Tuesday, July 27, 2010

We're Back...

We have been back from Europe for a while. And I miss it already. I miss the coffee and my daily brie fix. Brie for breakfast, snack, lunch...well, you get the picture. I regret not smuggling some back home.

Summer is here and so is grilling. I love grilling and eating outside. And there is nothing better than Grilled Chicken and Onion Quesadilla. Oh, and margaritas.

Grilled Chicken and Onion Quesadilla 

Serves: 4 - 6 

1 whole Chicken Breast, boneless and skinless
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh Parsley, roughly chopped
1 Jalapeño Peppers, seeded and sliced
2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon fresh Lime Juice
1 large Vidalia Onion, cut into thick slices
1/2 teaspoon fresh Greek Oregano, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Fontina Cheese, shredded
8 (6-inch diameter) Flour Tortillas

Combine water, parsley, jalapeno, lime juice and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a food processor. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place chicken breast in shallow baking dish. Pour marinade over, coating completely. Cover and refrigerate for about 4 - 6 hours.

Preheat grill to medium-heat heat. Remove chicken from the marinade and grill until cooked through, about 5 - 6 minutes per side. Brush onions with the remaining extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with oregano and season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill onions until tender, about 4 - 5 minutes on each side.

Remove chicken from the grill and let rest for about 10 minutes before cutting. Allowing the chicken to rest, will reassure that the juices redistribute throughout the meat. Slice the chicken breast into 1/4-inch pieces.

Set the grill to medium-low heat. Depending on the size of your grill, place 3 or 4 tortillas on the grill. Sprinkle with a thin layer of cheese, chicken, and onions. Top with another tortilla and grill until browned and crispy on each side, about 2 - 3 minutes on each side. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cut into wedges and serve with salsa verde. 

Salsa Verde 

Yields: about 2 cups

1 pound Tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed well and sliced in half
2 Jalapeño Peppers, sliced in half and seeded
1 small White Onion, quartered
2 cloves Garlic
1 Lime, zest and juice
1/2 cup Parsley
1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Sugar
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat the boiler. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the tomatillos, jalapeños and onions in a single layer with the cut side down. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Place under the broiler for about 5 - 6 minutes to lightly blacken the skin. Feel free to remove some of the charred skin if you like. Place tomatillos, jalapeños, onions, garlic, lime juice, lime zest, parsley, crushed peppers and sugar in a food processor (or blender). Pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to cool in the refrigerator.

Okay, before I give you my super top secret margarita recipe, do not judge me. =) This is the easiest and yummiest margarita you'll ever make. No squeezing or juicing limes required...I know, easy!?

Lazy Margaritas 
Yields: about 4 - 6 cups

1 (12-ounce) bottle Beer, I use Tecate
1 (12-ounce) Limeade concentrate, thawed
3/4 cup Tequila
1 Lime, sliced

Rub the rims of each glass with the lime slices. Dip each glass rim in kosher salt to coat.

In large pitcher, combine beer, limeade, and tequila. Stir to combine and pour over ice. If desired, garnish with lime slices.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ciao Italia

So, after our awesome trip to Germany, our next stop is Naturno, Italy. It has been my long, long dream to visit Italy. Well, to be exact; it's been my long, long dream to visit Florence, Italy. My husband and I are hopping into our rental car and driving there. It's about a 3 hour drive, not so bad since were are taking the scenic route.

To get to Italy from Lichtenstein, we drive through the Alps...I know, cool right? The different views are so serene and just splendid. At times, we about 4,810 meters (15,782 feet) from sea level. The roads are so narrow at times, but the view outweighs the scary driving.

Yup...! That's an actual road on the edge of the Alps. Nuts... right?!

The whole drive there, I brushed up on my Italian, only to find out that they predominately speak German (D'oh). Only 2.89% speak Italian here. Naturno was once part of Austria until World War II. Okay, okay...I'll stop with the history lesson. Oh, how I love places full of history and culture. It's just amazes me.

So, of course I ate pizza while I was here. I mean how could I not, I'm in Italy. I was told by locals that they have the best pizza by far in Italy. And boy, was it delicious. I had a brie pizza (I just can't stop eating the brie...it's so good. you can't find this quality back at home) and my husband had some form of pepperoni on his.

After eating a whole pizza each. Yes, we each ate a whole pizza. It was just that good. I truck my way towards Juval Castle... After all, I needed to burn off the pizza I ate. By the way, it was the first mansion built in Naturno. The castle is nestled majestically in the mountains where vineyards and apple trees flourish against a background. So quaint. Unfortunately for me, I didn't have enough time to actually hike up to visit the castle due to the weather. My stay in Italy was not long enough, we were only there for two days.

I did get to visit St. Procolo Church. Okay, I studied Art History in college and this is where my dorky-ness comes out. So, as you can imagine I was super excited to see the pre-Carolingian and Gothic frescoes at the church.

Unfortunately, the fresco has faded... but we can still see some of the beauty that is left

By the way, the path that you see in this picture is called Via Claudia Augusta. It's an old Roman road used during 46AD that linked Italy and Germany. Isn't it astonishing that they used to walk this path on foot through the Alps to Germany...amazing.

He's Italian. So cute...and Fluffy!
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