Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chicken Bacon Roulades

Here we go again, but is there really something wrong with MORE chicken and bacon recipes? I didn't thinking so. As you can see, there is a very nice roll roulade here on the plate. What you did not see is me stuffing 5 slices of bacon into each one and trying to roll the chicken up and then making the roulade into a pin cushion with tooth picks trying to hold it together. I should have taken a picture for you. I am always over filling my chicken and then having to use 10 tooth picks each to hold them together. I always remember where they are but my husband usually eats one or two that he left in.

The one thing I did not do, besides only putting 2 or 3 slices of bacon in, was strain the sauce. I like all the little nibblets in my sauce. Plus, I don't have a fine mesh sieve.Christmas is coming, I'll send you my address ;)

My favorite part of this recipe and all others that need chicken or what ever meat flattened is pounding. I don't go your conventional route using a meat mallet. Again I do not own one. So I use a cast iron frying pan. This way it also flattens all over instead of with a mallet you need to pound all around so one side isn't fatter then the other. Just give that meat of choice a few good even whacks and there you go, flat meat and a frustration relaxer.

OK, so now I have lied to you all. I also used regular onion and not shallots. Quick call the food police. I rarely buy shallots for recipes. I figure what is the real difference I can just use onions I have them on hand. I know that shallots have a slightly different taste but that doesn't stop me.

Here is the recipe and don't be shy. If you LOVE bacon, fill it up. I got 5 piece in each you can too.

Chicken Bacon Roulades

4 shallots, thinly sliced
10 bacon slices
4 skinless boneless chicken breast
Lemon pepper seasoning or ground black pepper and lemon zest
6 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic mashed 
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 Tbsp flour
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 heavy cream

Cook the bacon in an over proof skillet until lightly brown and still flexible. Drain on paper towel. Cook shallots in the remaining bacon grease until softened. Transfer shallots using a slotted spoon and leave any remaining fat in skillet. Preheat over to 300 degrees. Place each chicken breast between to pieces of plastic wrap and pound til the breast is about 1/8 inch thick. Discard top sheet of plastic wrap. Sprinkle chicken with lemon pepper seasoning and salt. Place 2-3 pieces of bacon length wise along the middle of each breast. Top with shallots and Parmesan. Using the plastic wrap to help you, tightly roll up each breast lengthwise, tucking the ends to enclose the filling. Secure seams with wooden toothpicks. Add olive oil to reserved fat in skillet add heat over medium high heat. Brown the roulades on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until cooked though, about 20-25 minuets. Transfer chicken to place with tongs and keep warm, cover with aluminum foil. Pour fat off from skillet. Add wine to the skillet and deglaze over medium high heat. Boil wine until reduced about 1 tablespoon. Add garlic and butter. Cook mixture over medium low, stirring for about 1 minute. Add flour and cook roux. Add broth and cream and bring to boil, whisking. Simmer, while whisking, for about 2 minutes. Pour though a fine mesh sieve into a small saucepan and keep warm. Remove wooden toothpick slice crosswise. Spoon some sauce in the center of 4 plates and arrange roulades slices in sauce.

OK, again I didn't follow directions. I swear I wasn't like this in school. I sliced my chicken and poured the sauce on top. Like it really matters, you do as you wish. I like it better on top.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Blueberry Muffins with Love

As always we have quarts and quarts of blueberries. What gets picked in July and August will make it till the next harvest. The twins love the blueberries frozen as a snack. They let the berries sit in their mouths till they start to thaw and then chew them. The rest of us (me) like to make things with them. I have the recipe for blueberry raspberry crumble and now just your basic blueberry muffin. Yeah, whats so special about a blueberry muffin. Beside that the blueberries are the biggest you have even seen is that they were made with love. Mixed and poured with help from my four year old daughter. She is my little baker helper. You bake she wants to help. Of course she also wants to lick the beaters when your done and of course what young shouldn't lick the beaters.
So these muffins were made for the boys. Best intention of getting them some a little different to eat other then the same thing over and over and them being tired of it. Because of the boys recent diagnosis we are trying to get the most calories in them as we can.Which in turn is not the best for our ( my husband and I) calorie intake. So as it be the boys maybe had one or two each and my husband and I ate the rest of them.

I used your basic muffin mix, 2 eggs, I did add only 1 cup of blueberries (instead of 2 cups) because they were ginormous blueberries, 2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Preheat oven to 350 beat butter, eggs, salt and sugar. Let child like beaters. Mix (by the 4 year old) the dry with the wet. Add vanilla and blueberries and blend (again by the 4 year old). 
Bake for 30 minutes and let cool. Then you can enjoy the warm juicy blueberries as they burst in your mouth when you take a bite. Be careful it could be hot in the berries. 


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Taco Pasta Toss

As some of you already know I am a lover of Mexican food and love me some tacos when I can get them. When I came across this recipe in the Everyday with Rachel Ray (no that is not where I got the idea for my blog title. I am just not very creative) I thought I should give it a try. I mean what can be wrong, taco meat, pasta, lettuce, and tomato. It was met with a little bit of discussion and after all was said and done aka I said this is what we are having and that's it, I made it. 

I loved it being this is was what I was looking for. My husband liked the flavor but thought that texture of the pasta was strange to him. Which I can understand. When you are so used to eating tacos with your hard shell and then we introduce pasta to the dish it can be a bit disturbing. But as all know I like to add a little change and flavor to my meals. Love my Ole El Paso taco dinner kits but this was a great way to change up a favorite and make the meal a bit more sophisticated. 

This meal also ended up feeding my picky daughter some meat too. I skipped the lettuce and tomato topping but she ate devoured this meal 2 days in a row. I love it when I can get her to eat what we are eating. Something other then PB&J or processed food from a can or box. I mean what kid doesn't like tacos? Well my daughter would never try a taco with a shell but, HA HA, she liked this.

Pasta Taco Toss

Salt and Pepper
1 pound penne rigate (or your choice of pasta)
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 pound of ground beef
1 large chopped onion
1 large jalapeno chili - halved, seeded if desired and thinly sliced crosswise
4 cloves of garlic, finally chopped
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 12 ounce bottle of beer or 1/ 1/2 cup chicken stock
2 cups shredded cheddar, monterey jack, or any Mexican semi-soft cheese
2 small plum tomatoes , seeded and chopped
1/4 head iceberg lettuce or 1/2 small heart romaine lettuce, chopped

Bring a large pot of water to boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and return to the pot. While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat olive oil, over medium - high heat. Add the beef and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add 3/4 of the onion, the jalapeno, garlic, chili powder, coriander, and cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is softened, 6 - 7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute, then stir in beer. Add the sauce to the pasta and toss. Spoon into a serving dish, top with cheese and tent with foil to melt the cheese, about 1 minute. Top with remaining onion, the tomatoes and lettuce - just like tacos!


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