Saturday, September 5, 2009

Stuffed Grilled Chicken and Bananas Foster

Every once in a while, I found myself bumbling into recipe that is so damned good and so damned easy it makes me look like a professional chef.

Take a chicken breast and clean it (you should always to that). With it laid out on a cutting board, cut into the side and create a pocket like a pita pocket. Shove into said pocket a few sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese and some basil leaves. With an oiled toothpick (I used simple vegetable oil), close up the pocket. While the grill warms up, marinate the breast in olive oil and lemon juice with liberal amounts of salt and pepper. Grill. Done. Delicious. Gone.

For a side dish, it was simply portobello mushrooms stuffed with cream cheese and spinach. Oh sure, at this point, I suspect I could tell you how I spent tons of time preparing them. The actual time involved was the time needed to swipe a card at the grocery store. Sure, they were ready to heat, but don't let that fool you. They were delicious, too.

Dessert was every bit as fabulous and every bit as easy to make. We need, by the way, to square away the name - Bananas Foster (not to be confused with Bananas in Fosters ( I can only imagine how gross that would be!)). While I did not torch the recipe, it was really damned good. Butter, brown sugar, a squeak of vanilla, and a shot of rum in the frying pan. Add some walnut and sliced bananas for a few minutes. Serve over vanilla ice cream. Damned good.

Of course, a full-fledged gourmet meal would not be complete with out a gourmet beer (read: non- junk). I have recently become a fan of saison style of beers, but, unfortunately, the Golden Cap (#628) from the New Holland Brewing Company does not pass muster. Well, let me take that back. It was horrible by any means ; it was just not as good as others of the same style. Average at best. A three.

The dessert beer paired with the Bananas Foster, as recommended by the cook book, was a Pale Ale. Stoudts Double IPA (#629), from the Stoudt's Brewing Company, got the call. An absolutely spectacular coppery color with a solid creamy feel on the palate. The light to moderate hop finish was subdued by the sweet of the sauce on the ice cream making for a solid after dinner beverage. A solid four out of 5.

Total prep time for the whole meal was in the order of minutes. Really. Easy and good.

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