So, yes, that is actual food you see there. Go figure, huh! Food has not been making much of an appearance on this blog for a while. The reasons for that are really threefold – 1. it is easier to buy baking ingredients when they are generally “repeated,” thus cutting down DH’s time in the grocery store calling me on the phone asking me to direct him on where to find items in the store (I’m not kidding – it usually takes about 2 hours too); 2. Sleep depravation + lots of knife work = kitchen accidents (I’ll spare you the picture of today’s latest incident, but will share the story momentarily – I do have proof of reason #2); and 3. I’ll just fess up and be honest here – I follow recipes when I bake and keep track of what I’m doing – when I’m cooking, yeah, not so much. It isn’t that I don’t want to share what I’m making, it is just that by the time I’m making it I’m so picking starved that I completely forget to either write anything down or take a picture. Also, I’m a lot less adventurous with food than I am with baking. I tend to have a few favorite things at a time that I make in rotation and call it good. So, I hereby promise that I will do better. I have just been uninspired. Once I can get back to being the one at the grocery store it will be a bit more diverse.
Why this sudden epiphany about the lack of food in lieu of baking? I was very kindly requested by a very good friend of mine who is learning how to branch out (by checking my blog for ideas it turns out) that woman cannot live by dessert alone. Now, while I think we all know that there is an evil part of me that disagrees with that wholeheartedly, luckily, I have a good friend like this to give me a serious kick in the pants to do a little better.
So, while I won’t even begin to claim that there is going to be any kind of balance, I do promise to do better about sharing the actual food we are eating in between the desserts and goodies.
So, this chicken and pasta recipe comes courtesy of my dear friend’s request and Martha Stewart. This was fairly easy to make, but I have a confession. Remember #2 above and the little story I alluded to? Well… sometimes when I’m in the kitchen trying to cook and there are a million things going on around me (crying baby, crazy boy trying to get attention by throwing a major tantrum, mom visiting and talking to me at the same time, me trying to read Martha’s (somewhat vague) instructions, etc.) I get distracted and do stupid things – usually with knives or hot things – such as cutting toward myself – like today. So, I said I’m not sharing the picture, but let’s just say that two fingers on my left hand are wearing little bandage caps from my latest kitchen escapade. It’s actually making typing this post pretty funny. Lucky for me I tend to be able to just phase this kind of stuff out. Anyway, so, injury and all, here is an actual meal from me that we had for lunch. It took slightly longer to make than Martha’s original recipe, but I would just chalk that up to my little episode slowing me down. The chicken was very yummy, as was the orzo. I decided to be brave and go ahead with Martha’s recipe as advertised and use fresh tomatoes. Why is that brave? I hate tomatoes. I know. I’m a freak. I just can’t stand raw tomatoes – so sue me. So, bottom line, my parents who were visiting, both loved all of it. I loved the chicken, but the tomatoes ruined the orzo for me. If I make it again I would probably replace the tomatoes with roasted red bell pepper for me. Also, if I make the chicken again, I will probably brown it in a pan and then just lid it and let it bake. The chicken still wasn’t thin enough and took longer to cook and I would have liked it to be more browned, but my broiler stinks at broiling Go figure.
Spinach and Brie Chicken with Tomato Orzo
(From Martha Stewart)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 thin chicken cutlets (1 1/2 pounds total)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 package (10 ounces) frozen leaf spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
4 ounces Brie cheese, cut into 8 slices
1 cup orzo
2 plum tomatoes, cored and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Set a large saucepan of salted water to boil. Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat.
Place chicken on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Dividing evenly, spread one side of each cutlet with mustard; top with spinach, then cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Starting at short end, roll chicken up tightly, and arrange, seam side down, on sheet. Season rolled chicken with salt and pepper. Broil, without turning, until tops are lightly browned and chicken is cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook orzo in boiling water until al dente. Drain well; return to pot. Add tomatoes, parsley, butter, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine.
Serve stuffed chicken with orzo.