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Recipe for a Perfect Potluck

Enjoying gatherings surrounding great food and friends from the community is always fun, but can be stressful for the host or hostess.  I love to entertain, in fact I do it so often that I’m always told, “I just don’t know how you do it.”  The fact of the matter is, these days, you don’t have to “do it all” or have the perfect menu in order to have a delightful evening enjoying friends and good food.  If you read our recent blog post on last minute summer entertaining, you get the idea.

The dinner parties with perfectly arranged, lavish spreads, pub-style cocktails, and flaming desserts are a fantastic, but sometimes, we simply don’t have time for that. Dinner parties today can be enjoyed equally by the guests and the hosts if everyone agrees to carry just a portion of the weight.  Here’s your recipe for a delightful dinner with healthy food, fresh ingredients and just a little help from your friends…potluck style!

Main Course: Chicken Parmesan Pomodoro

Nothing says summer like Pomodoro sauce!  Of course Pomodoro sauce is best when made from garden-fresh tomatoes, like in this recipe, but if you don’t have time for this prep work, look for canned, whole, San Marzanotomatoes instead.  For this recipe, you’ll need a few basic ingredients:  tomatoes, garlic cloves, extra virgin olive oil, basil, salt and pepper…that’s it!  Here’s the fresh, healthy recipe for Pomodoro sauce from Chef Angelo Elia of Casa D’Angelo restaurants.

With your Pomodoro sauce made, you can begin assembling your main course.  For this healthier version of chicken parmesan, you’ll find we eliminate the breading for a lighter, fresh approach.  You’ll need: boneless, skinless chicken breasts, salt and pepper, extra virgin olive oil, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese and the Pomodoro sauce above.

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and prepare your casserole dish by a covering the bottom of the dish with a layer of your Pomodoro sauce.  Brown the chicken breasts in a skillet with olive oil and transfer them to your casserole dish once they are brown on both sides. Sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan and bake at 350 degrees until chicken is cooked through, approximately 30 minutes.

Guest Contributions

Now that you’ve got the main course taken care of, it’s time for your guests to provide the rest!  Some great healthy food choices to accompany this meal include: zucchini pasta, caprese salad with fresh ingredients like tomatoes and basil, fresh garden veggies or a garden-fresh salad.  Add a request for some bread and a fresh fruit tart or cobbler, and you’ve got yourself a memorable meal!  If you fear your menu is missing something, try our catering menu, which includes some great appetizers like our Crisps’N’Cheese Tray or Veggie Fresco Tray, and fabulous salads like our Caesar Salad with homemade Asiago Croutons.

This weekend, why not try hosting your community friends or family potluck style?  You’ll find you have a lot more time to spend enjoying your guests, the food and conversation…after all, isn’t that the point?

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