Thursday, April 9, 2009

California Club Pizza

1 tsp veg oil
1 pkg. refrigerated pizza crust
2 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken
2 cups shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend
2 plum tomatoes
1/4 medium red onion
1 medium avocado
1 lemon
6 slices bacon, thinly sliced, cooked and drained

Preheat oven to 425. Lightly brush pizza pan with oil. Unroll the dough onto bottom of pan, gently stretching and pressing dough to cover bottom. Top crust with chicken and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 16-18 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven.

Meanwhile, slice tomatoes in half lengthwise using knife. Scrape out seeds and pulp and dice. Slice onion and dice. Cut avocado, remove pit, and dice. Mix together avocado, onion, and tomato. Juice lemon, measure 2 tbsp juice, add to bowl and stir gently.

Distribute tomato mixture evenly over pizza. Sprinkle with bacon, if desired. Cut pizza into squares with a pizza cutter and serve.

Cheeseburger Salad

4 sesame bun tops, toasted
1 small red onion, divided
2 plum tomatoes
1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup finely diced dill pickles
3/4 cup ketchup
1 tbsp yellow mustard
8 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 425. Slice bun tops into strips and arrange in a sinle layer on pan. Bake until lightly toasted. Remove and cool completely.

Cut half of the onion in half crosswise and then into thin slices. Cut tomatoes in small pieces.

Cook ground beef, breaking into small pieces. Chop remaining onion into small pieces. Finely dice pickles. Combine chopped onion, pickles, mustard and ketchup in a small bowl. Add to ground beef.

To serve, arrange lettuce on plate. Scoop beef mixture over lettuce. Top with cheese, tomatoes and sliced onion. Arrange hamburger bun croutons around plate.

*I did not use nearly as much onion because my family is not a big onion fan*

Grilled Chicken Penne al Fresco

4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
3 cups uncooked mezze penne pasta or any other tube shaped pasta
3 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup white whine or chicken broth (cooking wine does add a little more flavor)
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1 1/4 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, divided
1 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (1/4 cup packed)
2 cups diced, grilled chicken breasts

Additional pepper and Parmesan for topping if desired

Spray a deep baking dish with olive oil or non stick spray. Slice garlic into baker and add tomatoes. Cover, microwave on HIGH 4-5 minutes or until tomatoes begin to burst, stirring after 2 minutes. Crush tomatoes using Mix 'N Chop (I don't have this, I used my blender-a food processor would work great). Add pasta, broth, wine, salt and black pepper.

Return baker to microwave, cover and microwave on HIGH 16-18 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring after 10 minutes. Meanwhile, coarsely chop basil. Reserve 2 tbsp of the basil.

Carefully remove baker from microwave and remove lid, lifting away from you. Add remaining basil, cheese adn chicken to baker, mix well. Garnish with 2 tbsp of basil, Parmesan and pepper.