Saturday, January 21, 2012

I've Been Chopped

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
I will not call it my new favorite show but I have definitely been watching it quite a bit since last week. I have known of its existence and never bothered to watch it but I finally did this week. We had a neighbor over for dinner last weekend and she kept telling me I should go for Chopped or the Food Network Star. I politely said, "I don't think I'll go past the first round," and I mean that with all sincerity. Looking at how they cook under time constraints, I don't think I'll be able to finish one dish since I like to pace myself when I cook. 

After last night's pizza dinner though, I had the momentary inspiration to challenge myself with leftover ingredients and recreate a solo friendly version of Chopped. Friendly is an understatement since the leftover items we have in the fridge are fairly easy to rework into a second dish: chicken breast, pesto sauce and Romaine lettuce. Now, I was not about to make a dessert out of these three ingredients but I figured, a starter/entree type of dish will be perfect. 

First step is to season the chicken with salt and pepper. Next step is to smear three tablespoons of pesto sauce to the chicken as a quick marinade. At this point, I can either grill or pan fry it and the latter is what I chose to do in a hot pan with a bit of olive oil over medium high heat. Sear the chicken and lower the heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes. Flip and cook for another five minutes or until the thickest portion is cooked and is no longer pink. Let rest for a minute and slice into wedges. Arrange on a bed of Romaine lettuce and slices of Roma tomatoes and garnish with a bit of the pesto sauce. And there you have it, my "Chopped" moment.  

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