summer night.

Get the recipe for Honey Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Farro Salad here.

Buy a bottle of Matello Rosé of Pinot Noir 2013 here. (Portland locals – find a bottle at New Seasons Markets!)

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation.

Honey Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Farro Salad

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Honey Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Farro Salad - Colleen's Kitchen

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know that the strawberry patch in my garden is going crazy right now. I started with roughly 8 plants 2 years ago that I transplanted from a planter at my former home. I put them in the ground bordering my raised garden beds and decided to just let them go. Well, like strawberry plants do, they have reproduced to the point where they have almost taken over my backyard. I have strawberries in abundance right now – this week alone I picked a little over 12 pounds!

Honey Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Farro Salad  - Colleen's Kitchen

So what’s a girl to do with all of these strawberries but to find ways to use them? I’ve done the traditional jam making – well not exactly traditional flavors but some delicious combinations such as Balsamic Strawberry Basil, Strawberry Roasted Jalapeno, and Strawberry Hibiscus. Delicious! My favorite trick, though, is to create savory dinner dishes from these sweet summer beauties.

Honey Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Farro Salad  - Colleen's Kitchen

I’ve been seeing a lot of various recipes out there involved roasted strawberries, a preparation technique I had never tried before but I have sincerely fallen in love with. Roasting brings out an entirely different flavor in the strawberry: it is sweet, smoky and deliciously gooey. It’s almost like eating candy.

It took me a while to get the roasting just right, though. The secret: use parchment paper on the baking sheet and roast them in small batches, spreading the berries in a single layer and leaving room between them. The air really needs to circulate between the berries for a perfect roast.

Honey Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Farro Salad  - Colleen's Kitchen

You can roast the berries plain or tossed in a little olive oil, but for this recipe I used a combination of honey and balsamic vinegar for a little extra flavor. In fact, I highly recommend trying this with a fig balsamic vinegar if you have it. I just happened to have a bottle on hand that I had picked up on a recent trip to Napa.

I then combined the roasted berries with some nutty farro, crunchy jicama, thinly sliced green onions, peppery basil, and creamy goat cheese for a savory summer salad that is satisfying and hearty. It’s also perfect for Meatless Monday. This has become one of my favorite recipes, I hope you enjoy it too!

 

 

Honey Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Farro Salad
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 2
  • Serving size: ½ salad
  • Calories: 343.4
  • Fat: 10.1
  • Saturated fat: 2.7
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.1
  • Carbohydrates: 55.8
  • Sugar: 18.0
  • Sodium: 306.7
  • Fiber: 8.8
  • Protein: 9.2
  • Cholesterol: 5.0
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Strawberries are roasted in honey and balsamic vinegar and tossed with nutty farro, jicama, herbs and goat cheese for a savory sweet hearty entree salad.
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, divided
  • 2 cups fresh hulled and quartered strawberries
  • ½ cup dry farro, cooked according to package directions, rinsed in cold water and drained
  • ⅓ cup loosely packed chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 3 medium green onions (aka scallions) thinly sliced into the light green part
  • ½ cup fresh, raw jicama sticks
  • ¼ cup (1 oz.) crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey and 1 tbsp of the balsamic vinegar. Heat the honey to thin it out if necessary.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss the honey balsamic mixture with the strawberries. Spread berries on the parchment paper lined baking sheet in a single layer, spreading out to leave room between the berries.
  4. Bake at 375F for 25 minutes or until evenly roasted. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  5. In a medium salad bowl, combine the farro, basil, green onions, jicama, and goat cheese.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, remaining 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss with the farro mixture.
  7. Gently stir in the cooled, roasted strawberries and serve immediately.

 

Chipotle and Toasted Walnut Wheat Berry Salad

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Chipotle and Toasted Walnut Wheat Berry Salad Recipe - Colleen's Kitchen

When I started my weight loss journey, I quickly found that I needed to prepare my own food more, instead of running through those all-to-convenient and abundant drive-thrus. This meant that I not only needed to up my culinary game, but I also had to change my cooking style. I turned to TV cooking shows for inspiration, and one of my absolute favorites was Food Network’s Ask Aida, featuring culinary curator and TV personality, Aida Mollenkamp.

Chipotle and Toasted Walnut Wheat Berry Salad Recipe - Colleen's Kitchen

Try this Chipotle and Toasted Walnut Wheat Berry Salad for a sample of Aida’s culinary talents!

I loved Aida’s scrumptious recipes, straightforward instructions, and helpful tips ranging from cooking techniques to how to use certain kitchen gadgets to how to select quality produce. I religiously watched her shows and together we made such delicious dishes as a vegan chili, chipotle chicken fajitas, shrimp piri piri, and steak with a compound butter that was to die for. The more I learned, the more confidence I gained in the kitchen and soon I was swapping out this for that and eventually crafting my own creations in order to get the lean calories I needed for my weight loss journey.

So when I was invited to participate in the Virtual Salad Party sponsored by California Walnuts and make a recipe from one of three featured chefs, I was beyond excited to select one of my virtual culinary mentors, Aida Mollenkamp. I chose her Chipotle and Toasted Walnut Wheat Berry Salad because, while I’ve cooked a lot with other grains such as quinoa, couscous, farro and sorghum, I have not yet worked with wheat berries. I saw this as yet another opportunity to learn from Aida. Score!

Chipotle and Toasted Walnut Wheat Berry Salad Recipe - Colleen's Kitchen

Raisins add a sweet, chewy flavor that really balances out the spice of the chipotle, the nuttiness of the wheat berries, and the smoky crunch of the toasted walnuts

Whenever I follow a recipe, I always like to make it as crafted first, and then recraft it as my own taste buds, style and dietary needs dictate. I have to say, though, that Aida created a real winner with this recipe because it was delicious. It was so good, I had to go back for seconds, and then I happily took leftovers to work for lunch the next day.

I did have to substitute hard wheat berries as my search of three local grocery stores could not find the soft wheat berries specified in the recipe. I followed the directions on the grocery store bulk bin and soaked the hard wheat berries over night before preparing them according to Aida’s instructions. The result was a delicious, nutty, slightly crunchy grain that I will absolutely be working with again.

Upon first bite, I thought that perhaps the recipe could use another chipotle. But then the finish left the perfect amount of heat. The real surprise, however, are the raisins. They add a sweet, chewy flavor that really balances out the spice of the chipotle, the nuttiness of the wheat berries, and the smoky crunch of the toasted walnuts. All of the flavors combine in perfect harmony like lovers destined for each other.

Win a copy of Aida Mollenkamp's Keys to the Kitchen

Win a copy of Aida Mollenkamp’s Keys to the Kitchen below!

As part of the Virtual Salad Party, I’m really excited to be giving away a copy of Aida Mollenkamp’s cookbook, Keys to the Kitchen. Designed to help home cooks become more confident in the kitchen, I just know that the winner will enjoys her tips, tricks and recipes as much as I have over the years. Just try this one for a sample of the deliciousness that awaits you then enter the contest below!

 

Chipotle and Toasted Walnut Wheat Berry Salad
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 8
  • Calories: 340
  • Fat: 15
  • Saturated fat: 1.5
  • Carbohydrates: 49
  • Sodium: 85
  • Fiber: 9
  • Protein: 10
  • Cholesterol: 0
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Proof that whole grains don't have to be boring, this salad has a mix of spicy and sweet flavors and with 1.14 grams of omega-3's per serving, it's heart-healthy too!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups soft wheat berries, rinsed (about 12 ounces)
  • Kosher Salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces carrots, small dice (about 2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 chopped chipotle en adobo plus 1 teaspoon chipotle en adobo sauce
  • 1 cup toasted walnut halves, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 3 scallions, light green and green parts thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh Italian parsley or cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Fill a medium saucepan with heavily salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in wheat berries, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until tender but still chewy, about 30 to 40 minutes. Drain and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet to cool. (Can be made through this step up to 4 days ahead. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.)
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt, and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add carrots and a pinch of salt and cook until just softened but still retains some bite, about 5 minutes more. Stir in thyme and chipotle and sauce and cook until fragrant then remove from heat.
  3. Place wheat berries in a large, nonreactive bowl and add carrot mixture, nuts, and raisins. Whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, vinegar, and honey until honey is dissolved then stir into wheat berry mixture. Let salad marinate at least 15 minutes before serving or cover and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 24 hours. Just before serving, add the scallions and herbs.
Notes
If you can't find soft wheat berries (like I couldn't) you can also substitute hard wheat berries. Simply soak them in a large bowl of water overnight before draining and cooking them as instructed in this recipe.

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La Marca Prosecco NV

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La Marca Prosecco

In the world of sparkling wine, Champagne seems to get all the attention. Prosecco, though, is a very worthy competitor, with a style and substance all its own.

Hailing from Italy, Prosecco is made from the white grape Glera, which is prized for its delicate flavors and aromas. The name Prosecco comes from the village of Prosecco, near Trieste in the hills of the Veneto region in northern Italy, where the Glera grape is thought to have originated.

A big difference between Prosecco and Champagne is in the production. Where the second fermentation for Champagne is done in the bottle, the second fermentation of Prosecco is done in large stainless steel tanks, making the wine less expensive to produce. This is why the price point for Italian Prosecco is generally much less than a true French Champagne.

Bellini Chicken Skewers with Basil Lemon Cappellini

Marinate boneless, skinless chicken breast pieces overnight in Prosecco with fresh peach slices.

La Marca Winery is located in the La Marca Trevigiana zone of Italy’s Prosecco region, from which it takes its name. Founded more than 40 years ago, La Marca was awarded a “Top 100 Wines of the Year” by Wine Spectator in 2007.

At an alcohol level of just 11.3%, the La Marca Prosecco is light and perfect when served chilled on a hot summer day. Pale gold in color, the wine emanates drool-inducing aromas of citrus and honey. Flavors of lemon, apple, and minerals tingle on the palate, with a finish that is clean, crisp, and sublimely refreshing.

I love to use the La Marca Prosecco both in the recipe for and to accompany my Bellini Chicken Skewers with Basil Lemon Cappellini. The crisp citrus in the wine is a perfect partner for the dish while the delicate lightness enhances the flavors of the food without overpowering. I also love to pop a couple of fresh peach slices in the bottom of my wine glass for additional complexity in the wine.

Bellini Chicken Skewers with Basil Lemon Cappellini

I love to serve these skewers over delicate cappellini pasta tossed with basil, lemon juice, and olive oil for a light, refreshing meal.

Get the recipe for Bellini Chicken Skewers with Basil Lemon Cappellini here.

Buy a bottle of the La Marca Prosecco here.

As with any part of a healthy lifestyle, always enjoy alcohol responsibly and in moderation.

Bellini Chicken Skewers with Basil Lemon Cappellini

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Bellini Chicken Skewers with Basil Lemon Cappellini

Cooking is a true form of art. It is all about combining the right flavors, textures and colors to create a memorable meal, and that requires a good dose of creativity in the kitchen.

As an artist, you never know when or where inspiration will strike. I’m not even precisely sure how I got the idea to do a riff of the infamous Bellini cocktail for this dish, but for some reason grilled skewers incorporating the flavor of juicy grilled peaches – so good! – suddenly appealed to me. And what better flavor to pair them with than a good Italian Prosecco?

What is a Bellni, you ask? Well it’s a cocktail developed at the famous Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy. A mixture of bubbly Prosecco and freshly pureed peaches, it’s a delightful aperitif. So why not create a dish inspired by such a delicious drink?

Bellini Chicken Skewers with Basil Lemon Cappellini

Marinate boneless, skinless chicken breast pieces overnight in Prosecco with fresh peach slices.

I start by marinating boneless, skinless chicken breast in a quality Prosecco with some fresh peach slices thrown in for additional flavor. I like to let the chicken marinate overnight for maximum flavor. This also results in meat that is ultra-tender and moist.

Once marinated, I discard the Prosecco and peach slices that the chicken marinated in and thread the pieces onto skewers with some wedges of fresh peach. Have you ever tried grilled peaches? They are absolutely divine, and simply perfect in this dish.

Bellini Chicken Skewers with Basil Lemon Cappellini

I love to serve these skewers over delicate cappellini pasta tossed with basil, lemon juice, and olive oil for a light, refreshing meal.

To finish the meal off, I wanted to tie in the flavor of peppery basil. So I like to serve these skewers over a bed of delicate, thin cappellini (aka angel hair) pasta tossed with chopped basil, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. The result is a super easy and simple meal that is absolutely perfect fora busy weeknight. Yet the flavors and presentation are so unique, that your family will be in awe of your culinary prowess.

Where do you get your kitchen inspiration?

 

 

Bellini Chicken Skewers with Basil Lemon Cappellini
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 2
  • Calories: 434.6
  • Fat: 9.9
  • Saturated fat: 2.2
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.1
  • Carbohydrates: 52.2
  • Sugar: 8.3
  • Sodium: 260.8
  • Fiber: 5.7
  • Protein: 32.8
  • Cholesterol: 65.0
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Inspired by the Bellini cocktail, Prosecco-marinated chicken and juicy peaches are grilled and served over a scrumptiously light cappellini pasta.
Ingredients
  • ½ lb. raw boneless, skinless chicken breast pieces
  • 1 fresh peach, pitted and sliced
  • 1 cup Prosecco
  • 1 fresh peach, pitted and cut into 8 wedges
  • 4 oz. dry whole wheat cappellini pasta
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. In a plastic, resealable bag or shallow dish, cover the chicken breast pieces and peach slices with the prosecco. Let marinate in the fridge overnight.
  2. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the prosecco and peach slices. Thread each of 4 small bamboo skewers with 3 pieces of chicken and 2 peach wedges, alternating. (You can substitute 2 large skewers if desired.) Set aside.
  3. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and stir in the cappellini. Gently boil for about 4-5 minutes until cooked.
  4. Preheat grill pan on medium high, lightly coat with olive oil. Place skewers in pan and grill for about 2 minutes on each side or until the chicken is cooked through.
  5. Drain all but about 2 tbsp of water from the cappellini and reduce heat to medium. Stir in the lemon juice, basil, olive oil, garlic, and salt. Let cook for about 2 minutes and remove from heat.
  6. Serve the chicken skewers over the pasta.
Notes
The nutritional value of the marinade has been reduced by ¾ since the majority of it is discarded.