The semester is almost coming to an end, and lately the exams are getting more and more intense. Last week, my practical group and I faced the challenge of our Marche Restaurant and Bistro Cafe final exam. I was truly impressed by how a group of hospitality students with little experience in the culinary field, can come up with so many creative and delicious dishes, and not only for an a la carte restaurant like Bistro but for a mass production kitchen like our Marche Restaurant too.
Since we are a group of 15 students, three fellow students and I took control of the Bistro Cafe restaurant for the week while the others handled Marché. I must say that it was a great challenge within a very limited timeframe to realize how significant and demanding it is to work with Chef Instructor, Mr. O’Keeffe, who has 16 years of experience in the culinary field. Meanwhile, what motivated us the most was the fact that we were given the opportunity to seek out our own recipe to match with Bistro’s Italian service theme for the day and that we would be able to implement it in reality.
Thanks to my fellow students for their team work and thanks to Les Roches Marbella for giving us the chance to be innovative for one more time. With this in mind, I managed to bring a recipe from back home that is influenced by the Italian culture but has a touch of my Greek background.
The most important thing is that on a very busy day and in the middle of our final exam, our team work, concentration and motivation for what we are currently studying in Les Roches Marbella helped us to make this dish very successful. Moreover, it was a compliment to see that students who were eating lunch in Bistro Café during our final exam, really desired our menu selection. After witnessing the meal’s raving success, I present you my recipe in this blog so that you can all give it a try one day at home. It is very simple, fast and fresh!
Feta Pesto with Grilled Chicken & Sauté Cherry Tomatoes
- Pine Nuts
- 2 slices of Chicken Breast
- Fresh Basil Leaves
- Dried thyme
- Parsley Chopped
- Olive oil, salt & Pepper
- 3 Garlic cloves
- Feta Cheese
- Cherry Tomatoes
In a Thermomix or other blender, mix the pine nuts, fresh basil leaves and 2 garlic cloves. Slowly add the oil in a constant stream while mixing. When the pesto is thick and ready, baste some of it on top of the chicken breast with a brush.
Next, season the chicken breast on a tray with dried thyme, salt & pepper and chopped fresh parsley.
In a sauté pan, sauté your cherry tomatoes with a bit of olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper and then store them for later use. (Cherry tomatoes can also be served fresh.)
While the tomatoes are sautéing, mash and crumble the feta cheese with your hands and place in a separate bowl.
Before you grill your chicken, add just a little bit of olive oil to the pan and grill the breasts in a preheated oven for 16 minutes at 180 degrees (Celsius).
Meanwhile, as the chicken is being grilled in the oven, cook your pasta in boiling water until it reaches al dente form.
As soon as your pasta is ready and still warm, mix it together with 1 ½ tablespoon of pesto with two handfuls of the mashed feta cheese in a mixing bowl and mix very well until the feta cheese is melted.
Finally, serve on a hot deep plate and garnish with the grilled chicken and sautéed cherry tomatoes on top.