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May 2009

Super Simple Summer Salad with Grilled Chicken and Bread with Melted Brie Cheese

Today, I'd like to share a super simple summer salad with grilled chicken and a side of bread with melted brie cheese. This recipe takes less than 15 minutes to prepare and is packed with protein, calcium, fiber and flavor!

You can make this super simple summer salad using a prepackaged salad mix. However, I prefer to use fresh ingredients. It is actually cheaper to buy the vegetables and chop them your self. The salad will be much fresher and crisp and tends to last longer than the bagged salad mixes.

Perdue Chicken offers prepackaged chicken breasts, which are perfect for adding to salads. They are the perfect portion size and come in a variety of flavors. The Italian marinated chicken works great with this particular recipe. You can also use packaged chicken strips or plain chicken breasts. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination!

Super Simple Summer Salad with Grilled Chicken and Bread with Melted Brie Cheese

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Serves: Two
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes

Salad Ingredients:

2 6-ounce skinless, boneless Chicken Breasts
1/2 bunch Romaine lettuce, stems removed and chopped
1/4 head Iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 Carrot, diced
1 stalk Celery, diced
2 Green Onions, chopped
1 medium Tomato, chopped
Salad Dressing
Salt and Pepper, if desired

Bread Ingredients:
1/4 loaf Artisan Bread (found in the bakery of most supermarkets)
1/4 round Alouette Baby Brie, thinly sliced


  1. If using regular chicken breasts, add salt and pepper or other seasonings of choice. I like Mrs. Dash because it adds a nice flavor. You could also use McCormick's Roasted Garlic seasoning or marinate the chicken in 1/4 cup of Dale's Seasoning for 10 minutes.
  2. Cook chicken in the broiler or on a gas or charcoal grill. Cook for 6-7 minutes per side or until center is no longer pink.
  3. While chicken is cooking, prepare salad mix.
  4. Wash and dry vegetables. If using packaged salad mix, empty bag into colander and rinse with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels.
  5. Loosely chop romaine and head lettuce. Cut spine out of romaine leaves.
  6. Dice celery and carrots.
  7. Remove the root from green onions and slice thin rounds.
  8. Quarter tomato, remove seeds (if desired) and cut into chunks.
  9. Toss ingredients together and place in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  10. Slice four 1/2-inch thick bread slices from Artisan Bread.
  11. Cut four 1/4-inch slices of Baby Brie and place on top of bread.
  12. Remove chicken from broiler or grill and place on plate. Allow to set for 5 minutes.
  13. Place bread on baking sheet and place in 350-degree oven. Heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven.
  14. Slice chicken into strips or cut into 1/2-inch chunks.
  15. Transfer salad to serving plates.
  16. Top with grilled chicken and add salad dressing, if desired.
  17. Serve with two slices of baked bread with melted brie cheese.

Super Simple Summer Salad

Danny Veltri of Flip Flops Grill and Chill in New Smyrna Beach, Florida Wins Hell's Kitchen Competition!

We are so happy that Danny Veltri of Flip Flops Grill and Chill in New Smyrna Beach, Florida won the Hell's Kitchen competition. As Danny says, he is a culinary prodigy. The food at Flip Flops is amazing and we love his Mahi Gone Bananas recipe; regardless of what Chef Gordan Ramsay has to say!

Danny Veltri is a sweetheart and our community is celebrating his success. Currently, it is somewhat challenging to get a table at Flip Flops Grill and Chill. Two weeks ago, my husband and I attempted to attend the Grand Opening of Flip Flops. Unfortunately, there was a three-hour wait. Some of our friends joined us and they had children with them, so we opted to eat at another location. Sorry, Danny, but the kids had to get up early for school the next day.

We think Danny Veltri's accomplishments are astounding. This 23-year old man knows his destiny and is taking action to reach his goals. His enthusiasm for culinary arts is contagious and we wish him the best when he takes over the helm at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, NJ.

Fox Broadcasting and Hell's Kitchen are currently offering a contest. The Grand Prize includes:

  • Round-trip airfare for two to Atlantic City, NJ
  • Two nights accommodations at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
  • Ground transportation between airport & the Borgata Hotel
  • Dinner at one of the Borgata's fine dining restaurants
  • Select spa treatments
  • Admission to the Borgata's exclusive mur mur nightclub
  • $500 American Express Gift Card

This contest ends May 18th, so go to www.BBCAmerica.com and submit your entry today. Contest rules state only one online entry per person. More than one entry disqualifies entrants.

In closing, we offer our CONGRATULATIONS to our hometown chef.

Philly Cheese Steak Quesadilla Recipe - The Cheap Gourmet Original

I am excited to share this Philly Cheese Steak Quesadilla recipe with you. A few weeks ago I saw a commercial for a local restaurant offering two new cheese steak sandwiches; one of which was a quesadilla. What was ironic about it was my husband and I had been discussing the concept a few nights before.

To us, a philly cheese steak quesadilla seemed like a perfect fit. It also seemed less messy. I LOVE philly cheese steaks, but always end up wearing half of it. Do you have that problem too?

A few nights ago, my husband was attending an event and I had to fend for myself come dinner time. We had all the makings for cheese steaks sandwiches except for bread.

The light bulb went on and I decided to give the quesadilla concept a try. I am happy to report it was an incredible success. Even better, this recipe is super simple to make. The icing on top is you can make personal quesadillas to accomodate everyone's taste buds.

I love mushrooms on my philly cheesesteaks. My husband isn't too fond of those. I added fresh diced tomoatoes in the quesadilla and it added a nice flavor contrast. We've had cheese steak quesadillas three times in four days -- that's how addicting these things are!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

Philly Cheese Steak Quesadilla Recipe

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Serves 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

2 medium flour Tortilla wraps
4 slices frozen Philly Cheese Steaks
1/2 green Bell Pepper, diced
1/3 cup Red Onion, diced
1/3 cup fresh Tomatoes, diced (optional)
4 Tablespoons Ragu Cheddar Cheese Sauce

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Chop bell pepper, onions and tomatoes.
  3. Preheat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Remove frozen Philly Cheesesteak meat from package. Break into bite-size pieces and add to skillet.
  5. Add pepper and onion, stirring frequently.
  6. Cook 5 to 6 minutes or until beef is thoroughly cooked.
  7. Cover each quesadilla with 2 Tablespoons Ragu Cheddar Cheese Sauce. Spread cheese evenly and all the way to the edges.
  8. Place half the meat mixture on one half of each quesadilla.
  9. Top with fresh tomatoes, if desired.
  10. Fold the other half over meat mixture and seal edges using the cheese sauce.
  11. Place on baking stone or baking sheet.
  12. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until tortillas begins to turn light brown.
  13. Remove from oven, transfer to plates and serve immediately.

Philly Cheese Steak Quesadilla

What's Better than Cheap Gourmet Food? Free Gourmet Food!

"What's better than cheap gourmet food? Free gourmet food!" That's the subject line of an email I received earlier this week. I receive numerous email requests from companies wanting me to promote their product or service on The Cheap Gourmet blog. I'm very particular about who I allow in because I genuinely care about my readers and don't want to lead them into some scam. So, I conducted a bit of research.

I'm happy to report that the free gourmet food headline is legit. North American Import and Export is giving away one $200 gift certificate to the restaurant of your choice. All that is required for a chance to win is to publish a post on their website telling which restaurant you would choose and why.

The Cheap Gourmet is post #81. My vote went to Flip Flops Chill and Grill in New Smyrna Beach, FL. I love that restaurant! Not to mention it is co-owned by Danny Veltri, the "redneck chef" who made it to the finale on Hell's Kitchen.

If you want a chance to win a $200 gift certificate to your favorite restaurant, go check out the contest at North American Import and Export. Entries must be completed by midnight May 3rd. Only one entry per person! Winner will be announced May 4th.

Free gourmet food contest rules can be found at http://www.nafood.com/pdf/contest-rules.pdf. Note, this is a PDF file which requires Adobe Reader to view.

Don't delay. Go post your entry at North American Import and Export and if you win, please let me know. Good luck!