Tuesday, June 8, 2010

feed me, semour!

I'm going to apologize to my readers for being MIA:

Sorry, Kristen, please forgive me for my lapse.  I am over here, sitting on recipes for grilled artichokes, phenomenal lime shrimp, green mango salad, strawberry-rhubarb galette, and blue cheese & beer tomato soup.  All while showing the hill who's boss and patching up annoying leaks.  But have I done anything about this?  Nope.

Until now!!

I got it into my head to stuff chicken breasts with a sun-dried tomato pesto.  And, thankfully, my beau is smart enough not to stand in the way when I get these kinda things in my head.  It's for the best.  For him.  And for his taste-buds.*

*Wow.  Boastful much?

I had been eying a recipe for Chili-Roasted Cauliflower with Cilantro Dressing, and really? the chicken was just an afterthought to my one true love: cauliflower.  We had leftover blended cilantro from a tube from Gourmet Garden, (bought for an earlier recipe first outta curiosity, and secondly because the store was out of fresh cilantro.)  I was quite impressed with this tube-o-herb, especially considering cilantro ALWAYS goes bad on me.  Always!*  However, bear in mind the uses are limited, (i.e. dressings, spreads, drizzling, etc.)  I've adapted the recipe below for this product, but follow the link if you have an abundance of the fresh stuff!

*In fact, I do believe I have a bunch in my fridge right now.... I should do something about that....  

For the chicken, I first butterflied the breasts, then stuffed with the pesto before a quick pan sear & finished in the oven.  Quick tutorial on butterflying: 1) place chicken breast on cutting board, 2) place hand on top of the chicken, holding it firmly against the board with your palm, 3) using a very sharp knife, cut a pocket into the chicken breast running parallel/between your palm and the cutting board, 4) either run all the way through if you desire thinner chicken breasts or, like with this recipe, leave with ~3/4inch edge in tact.

sun-dried tomato pesto stuffed chicken
serves 4

2oz sun-dried tomatoes
1/2oz pine nuts
2 garlic cloves
2oz pecorino romano
1Tbsp basil
3/4tsp salt
1/2tsp pepper
1/2tsp red pepper flakes (or, to taste)
4 chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 350.

Put all ingredients into a food processor & pulse until combined and pesto-y.

Butterfly chicken breasts (if memory serves, this should be enough pesto for 4 breasts), and stuff with pesto.   Use toothpicks to close edges.

Heat a skillet with a couple tablespoons of olive oil (or butter).  Sear on each side for 3-5minutes, then transfer to an oven-safe baking dish.  Bake until cooked through, about another 10-15minutes.  Meanwhile, deglaze the pan with ~1/2cup chicken stock and let simmer until reduced & thickened.  To serve, remove toothpicks and drizzle pan sauce over chicken.

chili-roasted cauliflower with cilantro dressing
serves 4, adapted from serious eats

1 head cauliflower
2Tbsp olive oil
2tsp chili powder
1/2tsp salt, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2tsp lime juice
1/2tsp white vinegar
1Tbsp + 1tsp Gourmet Garden cilantro
2 cloves minced garlic
2tsp water

Preheat oven to 425. 
Break up the cauliflower into large florets.
In a small bowl, combine olive oil, chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Place the cauliflower florets on a baking sheet and toss well with the chili-oil mixture. Roast for 25 minutes, turning once halfway through.
Meanwhile, combine lime juice, vinegar, cilantro, garlic, and remaining salt.  
To serve, drizzle the roasted cauliflower with the dressing.

Oh, and by the way?  This cauliflower was DIVINE!  Will be repeated.

1 comment:

  1. Me Likey!!

    Welcome back to blogworld, woman.