Monday, September 21, 2009

Tapas Night (kind of)

Okay, the original idea was to have a tapas night, but making lots of small dishes seemed like a lot of work. Instead, we turned it into a tapas-inspired dinner of grilled chicken with strawberries and balsamic glaze and spinach with raisins and pine nuts. We also had an apple and manchego salad, but you’ll have to wait until the next post for that recipe.

This dinner was delicious and insanely easy and fast—with both of us working, the whole dinner took less than 20 minutes to make.

For the chicken:

Chicken breasts (as many as you need for your crew)

Balsamic glaze or balsamic vinegar

Strawberries, washed and sliced

1. Grill chicken, about 5 minutes a side on a medium hot grill

2. If you’re using balsamic vinegar, heat it in a small saucepan until it reduces into a thick, syrupy consistency. Remove from heat and add strawberries. If you’re using a balsamic glaze, which is basically pre-reduced balsamic vinegar, just go ahead and toss the strawberries in the glaze and stir.

3. Top the chicken with the balsamic glaze and strawberries.

For the spinach:

½ cup raisins

1 tsp olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 pound (more or less) baby spinach

1/3 cup pine nuts

1. Toast pine nuts in 350° oven for no more than 5 minutes—watch them!

2. Place raisins in a bowl. Cover with hot water. Let them soak for 5-10 minutes, until they become plump.

3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally, 5-10 minutes.

4. Add spinach to skillet (in batches if your skillet is small). Cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach wilts, 2-3 minutes. Add the plump raisins and the toasted pine nuts. Mix it all up and serve.

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