I recently had the opportunity to cook for my father for the first time. At nearly 40 years of age, I found myself with the opportunity to cook for my father and his family in my new house. So this was a really historical moment! Not only was I going to be cooking for my father the first time, but he was getting to see my first house that I bought on my own.
My stepmother is not the "gastronomically adventurous"-type, so I had to stay relatively safe and on the more "subtle" side of flavor. So I decided to make some Honey-Baked Balsamic Chicken Breasts, Zucchini-Corn Saute, Rosemary Potatoes and some buttery broiled french bread.
Everything was going pretty well, but I was running late as usual (I always run late with meals). All of the dishes were ready and being kept warm, and we were just waiting on the bread. I was trying a new recipe I found on Pioneer Woman for Butter Thyme Bread. This bread takes a LOT of butter. Like half a stick of butter per bread half.
So I had slathered the butter on, and popped the bread in the oven for the initial 10-15 minutes in the oven, then removed it and heated the broiler. I put the bread under the broiler, and as I haven't had much luck with broilers in the past, I set the timer for the lower 3 minute time in the suggested "3-5 minutes" that the recipe calls for. I turned around to complete the finishing touches for dinner, setting out plates and silverware for our buffet dinner and keeping my nephew out of the cat bowls. I was standing at the kitchen island when I glanced over at the timer to see how much time was left (remember it was set for only 3 minutes, so this all happened very quickly), and I had to do a double-take when I spotted smoke coming from the back of the stove. I opened up the oven to take out the bread, only to find it ON FIRE as I pulled it out! Evidently having the butter so close to the broiler was just too much. I had to toss the flaming bread in the sink and run the faucet over it to douse the flames. So much for the bread.
We laughed at it. I'm sure the family was wondering what kind of meal they were going to get from me if I set bread on fire! However I am happy to say that the rest of the meal turned out beautifully. As I've said in the past: I'm just dangerous with a broiler!
So here is my recipe for Honey-Baked Balsamic Chicken Breasts:
1 red or yellow pepper, chopped or sliced to your preference
1 red onion, chopped
Grape or cherry tomatoes (the sweeter the better!)
1/2 lb mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
3 tbs olive oil
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tbs fresh rosemary
4 chicken breasts
Seasoning Salt, like Lawry's
Fresh ground pepper
- Heat oven to 425 degrees.
- In shallow baking pan, combine everything up to rosemary.
- Dredge the chicken through the mixture to coat, and then settle it down on top of the vegetable mixture.
- Sprinkle chicken with the Seasoning Salt to your taste, and sprinkle with ground pepper.
- Drizzle chicken with honey.
- Sprinkle with scallions.
- Bake in heated 425 degree oven for about 50-60 minutes, until cooked through.
Dinner was a success, despite me nearly burning down the kitchen! The potatoes were my boyfriend's favorite, the zucchini-corn saute is always my favorite whenver I make it. I came up with this for our Mexican thanksgiving, and I even eat the leftovers as a dip with tortilla chips.
We finished off the evening with Apple-Stuffed Cheesecake with Warm Caramel Sauce. I didn't get a picture of the completed cheesecake. I believe that my boyfriend got a picture of a slice all put together, but I haven't gotten a copy yet. The cheesecake and coffee was a fine completion to a nice evening, and I hope to get another chance to cook for my father.