A Great Local Recipe, Craft Beers and More

In a random move, I came across the Taste of Home website (tasteofhome.com), and the first recipe that came up was grilled basil chicken and tomatoes submitted by “a cook from Exton, PA.” So, for fun, I hit the link to check it out. It’s low fat and looks pretty easy, so I figured some of you might like to try it. And just the mere coincidence of me landing on this site makes the recipe a worthy mention. Kudos to Laura Lunardi for getting her recipe featured on the site and for the five-star rating she’s accrued by Taste of Home fans.

I’m not going to lie, the site is a little cheesy, but there are some pretty lucrative recipe contests if you’re looking for some extra cash. I’m thinking about entering the “Power Foods” one myself (deadline is mid-July).

Grilled Basil Chicken and Tomatoes
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus marinating
Grill Time: 10 minutes

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8 plum tomatoes, divided
¾ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
2 tbsps. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
½ tsp. salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (4 oz. each)

1. Cut four tomatoes into quarters and place in a food processor. Add the vinegar, basil, oil, garlic and salt; cover and process until blended.

2. Pour a 1/2 cup of dressing into a small bowl; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Pour the remaining dressing into a large, re-sealable plastic bag; add chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for up to one hour.

3. Coat the grill rack with cooking spray before starting the grill. Drain and discard marinade. Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat for 4-6 minutes on each side, or until juices run clear. Cut the remaining tomatoes in half; grill for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until tender. Serve with chicken and reserved dressing.

Yield: 4 servings

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Nutrition Facts:
One serving: ½ chicken breast, 1 tomato and 2 tablespoons dressing
Calories: 174
Fat: 5 g.
Saturated Fat: 1 g.
Cholesterol: 63 mg.
Sodium: 179 mg.
Carbohydrate: 7 g.
Fiber: 1 g.
Protein: 24 g.
Diabetic Exchange: 3 very lean meat, 1 vegetable, ½ fat

Now that the healthy stuff is out of the way, here’s a quick reminder about Philly Beer Week and this weekend’s Philly Craft Beer Festival (Saturday, March 1; phillycraftbeerfest.com). Alas, I am unable to attend, but if you like beer, this is your chance to taste all kinds of delectable brews—including a special, cask-conditioned porter from Yuengling—made only for the Philly beer fest and not available anywhere else. Don’t believe me? Then ask my cousin, Andrew Fratianni, recently appointed brewmaster of Yuengling’s brewery in Pottstown. If you can’t make it to the festival, the porter will also be available on March 11 at City Tavern’s “Meet the Brewer” dinner and at Joe Sixpack’s special tasting on March 7.

Andrew has been making beer since he was a kid, and he has a pretty illustrious career in the biz. I am sure he would love a call or e-mail with any questions on what Yuengling is up to these days, and on the special-release porter. Just don’t tell him I gave out his e-mail … afratianni@yuengling.com.

Our Best of the Main Line Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!