Our group chose chicken parmigiana and our three variations are:
- A super healthy variety with grilled chicken, whole wheat pasta and lower fat cheeses.
- A version using ground chicken almost like chicken parmigiana meatballs
- And a 100% traditional version.
Since we were having people over...I decided to also use this as an opportunity to try a recipe for tomato and goat cheese tarts that my director at work had given me from the Back to Basics Ina book. Puff Pastry is such a fun and delicious thing to play around with. You can really put almost anything on them and they will turn out delicious.They included carmelized onions and garlic, goat cheese, tomatoes and basil.....I mean with those ingredients..could anything really be bad?? The onions cook for so long that they are almost sweet and completely carmelized... I could have probably just snacked on those right out of the pan...but I digress...
Next came the star of the show, the chicken parmigiana... I loved the olives in the chunky homemade tomato sauce....although next time I make this recipe I will probably not drain the whole tomatoes as the recipe calls for, to try and give the sauce more of a sauce consistency....rather than almost a salsa consistency...but I thought the flavors were great and the chicken was cooked perfectly....topped with fresh mozzarella and served with a simple caesar salad....yum!
For an impromptu dessert we had chocolate marshmallow bananas. Unfortunately everyone (including me) scarfed theirs down before I remembered to take a picture of it...but they are so yummy and fun to make. I cut a slit off the side of the banana and gave everyone theirs along with chocolate chips, marshmallows and cinnamon and they stuffed in whatever they wanted, then covered it back up with the peel I cut off. Then I popped it in the oven until the banana was soft and the chocolate and marshmallows were melty....( I usually do this on the grill, but we were inside, so it went in the oven instead)...its so yummy. The banana is warm and soft...and who doesnt love melty chocolate and marshmallow...yum!