Saturday, May 22, 2010

Campanelle with Pesto Labneh and Balsamic Glaze

IMG_1336 Recently I saw a recipe that really interested me but because I can never leave well enough alone, I decided to add, subtract and do my own interpretation and though I've never tried the original recipe, I have to say that mine was a huge success.

Campanelle with Pesto Labneh and Balsamic Glaze

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
garlic powder
salt & pepper
2 pints grape tomatoes
1 cup whole garlic cloves
olive oil
1 lb. Campanella pasta or pasta of your choice
1 cup labneh*
1 cup basil pesto, extra oil drained off
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
balsamic glaze**

Pre-heat oven to 450F.

On a foil lined baking pan place the tomatoes and lightly dress with olive oil, salt & pepper. In a foil packet place the garlic cloves and dress lightly with olive oil, salt & pepper. Seal the foil around the garlic and place on a baking sheet. Roast the tomatoes and garlic until they start to caramelize, approximately 20 minutes for the tomatoes and 30 minutes for the garlic.

Lay chicken breasts on a baking sheet and season with garlic powder, salt & pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing thinly.

Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, in a large bowl mix together the labneh, pesto, Parmesan-Reggiano, milk and salt & pepper to taste. Add the cooked pasta to the bowl and toss to cover with the pesto mix. Add the sliced chicken, tomatoes, garlic and pine nuts and lightly toss.

Place pasta in serving bowls and drizzle with balsamic glaze.


* You can substitute 1/2 cup cream cheese plus 1/2 cup of either sour cream or Greek yogurt for the labneh.

** To make your own balsamic glaze, place two cups of balsamic vinegar in a heavy bottomed pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and very slowly simmer, stirring occasionally and being careful not to let the mixture burn. Cook the vinegar until it reduces to approximately 1/2 cup and nicely coats the back of a spoon. Place into a container or squeeze bottle and place in the refrigerator. The glaze will keep for months in the refrigerator.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Chinese Five Spice Wings with Labneh & Cilantro Dipping Sauce

P5210040aWe adore hot and spicy wings and these with the combination of Chinese five-spice and cayenne are right up our alley.  They are easily made in the oven, which is great as I really don’t like frying, but they still come out nice and crispy.  The dipping sauce is a nice cool foil and because it’s dairy it helps cut the capsicum.
Chinese Five Spice Wings with Labneh & Cilantro Dipping Sauce
For dipping sauce:
  • 1/2 cup labneh*
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise 
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup of finely minced cilantro
  • sea salt & ground pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 500F.

In a large bowl mix together the five spice powder, cayenne, salt & pepper. Add wing pieces and toss to coat until all the spices are attached to the wings. Lay the wings skin side up on an aluminum foil lined baking sheets and bake for 25-30 minutes.

While the wings are cooking, mix together all the dipping sauce ingredients and allow for the tastes to blend.

Serve the spicy wings with the cooling sauce.

* you can substitute 1/4 cup sour cream mixed with 1/4 cup cream cheese for the labneh.
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