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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Got Basil?


We have an abundance of basil at the garden, which prompted me to promise the ladies at the garden that I would provide these recipes that I got from the magazine, Everyday Food. So, forgive me for posting for personal reasons, but I figured this was a good way to do it! If you have an abundance of basil (or just want to buy some), feel free to try out these recipes:

Chicken And Basil Stir Fry
1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
coarse salt and ground pepper
6 tsp. vegetable oil
1 small onion, halved and cut into 1/4 inch thick wedges
2 bell peppers, (red, green or a mix) ribs and seeds removed, cut into 1/4 wide strips
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1.5 cups fresh basil leaves, larger leaves torn in half
cooked white or brown rice, for serving

Pat chicken pieces dry with paper towels.

In a medium bowl, toss chicken with cornstarch until coated; season generously with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium high. Cook half the chicken, turning once, until browned but not completely cooked through (2-3 minutes total). Transfer to a plate.

Repeat with 2 tsp of oil and other half of chicken. Transfer to a plate.
Wipe out skillet with paper towel. Add remaining 2 tsp. oil, onion, peppers; cook over medium-high heat, tossing often until beginning to brown, 3 minutes. Add garlic, cook until fragrant; about one minute. Add 1/4 cup water, vinegar, soy sauce, and chicken to pan. Cook, tossing until chicken is cooked through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in basil leaves. Serve immediately over rice, if desired.

Shrimp, Tomato and Basil Pasta
1.5 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails removed)
coarse salt and ground pepper
6 teaspoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes in juice
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 pound linguine
1.5 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
Season shrimp with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 4 tsp. oil over high. Add shrimp, cook until opaque throughout, turning occasionally, 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, set aside.

Make sauce: To the same skillet add remaining 2 tsp oil and garlic, cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add canned tomatoes and their juice, along with 2 cups water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have softened and are saucy, about 15 minutes. Remove sauce from heat; stir in cherry tomatoes. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta to al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, return pasta to pot. Add tomato sauce, shrimp, and basil; season with salt and pepper and toss. Serve immediately.

Classic Pesto
1/2 cup pine nuts
4 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves (2 ounces)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/3 cup EVOO
Preheat oven to 350. Spread nuts on a rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until golden and fragrant; tossing once, 8-10 minutes. Remove from baking sheet to prevent further browning. Let cool completely. In a food processor, combine nuts, basil, cheese, and garlic, season with salt and pepper. Process until finely chopped. With machine running, pour oil in a steady stream through the feed tube, process until smooth. Makes 1 cup.

Basil Butter
In a small bowl, combine 1 cup (2 sticks) room temperature butter and 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil, season generously with coarse salt and ground pepper. Stir until well combined. Transfer to an 11X10 inch piece of parchment or waxed paper. Roll into a cylinder, about 6 inches long and 2 inches in diameter, twist ends to seal. Refrigerate until firm, about two hours. To serve, unwrap and slice an crosswise. To store, refrigerate wrapped in waxed paper, up to 1 week. To freeze, transfer cylinder, wrapped in waxed paper, to a resealable plastic bag and freeze for up to three months.
Try Basil Butter on broiled or grilled white fish, on grilled steak or chicken, on corn on the cob or boiled potatoes, with boiled green beans or peas.
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4 comments:

Debra said...

MB,
I dont have a ton of basil, but I will try the recipes. My family loves the bbq chicken in the crockpot, so incredibly easy.

Thanks,
Debra

Anonymous said...

FYI, Pesto freezed wonderfully and you can make it go a tad farther by adding some heavy cream.

Anonymous said...

that was supposed to be freezes!

Kate said...

Wow, I have tons of basil...it's my one prolific garden crop...and now I have some recipes for the surplus. Thanks!!