Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Leftovers and a new rotation

I'm bad about prejudging how much rice to make for us. Packaged pasta is easy for me, I always cook the whole box. If by chance there is any leftover I save and toss in salads. If I cook a cup of rice, there isn't enough and if I do two I always have leftovers. I would rather have too much than to run out so I usually go with two cups. Then there's those occasions when we order Chinese food. They always throw in too many containers of rice.

I hate to toss out food. I'm sure I have mentioned that before. Money in the trash. I printed a recipe out that called for making a side dish with orzo pasta. Then I thought...hell, I have a tub full of leftover rice from the red bean dinner the other day and I have a container of leftover grilled veg from Saturday's dinner. I think I'll make a rice salad instead. I'll try that orzo side dish some other time.
In a large bowl I threw in my cooked rice, chopped up my leftover grilled eggplant, zucchini and onions then added some chopped kalamata olives and capers.
For some crunch I toasted and chopped some pecans and tossed them in too.
Then I added the zest and juice of two lemons, salt, black pepper, chopped parsley and extra virgin olive oil. I left it out to come to room temperature and be ready for dinner time.

I still wanted to make the chicken portion of the recipe I printed though. It's from Martha's site under "Spinach and Brie Chicken with Tomato Orzo". I did have to make a little change however. The brie at my market was very expensive and they had fontina cheese on sale, so I used that cheese instead. I laid out the chicken cutlets and first put down a good layer of Dijon mustard, then some previously frozen spinach that was thawed and drained. On top of that I placed the fontina cheese. I thought to cut the cheese a bit to make it easier to roll up the chicken. Topped with some salt and pepper.
Rolled them up, rubbed on some olive oil and topped with gray salt and black pepper. I put the oven rack to 4 inches below the top and then broiled these babies for about 10 minutes.
Since I didn't make the orzo side, I really didn't have a sauce for the chicken. I wanted a sauce of some kind. In a separate pan I cooked up a small diced onion and 2 gloves of chopped garlic.

Once translucent I added a cup of white wine and a few rosemary sprigs and let reduce. Once reduced, I added some butter to finish. I know! It's so not me! I added a lump of butter to something! I figured - while I'm eating lots of cheese why not go all the way and make a rich savoury sauce!

Next time I'll puree the sauce. It would look much more clean and fancy I think.
All done! It was awesome. Chris loved those little chicken rolls so much he ate his dinner portion plus half of his lunch portion for the next day! He told me this recipe must go on our regular dish "rotation". They were very tasty indeed. The combination of the tartness of the Dijon with the creaminess of the cheese and chicken. Yummo!

I will make this recipe again this way and the original way with the brie and tomato orzo side. I'm sure it's just as lovely that way. Martha's recipes have always been a hit with us. Even the modified ones! :o)

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