We have a friend who I love dearly. She is one of the most healthy, fit people I know. I always knew she was on a different ‘health level’ than we when she was telling me her ‘guilty pleasure’ one day was to puree fresh blueberries in apple juice. Now don’t get me wrong, I am sure that is a delightful drink but I can guarantee that would not curb any of my late night sweet cravings 😉 Emily is also the one who proclaimed after a ladies lunch..”Oh, I am in the mood for a truffle”. Who eats a truffle as dessert? We have never let her live that down and recently went to a birthday lunch with her and afterwards razzed her that we need to go get her a ‘truffle’ for her birthday. I am all about the big piece of brownie, drizzled with caramel and ice cream on my birthday 😉 Granted, her chick food and healthy food choices definetly do her well in the waistline category (which I could use some help on! Ha). So, the reason I bring this up is the other day for her lunch she wanted us all to go to Blue Lemon. This place is chick-food at it’s best. I hate going out to eat and leaving feeling still hungry. However, I have to give them that their food is high quality, their portions are just small.
For the lunch I ordered Blue Lemons Balsamic Chicken Panini. It was good but I knew I could go home and ramp up the flavor quite a bit. I was pleased that the next night I made this for dinner and it was outstanding! I even ate the balsamic chicken and grilled onions as a carb free meal and it was delicious! I could totally see this also being great over pasta (kind of like our Balsamic Chicken Pasta dish I love). Either way, if you want a flavorful, quick panini that is unlike any you’ve ever had, this one was fabulous…chick food and all 😉 Love you Em!!
- 1 white onion, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup balsamic
- 2 Tbls. butter
- 1 Tbls. sugar
- 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and sliced thin
- 4 boneless chicken breasts
- 2 Tbs. butter
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbls. pesto
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 Tbls. lemon juice
- 2-3 Tbls. pesto
- 8 slices provolone cheese
- 8 hoagie buns, ciabata rolls or bolilo rolls
- In a large saute pan, saute the onions in the butter until slightly soft. Add the balsamic vinegar and sugar and continue cooking on medium high heat until the onions are carmelized and the vinegar evaporates and becomes thick and sticky. Remove the onions from the pan and place in a bowl. Set aside. Slice the bell pepper into thin, long strips and add to the hot onion pan. Saute the peppers until just tender crispy. Add the pepper to the onions to rest while you cook the chicken. Slice the chicken breasts into thin, long strips. Heat another couple tablespoons of butter in the same pan and bring heat up to medium high heat. Add the chicken pieces and saute until golden brown on both sides of the chicken pieces. Season chicken with Montreatl Steak Seasoning (or salt and pepper). Add the balsamic vinegar and pesto and continue cooking the chicken until no longer pink in the center.
- Remove the chicken pieces and add to the pepper and onion combination. Stir until all items are combined. Make the pesto mayo in a bowl and heat a panini grill to medium heat. Spread a generous amount of pesto mayo onto each side of each hoagie bun. Place large spoonfuls of the chicken mixture onto one side of each bun. Cover the top with one or two slices of provolone cheese. Cook sandwiches in a panini grill (or on a griddle) and cook until cheese is melted and sandwich is warmed through. Serve warm.