I was first introduced to the Cult of The Pampered Chef when I was in my late 20s and newly married. I like to call Pampered Chef crack for the kitchen. Here you are with a new mortgage on a condo and a co-worker invites you to a some kitchen party which you agree to go to because you’ve heard there are yummy appetizers and after the demonstrations you get the twitchy need to max out your Visa because you must have a Crinkle Cutter or for the love of God the Suds Pump! Plus you know your husband won’t mind because normally your idea of fancy appetizers consists of jar salsa poured, delicately of course, into a ramekin.
Ahhhh the days of my youth.
Someone representing Pampered Chef e-mailed me this summer about trying their new Deep Dish Baker and it took me about two seconds to respond yes. I need all the motivation in the kitchen I can get.
I’m not the best cook in the world, but I thought I’d share a recipe I made last week with the baker. I love pasta and the fresh garlic and cherry tomatoes made the house smell like an Italian bistro. If you don’t own this deep dish baker you could certainly improvise. This made a ton of pasta and the hubby and I ended up having it as leftovers the next night with a spinach salad…love Marzetti’s Honey Balsamic Dressing, you must try it.
Grilled Chicken Penne al Fresco
4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
3 cups uncooked mezze penne pasta
3 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup dry white wine such as Chardonnay
1/2 tsp each salt and coarsely ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, divided
1 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup packed)
2 cups diced grilled chicken breasts
Additional grated fresh Parmesan cheese and coarsely ground black pepper (optional)
1. Spray Deep Covered Baker with olive oil. Slice garlic into baker using a garlic slicer. Add tomatoes. Cover; microwave on HIGH 4-5 minutes or until tomatoes begin to burst, stirring after 2 minutes. Crush tomatoes. Add pasta, broth, wine, salt and black pepper.
2. 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 and reserve 2 tbsp for garnish.
3. Carefully remove baker from microwave and remove lid, lifting away from you (very important unless you want to give your face a serious steam treatment). Add remaining basil, cheese and chicken to baker; mix well. Garnish with reserved 2 tbsp basil, additional Parmesan cheese and black pepper, if desired.
You can substitute more chicken broth for wine (I used Smoking Loon Chardonnay, which was recommended to us by the always helpful staff at West Meade Wine & Liquor Mart, also known by the girls as the bottle store.)
Visit Rachel’s blog, A Southern Fairytale, for more Mouthwatering Mondays recipes!