Roasted Heart - Perfect Entertaining
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Stuffed Monster Heads!

Stuffed Monster Heads
Roasted Heart

This is probably the recipe that I am most proud of in this collection of 100+ Halloween recipes. It is the piece de resistance. It looks great, tastes heavenly, and can even be gross for the kids. It can be elegant, or it can be kitsch. It works on a lot of levels. The recipe is very simple and quick to make. I have it down to under half an hour from start to finish (we like it so much we make it a lot, except that we use a low fat tomato sauce instead). The glossy slightly moist bright red pepper looks exactly like a heart. The consistancy as you cut into the dish is very realistic as well. The red sauce oozing out is just the frosting on the cake. There really is only one thing to be careful about, and that is making sure that you be very careful when peeling the red pepper to keep it intact. It is essential to the whole effect of the dish that the "heart" looks whole. For a more "bloodlike" sauce, add some red food coloring to deepen the color, maybe with one small drop of black for depth. Enjoy!

1/3 cup tomato paste
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 teaspoon crumbled dried Italian spices
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 small chopped onion
3 cloves sliced garlic
1 tablespoon crumbled dried Italian spices
6 chicken breast halves
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
6 roasted red bell pepper halves

Mix together the tomato paste, crushed garlic, Italian spices, and brown sugar in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook for at least 20 minutes, stirring frequently. While the tomato sauce is cooking, fill a large pot with enough water to easily cover the chicken breasts by a few inches, but don't add the chicken yet. Add the onion, garlic, Italian spices, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Toss the chicken breasts into the pot, cover, and turn off the heat. Leave on the burner, but let sit for about 20 minutes. Do not peek. Remove the thickest piece of chicken, and check to make sure that it is thoroughly cooked. If not replace to the pot, recover, and let sit for a few minutes more. When the chicken is cooked, drain thoroughly, and discard the vegetables and spices along with the water. While the chicken breasts are cooking, melt the butter in a medium saucepan, but don't brown. Add the flour and whisk to form a roux. Cook until lightly browned, then slowly add the heavy cream. Whisk briskly. Continue to cook the sauce over medium heat until thickened. Add the tomato paste mixture and mix well. Lower the heat to keep warm while you assemble the dish. Place a pool of the tomato sauce on an individual serving dish. Top with a chicken breast, and thoroughly cover with more of the tomato sauce. Top with half of a roasted pepper. Serve hot.

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