Chris's Corner: A delicious bit of summer fare

Chris Dryden

Summer Chicken and Mushroom Pasta

8 oz. packaged dried penne pasta

1 lb. chicken tender strips, (raw)

Salt & pepper, to taste

2 Tbsp. olive oil or cooking oil divided

3 Tbsp. garlic, minced

3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

½ cup chicken broth

¼ cup dry white wine

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

¼ cup shredded basil leaves

3 Tbsp. snipped fresh oregano

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Fresh ground black pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions in lightly salted boiling water.  Drain and return to a saucepan; keep warm. Meanwhile, season chicken with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 Tbsp. of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add chicken and garlic; cook and stir about 5 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink. Remove from skillet. Cook mushrooms and onion in hot oil until just tender, stirring occasionally. Add chicken broth and white wine. Bring to boiling; reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add cooked pasta, chicken, tomatoes, basil, and oregano mushroom mixture; toss to coat. Transfer to serving dish; top with the grated cheese, fresh ground pepper and fresh herbs for garnish. Serves 6

Big Easy Crab Dip

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

½ cup sour cream

3 Tbsp. horseradish

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

1 Tbsp. coarse ground mustard

2 tsp. hot sauce of choice, or more

1 cup lump crabmeat

1 bunch baby carrots

1 bunch celery, cut into sticks

Blend cream cheese, sour cream, horseradish, parsley, mustard, and hot sauce in medium bowl until well mixed. Stir in crabmeat. Serve with veggies and crackers.

Marinated Tomatoes with Red Onions and Crumbled Blue Cheese

1 ½ cups red-wine vinegar

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1 small red onion, peeled thinly sliced

¼ cup thinly sliced chives

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 lbs. ripe tomatoes

3 oz. (3/4 cup) cheese, blue, gorgonzola, feta…, etc, your choice

In a medium pan, stir the red-wine vinegar with 1 tsp. of salt until it has dissolved. Add the onion. Add a bit of water if needed and let simmer 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the chives, oil and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Prepare tomatoes and slice into ¼ inch thick slices. Put the tomatoes in a serving bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over the tomatoes and marinate them for 15 minutes. Drain the onions, pressing them lightly to squeeze out any extra vinegar. Rinse onions again, add to tomatoes and toss. Season with salt and pepper, top tomatoes and onions with the cheese and serve.

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