Goat Cheese

Pesto Chicken with Portobello, Goat Cheese Drizzle and Toasted Pistachios

A couple of months ago I went to Austin, TX. Yeah, Austin. If you are from Texas and anything like me, you probably roll your eyes when people say Austin. And no, Austin is not bad. And the people that live there are not bad either. I’m sure someone is in Austin reading this thinking, “Oh no, he dint!” (shaking their head and patting their weave). Well, obviously I like Austin. But there are just so many people who LOOOOVE Austin. It’s fine. I don’t judge you. I LOOOVE my couch and I LOOOOVE Netflix and Carbs. So, we’re even.

This is inspired by a dish I had at some restaurant down there. Oh man was it delicious. Jack something or other. Well, I changed a few changes and made it a teeny bit healthier. You know, the whole “wanting to live past 30 without looking like Fred Flintstone,” thing. I’m really just a fancy whippersnapper.

Yes, this recipe is exactly as tasty as it sounds. Exactly as rich. And way more healthy than it sounds. This meal has approximately 38 grams of protein.

Know how I know that? Google. Know what that means? You feel more full and your belly looks less like a belly and more like abs. It’s magic.

Pesto Chicken with Portobellos, Goat Cheese Drizzle and Toasted Pistachios

Pesto Chicken with Portobello, Goat Cheese Drizzle and Toasted Pistachios

2 Chicken Breasts, tenderized

2 Portobello Mushrooms, rinsed and cleaned

6 oz. Jarred Basil Pesto

2-3 Cloves Garlic, minced

1 Sprig Rosemary, minced

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Shelled Pistachios

Start by marinating the chicken breast with the pesto. I just used whatever I could find at the market out of convenience, but I think most small jars are about 6-8 ounces. And, to make it even easier, don’t clean out the jar completely. There will be plenty left sticking to the jar. Fill the jar with olive oil, seal and shake. Pour all that goodness over the Portobello’s and marinate them with the garlic and rosemary. Your seasoning is done.

Don’t we love when we don’t have to “think” about stuff?!

This is perfect to do over a lunch branch or quick few minutes before heading to the gym (if you’re into that). It makes the process so much quicker.

When you’re ready to cook, warm the grill or skillet to about medium heat and cook the chicken until you’re confident you will not get salmonella or Ebola.

Grill the mushrooms on both sides until they are heated thoroughly and tender. Doing this really activates the flavor and basically makes a delicious sauce FOR you. It’s exciting and we want that.

In a separate skillet, toast the pistachios over medium heat. This gives the dish a delicious crunch but shake the skillet around often. Pistachios cook quickly and a burnt pistachio is not sexy.

If you are a good American and choose to have a Goat Cheese Drizzle, warm about 3 ounces of Fresh Goat Cheese with approximately 1–1½ tablespoons of milk. Stir frequently until you get a rich, smooth texture.

Depending on your serving choices, layer the chicken over the mushroom and top with Goat Cheese and Pistachios.

So good!

Fifty Shades of Mac N' Cheese

Aren’t you sick of eating the same old Mac N’ Cheese? No? Me neither.

I love that crap. Doesn’t matter if it is gourmet or cheese dust out of a blue box, if someone makes Mac N' Cheese I will definitely be having fourths.

Don’t even lie. It’s just me, you, and your monitor. We all know the truth. Nod your head in agreement.

I love this recipe because of cheese and everything else in it. It’s delicious and oh so good.

I actually made it for my friends the other day and was trying to think of a clever, witty name. I really wanted something that clearly notified you that this is not your mom's Mac N' Cheese and you're probably not going to see it at your next church potluck. Not that it's not heavenly, cause let's get real. It is. That’s when my dear, goddess of a friend Tricia said, "Fifty Shades of Mac N’ Cheese."

And thus, she is my friend. Because that’s perfect.

Fifty Shades of Mac n' Cheese

Fifty Shades of Mac N’ Cheese

1 Large Package Shell Noodles, cooked al dente

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

4-5 Baby Portobello Mushrooms, finely chopped

1 Tablespoon Flour

½ Pint Heavy Whipping Cream

6 oz. Fresh Goat Cheese

2 Cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Small Can Sliced Pimentos, drained

Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, Italian Seasoning, to taste

Sautee the mushrooms and olive oil in a medium sauce pan until they become tender. Add the flour and stir well until it cooks down. This gives it a nice, rich creamy flavor. Raise your hand if you don’t love that.

(Notice no hands being raised)

Once the flour is well combined and cooked out, pour in the cream and continue stirring. Over medium heat, add the cheeses, pimentos and seasonings. Once the cheese is melted down and the mixture is smooth as a little baby’s hiney-bow, combine it with your cooked noodles.

If you’re making this ahead of time (which works perfect), pour the mac n’ cheese into a covered casserole dish and bake until the cheese bubbles, about 20 minutes at 350.

I hope you enjoy this sinfully delicious gluttony!