Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pesto Making Thyme!







Remember all that basil I was rooting?  Combine
that with my friend's basil from her awesome farm
and guess what time it is?  Pesto making time! My recipe
comes from my Blendtec cookbook (I know...this Blendtec 
stuff is starting to get old!) and it is soooo good.
So here goes!



You need at least two cups of fresh basil leaves



2 medium cloves of garlic - peeled and minced


1/8 cup of lemon juice ~
fresh is always better, but since I didn't have 
a fresh lemon, this worked just fine.


1/2 tsp oregano; 1/4 cup parsley; (and I threw thyme in 
because I had it.


Tip of the day ::
Make your self a "pot of herbs" ~
just take your fresh herbs; place them in a glass 
jar with a wet paper towel in the bottom
of the jar, and sprinkle a few drops of water 
on them daily.  Cover and keep in 
refrigerator.  If you have a Blendtec
or Vitamix, you can throw herbs in without
taking leaves off the stem.  If not, simply run your 
fingers down stem the wrong way, and you 
always have fresh herbs for your kitchen
concoctions!  It will keep for several weeks
if you are diligent about adding several
 drops of water to it.



Back to the recipe ::
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Because we don't have exotic grocery
stores here, we are reduced to 
(yikes) Kraft ~ but it is a step up from
the Albertson's brand!  It really
works just fine and is economical.



3/4 olive oil ~ I don't skimp here and use
the good stuff! 



Finally, one cup of slivered almonds.
I have substituted pecans or pine nuts
and it all tastes good. 

salt, pepper to taste and as always,
a shake of Tony Chacheres :)


Now the fun begins.....
Place in Blendtec or food processor; 
not sure if this will work in conventional
blender, but it should work in food processor.



It may take several attempts, just use your
trusty wooden spoon to move stuff around
and blend until you get....



THIS!!!!!!!



And that is it!  Homemade Pesto will 
keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.  It isn't 
as pretty and green as when you first make it, but it
still tastes incredible!  Keep some in the fridge and 
freeze one of two ways ~ 
- old fashion ice cube trays - they work well and
you can pop out cubes as you need them, but 
I have trouble keeping them covered in the
freezer.  So I tried another suggestion;  
- place pesto in zip lock plastic bag;
flatten and squeeze out air.  
Close bag and freeze.  The nice thing
about this is that you can open bag and 
break of pieces according to how much you need to use. 
This is now my favorite way to freeze it and it 
also works with other sauces.  It stores well in the 
freezer as you can label and stack them!

New Favorite Recipe ::

Pesto Chicken

This recipe may be out there already, but I invented 
it the other day and it is
 quick and easy and......fabulous!

Boneless Chicken
 (if you have time to pound and flatten
great ~ if not it works too)
Salt and pepper (or TC - Tony Chachere) 
 the chicken to your taste.
Liberally spread pesto on one side of raw chicken breast.
Mix equal parts of bread crumbs and
 Parmesan cheese in bowl.  Roll pesto'd chicken
in bread crumb mixture.  My favorite 
bread crumbs to use are the Japanese Panko type.
Bread both sides of chicken
and saute on low heat in olive oil.  

Some other great uses of your pesto ~ 
* spread on sandwiches (my girls love it on the 
sandwiches sent for school lunches)
* mix into store bought spaghetti sauce  ~ 
really jazzes it up!
* Take fresh or frozen pesto and throw into l
bowl of freshly boiled pasta!

If anyone has another suggestion and can give some 
more recipes for pesto ~ I am all ears as I have 
a lot of pesto in the freezer and lots more basil to 
make into pesto.








2 comments:

  1. I love pesto with chicken. Have you ever made maple syrup pesto? Delicious!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am sending you a wheel of parmesan for Christmas! Kraft?? Just doesn't measure up. Oh- toast your pine nuts before making the pesto- GREAT flavor! I've never heard of using almonds- sounds good. A friend made a pesto with mint, and served it over chicken. It was delicious! And if you mix your pesto with a little cream cheese, it makes a great dip for anything from chicken skewers to cheese puffs (not cheetos, but the home made things... what are they called?!).

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