Happy Monday everyone, welcome to a new week!
This weekend the boys and I traveled north to St. Paul, MN to attend Ben’s cousin’s wedding on Friday. His parents, brothers, aunts, and uncles all came into town early and per usual it was great catching up. The weather was perfect too. FINALLY no rain, plus a nice cool breeze. Perfect wedding weather!
The ceremony was inside a chapel at Northwestern College and at nearly 100 years old, it was just breathtaking lit up with flickering candles. I’m glad I got the chance to chat with family members before the ceremony because the L-man made it about 10 minutes into the reception before needing to go to bed (hence no cake-cutting pictures!)
He’s not at the age/type of baby that can just fall asleep on your shoulder, but luckily it was inside the hotel we were staying at so I was able to slip down the hall and put him to bed when the time came. Ben’s brothers had the room right next door so I camped out there for the evening with the monitor and glass of wine that my groom was nice enough to deliver. ;) There are worse ways to spend a Friday night!
After a big breakfast with the family on Saturday morning, we hugged goodbye and hit the road, stopping to swoop up a 4-pack of Burning Brother’s gluten-free American Pale Ale before heading home. A reader actually tipped me off to this St. Paul-based brewery which was conceived after a trained chef/craft beer connoisseur was diagnosed with Celiac Disease but refused to sit back and drink crappy gluten-free beer for the rest of his life.
He came up with this gluten-free, sorghum-based American Pale Ale (which usually I hate – both sorghum-based GF beers and pale ales) and it was absolutely awesome! I’m not normally a hops lover but my gosh, anything that even resemble the taste of real beer these days is good enough for me. Two thumbs up. Hope it makes it’s way down south sometime soon.
Know what would be absolutely DYNAMITE with an ice-cold beer? Grilled Chicken, Bacon and Avocado Melts with Sun Dried Tomato-Basil Mayo!
Guys, this sandwich is crazy-good. Simply seasoned grilled chicken breasts are smothered in melty provolone cheese then nestled into a lightly grilled bun and topped with fresh slices of avocado, crispy bacon, and a thick schmear of homemade Sun Dried Tomato-Basil Mayo. Totally decadent, totally necessary in life.
This grilled sandwich combo actually came to me while I was trying to decide what to do with all the basil that’s growing out on herb hill. It’s a jungle out there! Pairing it with fresh tomatoes is delicious but has been done a million times here on IGE, so I turned to it’s sun dried cousin then whirled it up with mayo. Avocado and cheese? Always welcome on sandwiches. Bacon? Obviously. Grilled chicken? ‘Tis the season!
Start by making the Sun Dried Tomato-Basil Mayo. Never thought I’d say it, but I’m kind of becoming a mayo gal! Compound mayos, that is. Don’t know if I can say I love the stuff straight up, but mix in a few of my favorite ingredients like fresh basil and sun dried tomatoes, and I’m all about it.
In a food processor or blender combine 1/2 cup mayo with 6 fresh basil leaves, 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, and lots of salt and pepper. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed, then set aside. You can make this mayo a few days ahead of time, too – it’ll just get better as it sits.
Next prep the chicken. You’ll need 1lb chicken breasts, which is about 2 large chicken breasts or 4 small ones. Regardless of the size, pound ’em all thin – I like to cover mine with Glad Press ‘n’ Seal then smack with a rolling pin. If you’re using large chicken breasts, cut them in half then mist with extra virgin olive oil or nonstick spray and then season generously with garlic salt and pepper.
Preheat the grill over medium-high heat, which is the temperature I like to grill all chicken breasts at.
Tip: If your grill’s got a little gunk on it, crinkle up a big sheet of foil then rub it along the grates (BEFORE lighting the grill, of course.) This is a super easy way to clean your grates if you don’t have a grill brush…or simply can’t locate it. Seriously, where IS that dang thing?!
Grill the chicken for 3 minutes with the lid down then flip and grill for 1 more minute. Add a slice of provolone or mozzarella cheese, then close the lid and grill for 2 more minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Pull the chicken off to rest for a couple minutes while you lightly grill 4 buns. Yowza!
Place the cheese-covered chicken onto the grilled buns then top with slices of fresh avocado, crispy slices of cooked bacon, and a thick schmear of homemade Sun Dried Tomato-Basil Mayo. Squish, bite, and devour!
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Grilled Chicken, Bacon and Avocado Melts with Sun Dried Tomato-Basil Mayo
Gluten-free Grilled Chicken, Bacon and Avocado Melts with Sun Dried Tomato-Basil Mayo is quick yet packed with flavor.
- 1lb chicken breasts (about 2 large ones or 4 small ones,) pounded to an even thickness
- garlic salt and pepper
- 4 slices bacon, cooked
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 4 slices provolone or mozzarella cheese
- 4 buns (I used Udi's Gluten-Free buns)
- For the Sun Dried Tomato-Basil Mayo:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil
- 6 large leaves fresh basil
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- Combine ingredients for the Sun Dried Tomato-Basil Mayo in a food processor or blender then process until desired texture is reached, scraping down sides as needed. Set aside (can be made several days ahead of time.)
- Preheat grill over medium-high heat. Cut large chicken breasts in half then mist with extra virgin olive oil or nonstick spray and season both sides generously with garlic salt and pepper. Grill on first side for 3 minutes with the lid down, then flip and grill for an additional minute. Add a slice of cheese on top of each piece of chicken then close grill lid and grill for 2 more minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove to a plate then let rest for 2-3 minutes while you lightly grill the buns.
- Place cheese-covered chicken on top of grilled buns then top with avocado slices, bacon slices, and then smear the top buns with Sun Dried Tomato-Basil Mayo before serving.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
Smokey, creamy, crunchy, and cheesy, this sandwich has got ALL THE THINGS and is a cinch to whip up. Hope you give it a try! Enjoy!