Parmesan Crusted Chicken
Limoncello Cheesecake Supreme
16 oz Fresh Mozzarella Chess (preferably buffalo milk)
3-4 Large Vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced
10-12 Basil Leaves, torn
Honey Balsamic Vinegar (www.cookingdepot.com)
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Slice mozzarella 1/8-inch thick. Arrange alternately with tomato slices on a platter. Scatter torn basil leaves over the top. Lightly drizzle with the balsamic vinegar, then more generously with the olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Makes 1-1 1/2 cups
3 cups Fresh Basil, tightly packed
1/2 cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 clove Garlic, finely minced
6 tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
3 tbsp Chopped Pine Nuts (optional)
Place the basil, cheese, garlic and olive oil in the bowl of a food processor and process to a smooth paste. Add pine nuts if using, and process again. Store tightly covered in refrigerator for up to one week; or freeze in ice cube tray, break out “cubes” and store in freezer in a zip-top bag.
Parmesan Crusted Chicken
6 small Boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Salt and Pepper to taste
3/4 cup Flour for Dredging
1 Egg, beaten
1/2 cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs
1/2 cup Finely Grated Parmesan (not from the green can)
3-4 tbsp Pecan Oil
To prepare chicken: Pound chicken breasts to an even thickness between plastic wrap. Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge breasts in flour. Dip chicken in beaten egg, then in mixture of breadcrumbs and cheese. Refrigerate 10 minutes to allow egg to dry and crumbs to set. Heat a small amount of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, a few pieces at a time to prevent crowding. Sauté until golden brown on each side. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes until cooked through.
Make-ahead tip: Chicken can be breaded and browned early in the day.
8 oz Cream Cheese, cut into small cubes and softened
1 cup Basil Pesto, homemade or storebought
3/4 cup Half and Half
3/4 cup Whipping Cream
1/2 tsp Crushed dried red pepper
1 clove Garlic, pressed
1 cup Reserved Pasta Water, or more as needed
1 lb Linguine, cooked “al dente”
Parmesan Cheese, grated
To prepare the sauce: In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine all sauce ingredients. Stir frequently to combine as cream cheese melts. Adjust seasoning and keep warm. After pasta is cooked, add enough reserved pasta water to the sauce to reach the desired consistency.
To assemble and serve: After the pasta has been cooked and drained, reserve some pasta water to finish the sauce. Do not rinse the cooked pasta. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss well to coat. Serve on plates or bowls. Sprinkle lightly with grated Parmesan cheese, top with chicken breast whole or sliced, and garnish with fresh basil. Serve immediately. For a more authentic dish from Genoa, serve pasta with steamed green beans and small boiled new potatoes — molto delicioso!
Limoncello Cheesecake Supreme
1 3/4 cups Biscotti Crumbs or Vanilla Wafer Cookie Crumbs
2 tbsp Sugar
3 tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted
32 oz Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature
1 1/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
2 tbsp Lemon Zest
3 tbsp Limoncello
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1/2 cup Lemon Curd
1/4 cup Sugar
1 tbsp Lemoncello (Italian lemon-flavored liquor)
Lemon Zest or Lemon Slices for garnish
Mint Sprigs for garnish
To prepare the crust: Lightly grease a 9-inch Springform pan. Tightly wrap the bottom and sides of the pan with double thickness of heavy duty foil. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse biscotti or cookies to make fine crumbs. Measure out 1¾ Cups and place in a medium mixing bowl; store any remaining crumbs for another use. Add sugar and melted butter to crumbs in the bowl; mix well. Press crumb mixture evenly over the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the prepared pan. Refrigerate while making filling.
To prepare the filling: Preheat oven to 350°. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add sugar and beat well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add remaining filling ingredients and beat until smooth. Carefully pour into the pan, taking care not to disturb the crust. Place filled pan into a roasting pan with 2-3 inch sides and fill with hot water halfway up the side of the Springform pan. Bake in the water bath for 50-60 minutes.
To prepare topping: In a small bowl mix topping ingredients together until smooth. Very gently place small dollops of the topping over the top of the hot cheesecake, and smooth with a rubber spatula. Return cheesecake (still in the water bath) to the oven and bake an additional 10 minutes. Turn oven off, but leave cheesecake undisturbed in the oven for 1½ hours longer. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and from the water bath. Cool completely and refrigerate until well chilled — best if overnight.
To serve: Carefully run a table knife around the inside of the pan to loosen any edges that might be clinging. Gently remove the outside ring of the Springform pan. Transfer cheesecake with an extra-large spatula or cake lifter to a serving platter. Slice with a knife dipped into hot water, dried, and wiped clean between slices. Garnish with lemon zest or thin slices of lemon and mint before serving.
Make Ahead Tip: Bake cheesecake a day or two in advance. Store in the refrigerator.
FYI–Limoncello is an intensely flavored lemon liqueur from Italy. It is often served in a small cordial, with biscotti, after dinner (dunk the biscotti — it’s divine!). Serve limoncello icy cold. We keep our bottle in the freezer. The alcohol prevents it from freezing.