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The Spokesman-Review

Lemon Garlic Chicken with Polenta and Roasted Tomatoes

From Monica Meglasson, Caterina Winery

Roasted Tomatoes:

1 to 2 pounds small red tomatoes, cut in half through the top (see note)

15 cloves garlic

Sea salt

Olive oil, to coat

Fresh cracked pepper

For the Lemon Garlic Chicken (per person):

1/2 cup Caterina Sauvignon Blanc

1/4 cup olive oil

Leaves from 1 sprig fresh oregano,

Pinch of sea salt

Fresh squeezed lemon juice from 1/2 lemon

Fresh cracked pepper

4 to 5 cloves garlic

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast half, pounded flat

For the Polenta:

3 cups chicken broth or water

1 cup polenta, or corn grits, coarse ground cornmeal (see note)

1 1/2 tablespoons butter, optional

Sea salt, to taste

Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated, to taste

For the Roasted Tomatoes: Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Cut the tomatoes and place in a large mixing bowl. Chop or press the garlic into the bowl. Sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle with enough oil to lightly coat tomatoes. Gently stir until the tomatoes are evenly coated. Arrange skin side down in a single layer on a baking pan. Crack pepper over the tomatoes and place in the oven.

The tomatoes can be served once they are heated through. However, Meglasson prefers to let them bake longer in order to infuse the flavors, up to 2 hours or more.

To make the Lemon Garlic Chicken, combine wine, olive oil, oregano, sea salt, lemon juice, pepper and garlic into a blender to emulsify. Pound chicken breasts flat and place in a heavy-duty zip-top bag. Pour marinade over the chicken breasts. Seal and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator before lighting the charcoal or grill so you can bring the chicken to room temperature before grilling. Just before putting the chicken on the grill, start the polenta.

Combine polenta and chicken broth (or water) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat a simmer gently stirring frequently to prevent sticking, until mixture is very thick. Stir in butter if you wish and add salt to taste. Oil a deep medium-sized bowl and spoon the polenta into the bowl and let it set for 10 minutes.

Grill chicken over soaked oak barrel chips (available at Caterina) until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer. Reserve the marinade. While the chicken is cooking, heat the reserved marinade in a saucepan until boiling. Remove from heat and strain. Return sauce to the pan and add 1/2 cup of Caterina Sauvignon Blanc per person and gently simmer. Remove from heat after about 10 minutes.

When chicken is cooked through place on a plate and cover tightly with foil. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes.

Cut polenta into wedges and place on plates. Divide roasted tomatoes and arrange on plates. Drizzle sauce over chicken and allow it to pool on the bottom of plates. Crack pepper over polenta and generously sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Note: If you can’t find small tomatoes, cut larger ones into quarters. Polenta, or corn grits, can be found in bulk at Huckleberry’s and Fred Meyer. It is also available at most other supermarkets with other grains and cereals.

Yield: Varies.

Approximate nutrition per serving, based on 6 ounces chicken, 2 ounces polenta, 2 tomatoes and 2 tablespoons sauce: 413 calories, 14.7 grams fat (3.5 grams saturated, 32 percent fat calories), 37 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrate, 93 milligrams cholesterol, 2 grams dietary fiber, 678 milligrams sodium.

Vineyard Baked Brie

From Monica Meglasson, Caterina Winery

Puff pastry sheets, thawed (see note)

1 wheel of brie cheese or a wedge of cut brie, depending on preference and the number servings desired

1 cup Caterina Cabernet Sauvignon

1 cup balsamic vinegar

Red seedless grapes, enough to cover the bottom of serving dish

Fresh basil leaves (optional)

Working on a well-floured surface, roll out the puff pastry slightly if necessary so that it will cover the brie. Place the brie in the middle of the puff pastry and fold the excess pastry around the cheese, pinching together on top. If the pastry doesn’t seal, brush on a little water using fingertips.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

While the brie is baking, pour the wine and balsamic vinegar into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce until thick and syrupy.

Slice the grapes in half. Gently stir grapes into reduced mixture and spoon into the bottom of a serving dish. Place the baked brie in pastry on top of the grapes to serve. Garnish with whole basil leaves, if desired.

Note: Puff pastry sheets can be found in the freezer section of most supermarkets.

Yield: Varies.

Approximate nutrition per serving: Unable to calculate due to recipe variables.

Caramelized Pear and Gorgonzola Pizza

From Monica Meglasson of Caterina Winery

Pizza dough, enough for 2 6- to 8-inch pizzas (see note)

1 to 2 Walla Walla sweet onions, sliced paper thin

Olive oil, divided

4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, or more to taste

2 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons brown sugar

1 to 2 pears, ripe but firm

Sea salt, to taste

2 to 4 ounces gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

Fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Chopped walnuts, optional

Fresh basil, optional

Open a bottle of Caterina Sauvignon Blanc – it makes cooking more fun. Roll pizza dough into two very thin, 6- to 8-inch rounds and set aside on baking sheets.

Slice onions into paper thin rings and sauté in olive oil and balsamic vinegar until dark and sticky. Melt butter and brown sugar in a skillet until browned and bubbly.

Core pears and cut lengthwise into 1/8 -inch thick slices. Add pears to butter and brown sugar mixture and toss until coated and remove from heat.

Brush pizza dough lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle each crust with sea salt. Fan pears onto dough. String soft onions over pears. Crumble gorgonzola cheese and crack fresh pepper over the pizzas. Bake until crust is golden brown or according to pizza dough instructions.

Garnish with chopped walnuts and fresh basil, if desired.

Note: Meglasson uses frozen, uncooked bread rolls when she doesn’t have time to make her own pizza dough. She rolls each one out into a little personal-sized pizza.

Yield: 2 (6- to 8-inch) pizzas

Approximate nutrition per serving: Unable to calculate due to recipe variables.

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