It's a threefer! (pizza chicken and steamed artichoke with roasted cheesy tomatoes)

I grew up on steamed artichokes.  When I was growing up when they were in season it was almost dessert to us!  We would have disagreements in our house whether they were better hot or after a spell in the fridge to chill them.  My mom was team hot and my dad was team cold.  I am a member of team cold but really I can go either way, they are so delicious!  My dad makes a famous vinaigrette that I for some reason have never gotten his recipe for that we would dip the leaves and heart in.  I subbed my yummy jarred garlic vinaigrette instead.  Any salad dressing will do.

Apparently steamed artichokes are one of those things I thought was a thing for everyone.  I have made it while living with various roommates and all have looked in amazement while I purposefully scraped the leaves for the meat which requires a good floss after.  I also loved a stuffed artichoke. flip a steamed one over, stuff a breadcrumb and cheese mixture in the leaves and bake.  We only have that at Christmas.  (Makes mental note for a blog post)

I used to make pizza chicken a lot in law school. It was basically this exact chicken dish but without the salami. It was a roommate favorite with shells with white cheddar. That was before I stopped eating boxed sides and  I started my love affair with cured meats. Which apparently, like everything that tastes and feels good, will kill me. I was actually intending to make this recipe, which was a pin I uploaded myself of a recipe I created while cleaning out the fridge after a Sweet Swine of Mine meeting where a meat and cheese tray was present. My chicken came out of the freezer really flat, so I decided to alter the recipe and place the toppings on top instead of tucking them inside, just like pizza chicken from the old days!  Next time I may incorporate some veggies on top too!

I also had some fresh mozzarella and a tomato laying around so I decided to make one of my favorite summer sides when there is a plethora of tomatoes.  All the cheese in this dish is very unlike me but it felt good to be a little bad!  Try one or all of the components of this sometime, you will not be disappointed.  And so hard to mess this one up!  Full recipe after the montage.  Linking up with Meal Plan Monday, click on over and check it out!

Nope I am really not Italian at all, I just eat this way.

Cut off the top of the stem and about 1/4 inch of the bottom.
Yes I actually took this picture, miracles can happen!
If you don't have a fancy steamer or pot with an insert, you use on of these.  Sunsella Vegetable Steamer - 5.3" to 9.3" - 100% Stainless Steel 
Steam it with about an inch of water for about an hour.
Meanwhile, thickly slice up the tomato.

Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic, sprinkle some red pepper flakes and then top with a few mini mozzarellas
Season your chicken.  I used Trader Joe's Garlic salt grinder but salt and pepper will do.
Add two pieces of salami (or pepperoni if you have that)
Pour a little red sauce over
And top with a half piece of provolone. 

Fresh out the steamer, time for a chill in the fridge.
Look at that how gooey and yummy.
So delicious!
What a right up my alley plate!
Your dipping friends, vinaigrette and a discard bowl.
A sign that it was good.
Now for the best part, the heart. Split it apart once you have flimsy leaves.

Scrape all the weird hair out like I was talking about yesterday
So delicious!

Pizza Chicken: (per piece of chicken, multiply this by how many you are serving, men will want two)
One boneless, skinless chicken thigh
2 pieces of salami or pepperoni
two spoonfuls of pizza sauce
half a piece of sliced provolone or mozzarella cheese.

Preheat oven to 375. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in a greased or foiled baking dish. Place Salami on top. Top with pizza sauce. Add the cheese on top. Bake for 15 minutes. Place under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the cheese.

Roasted Cheesy Tomatoes: (Multiply by the number of people you have)
1 tomato sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
a few shakes of red pepper flakes (about 1/8 teaspoon)
mini mozzarella balls

Preheat oven to 375. Place sliced tomatoes on a foiled baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Place 2 or three cheese balls on top. Cook until cheese is melted about 15 minutes. Place under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the cheese.

Steamed Artichoke (same deal)
One globe artichoke
vinaigrette of your choice

Cut about an inch of stem from the top of the artichoke. Cut off about 1/4 inch of the bottom to make an even base. Steam the artichoke in the apparatus of your choice for about an hour, or until the leaves are tender. Pull the leaves off, dip in vinaigrette and scrape them on your bottom teeth to remove the meat. When you get to leaves that are noticeably flimsy, separate the leaves from the top. Scrape all the hairy weirdness from the top. Cut into pieces and dip and enjoy.

Happy Cooking!


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