21 September 2009

Sunday Night Dinners

Next week, we will re-institute the tradition of Sunday Night Dinner at the house. Back when Shawn worked Sundays-Wednesdays and I lived alone, I would have my neighbor Andy and my friend Michael over for dinner on Sundays. It was a great chance to test out new recipes and watch Gilmore Girls reruns with two great friends.

When Shawn got back to a normal schedule and we moved in together, it took a while, but eventually we started Sunday dinners up again. Only now, we watch football.

Yesterday, we took advantage of what I assume will be one of the last sunny Sundays and grilled. I have been dying to make this grilled butterflied chicken from the Test Kitchen cook book, so when I saw that whole fryers were on sale at New Seasons, I jumped on it. Since we had some beautiful heirloom tomatoes and crook neck squash from our friends' CSA, I thought our chicken should be Italian influenced, and made pesto to stuff under the skin.

About a cup of fresh basil (1.5-2 oz.)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 - 3/4 cup parmagiano-reggiano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Throw all but the olive oil into the old Cuisinart, hit go, and slowly add the oil. Continue blending until smooth and thick.

Since the chicken recipe is copyrighted, I can't give it out. Basically, you just cut out the backbone, flatten it a bit, stuff some pesto under the skin, then put it on the grill (not right over the flame) for 30-45 minutes. Our 4.5 lbs. chicken took the full 45 minutes. While the chicken was resting, we put the squash on the grill, this time over the fire, and just let it get soft. All I do with it is put some olive oil and a little kosher salt and pepper on it. Let the natural flavors come out. I have to say, it was some of the best squash I've ever tasted.

As for the salad, I just cut up my tomatoes, tossed them with our delicious Rosa D'Oro olive oil from Kelseyvilla, California, and sprinkled liberally with fresh basil. I also threw on a little kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, for good measure. A few of the red ones are from my pathetically small tomato plant--not nearly as delicious as the yellow heirlooms, obviously. At least it provided a little color.

All together, it was a lovely end-of-summer meal.