Speedy and tasty! My chicken and tomato combo is a delight

The Weekend Foodie: A fab chicken dish followed by a recipe for a delicious strawberry sundae
Speedy and tasty! My chicken and tomato combo is a delight

Chicken in Tomato Cream Sauce with Buffalo Mozzarella by Di Curtin

I’M forever banging on about making your own food fresh from scratch. And for the majority of the time, this is absolutely the best way to guarantee what you’re eating and make sure the family are enjoying healthy nutritious meals.

But like all rules, even my rule is made to be broken. There are times when convenience wins out. Truth is, the odd few well chosen ready made items can make life a lot easier in the kitchen!

Good quality convenience foods are often a godsend when time is of the essence. Like now, when summer holidays are upon us, the bank holiday is imminent and it’s all go with the kids wanting to be out and about.

So when you’ve been out for the day and you need to knock up a tasty dinner in a rush, keep a few ready made items to use as a base for something speedy and tasty.

Little tip. If you’re going to cheat, use good quality ingredients!

One of my fave go-to convenience ingredients is a jar of good quality rich tomato and herb sauce. There are a few good brands out there, including Supervalu’s Signature range sauces at a very affordable price.

This weekend, I’m showcasing a fabulous tomato sauce-based chicken dish which looks sensational and tastes absolutely amazing.

Chicken breast fillets are baked in a ready made rich Italian tomato and basil sauce, enriched with fresh Irish cream and topped with slices of Macroom buffalo mozzarella. It makes a speedy and extremely tasty supper, served with lots of steamed new Irish spuds and greens or salad of choice on the side.

Dessert is only for the days when you’ve got time to spend. Unless of course you again tap into the ready made market to help you on your way.

Meringues are easy to make when you’ve got a free afternoon in the kitchen. But on days you want something sweet and swift, don’t be ashamed to choose a good quality ready made meringue from your local baker or supermarket bakery.

We are blessed in Cork to have some Supervalu and Centra stores with their own in house bakeries, where fluffy homemade meringues are always available.

Marry these with a good quality ready made chocolate ice cream and strawberries for sexy Summer Strawberry Sundaes.

The berries are first marinated in fresh mint then stacked with the other ingredients in tall sundae glasses, before scattering the lot with some freshly grated dark chocolate over swirls of whipped cream. The stuff of dreams, made in minutes!

Chicken in Tomato Cream Sauce with Buffalo Mozzarella

Ingredients (serves 4) 4 skinless chicken breast fillets 2 x 350g jars tomato and basil sauce 75mls fresh cream 125g pack Macroom Buffalo Mozarella Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Method Season chicken fillets and lay side by side in an ovenproof dish big enough to take them all in one layer.

Pour over tomato sauce to cover the chicken.

Pour over the cream. Slice mozzarella thinly and layer on top Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Bake in a preheated oven, Gas 5 375F 190C for 25 minutes or until bubbling and the chicken is cooked through.

Serve with new potatoes and greens or salad of choice.

Summer Strawberry Sundaes

Ingredients (serves 4) 400g strawberries hulled Few fresh mint leaves, torn Dusting of icing sugar 1 meringue base, broken 8 scoops chocolate ice cream of choice 4 tbsp whipped fresh cream Whole mint leaves and grated chocolate (optional) to finish Method Reserve four whole berries for decoration. Hull and quarter remaining berries and place in a bowl with mint and icing sugar. Leave to marinate for 15 minutes.

Puree half the berries and reserve.

Layer broken meringue pieces with ice cream scoops and berries in between, to fill four tall sundae glasses.

Finish with swirls of whipped cream, whole berries, mint leaves and grated chocolate

Wine choice

This chicken dish deserves a smooth and fruity Italian red to accompany. From Supervalu, a special offer this bank holiday weekend. I’m choosing Zonin Ventiterra Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, a bouncy fruity red with heaps of cherry fruit on the palate. It will wrap itself round the chicken nicely, and has enough acidity and herbaceous undertones to cope with the tomato sauce.

An easy gluggable red for this dish and other tomato based pasta dishes, find it on offer till 11th August at €9, down from €10.99. Makes a good barbecue red as well for the lighter meat offerings like chicken kebabs and drumsticks or lamb skewers.


RECEIPT

RECEIPT CHICKEN MAIN Tomato and Basil pasta sauce2 x 350g €4 Chicken fillets x 750g pack €6.50 Cream 225mls €1 Macroom Buffalo Mozarella 125g pack €2.99 Total: €14.49 STRAWBERRY SUNDAES Strawberries 400g pack €4 Chocolate Fudge Ice cream 2 x 500mls tubs €5.60 Meringue base €2.50 Whipped fresh cream 350ml tub €1.79 Total: €13.89 GRAND TOTAL: €28.38

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