Grilled Pesto Chicken Panini with Parmesan Fries

Lunch doesn’t have to be boring and it damn sure shouldn’t be expensive, baller account or not! Well, maybe sometimes lol. I have this special place in my heart for pesto. It’s so rich and it goes great on almost anything. Just that these last couple of days (not complaining) have been a little warm, and let’s be honest, no one wants to be sweating in March, its barely spring! So this simple, quick and fun recipe is perfect for our mini spring heat wave. Let’s dive right in!

**Shoutout to Shonda for this amazing panini grill, it works amazing!**

Ingredients: (serving 4-6 people)

  • 1/2 a yellow onion
  • 4 medium/ large red potatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • sliced provolone and shredded parmesan cheese
  • sourdough bread
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tbsp pesto sauce
  • 2 tbsp mayo
  • 1 lemon
  • 4-6 boneless breasts filets
  • small bottle of virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley

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1. First preheat your frying pan to medium high heat to cook/ fry your fries. TIP: Fries end up crispier when you drop them in oil that is really hot, it avoids mush. While you are heating the oil cut your potatoes into rounds and then cut them into “sticks”. I used EVOO. You can also bake them at 350 with a light brush of EVOO and a few rotations for 25 min.

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2. Once your oil it hot, drop them in and sprinkle on some salt and pepper. Now you can cut your bell peppers that we will grill/ roast. Always remember to cut your veggies before you handle meat.

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3. Now mince your garlic and cut your lemons into wheels.

2015-03-24 23.11.214. On a panini grill place your chicken the garlic and lemon wheels to grill and cook. This is a great time to check/ turn over your fries. They should be getting crispy by now.

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5. Now were making the pesto-mayo to cover our bread and make the flavor punch that makes the sandwich fun! Equal parts mayo and pesto sauce. See, easy!

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6. Now your chicken should be done and after it is you should begin grilling your red peppers. This should only take about 3-4 minutes and in this time you want to get ready to prep all of your sandwich ingredients. BTW your fries should be all the way done. take them out and put them over a paper napkin to remove excess oil.

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7. Now you can begin to plate your lunch/ dinner! build your sandwich entirely and place it under the panini grill to melt your cheese and fuse the flavors together. 3 minutes max.

8. Grab a handful of fries while they’re hot and sprinkle some parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Then viola!


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Shrimp + Eggplant Sriracha Tacos

Sometimes I play Chopped grabbing the first veggie, protein, and starch I can find, just to see what I would make. I know. I’m special lol. So this time. My ingredients came to be: 

Shrimp, an eggplant and tortillas…

I’m sorry, but what else is there to do than make delicious ass tacos, and so it was!

I wanted to add a little spice like I usually do. I chose an Asian take and included Sriracha for the ultimate kick. Also incorporating cilantro and red bell peppers to compliment the savor. 

I sautéed the deveined and raw shrimp in  dried ginger flakes and garlic cloves as well as the minced peppers. The chopped eggplant was sautéed in 2 table spoons of soy sauce. This way each crunch would be loaded with flavor. 

Warming up tortillas is easy. You can flip then back and forth over a stove burner to gain a small charred flavor or you can wrap them in a damp paper towel in the microwave for one minute. To each his/ her own. 

Now it’s time to add the caliente and kick up the spice level. I chose Sriracha because I love it’s vinegary, gingery, bite. Especially when paired with shrimp! 
I hope you enjoy these tacos as much as I did! The tacos and your Tuesday. 


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