Friday, August 15, 2008

Quick Tomato-Basil Vegetable Pan Sauce

One of the easiest ways to save time in the kitchen on busy weeknights is to cook chicken breasts ahead on the weekends and then throw together a quick pan sauce when you're ready to serve them. This one is full of chunky veggies and is so fresh and pretty on the plate that your family won't believe that it only took 10 minutes to make. Serve this with chicken, fish, shrimp, pork tenderloin or chops, or steaks. It's low-fat and low-sodium, too.

Quick Tomato-Basil Vegetable Pan Sauce

Canola oil cooking spray
3 medium fresh tomatoes, cored and chopped
1/2 medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1/2 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. dried Italian herb blend (McCormick)
1/2 c. loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped (or 1 tsp. dried if you don't have fresh)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Drizzle of good balsamic vinegar

Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet to medium-hot. Spray with non-stick canola oil spray and add onions, garlic, peppers, and dried herbs. Steam, stirring frequently for 3 minutes or until just beginning to soften. Add tomatoes and fresh basil and simmer just until tomatoes are heated through. Take off heat, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper to taste and serve.

Note: This sauce should retain the fresh components of the vegetables and they shouldn't be soft, just tender.

Bon App├ętit!
Chef Debbie

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