Once again rummaging through the fridge, looking for some sort of inspiration for dinner, I found a little ham and cheese that was left over from making sandwiches earlier in the week and I knew I had some chicken in the freezer. So I said to myself, Let’s have stuffed chicken for dinner tonight along with some brown rice and some vegetable. So here is how I made chicken cordon bleu that night.
I took the chicken breasts out of the freezer and defrosted them under some running cold water.
Using some doubled over plastic wrap, I carefully pounded the chicken breast until it was really thin. Then dredged it in some seasoned bread crumbs and set them aside.
As you can see in the picture, the black forest ham is twice the size of the smoked Gouda cheese, but the cheese is twice as thick as the ham because I like it gooey.
Fold the ham over the cheese and place it on one side of the pounded chicken breast, then fold the chicken over the ham so the chicken kinda seals the open part of the ham. This will help keep the cheese inside the chicken breast while it cooks. If you want you can use tooth picks to help keep the chicken together.
Cook over a medium heat until golden brown about three to four minutes then carefully turn over to cook the other side for about the same amount of time.
If you want, place the chicken on a pan and place it in the oven to keep warm while you make the rest of them, that is, if you have a big family or cooking for a lot of people.
We were having some people over and I was grilling dinner by the pool so I thought some shrimp bruschetta would be a light start to the meal that goes very well with some white wine.
Before the guests came I had already cooked the shrimp in some water, flavored with lemon juice, peppercorns and white wine, shocked them in some ice water and cut them in half the log way.
I had some pesto and some roasted red peppers left over from making dinner a few nights ago so I used them also.
I had picked up a nice baguette from the bakery sliced it, brushed on a little olive oil and toasted them on the grill. Spread a little pesto on the bread, laid some of the roasted peppers on top, topped that with the shrimp halves laid out nicely. Then topped the shrimp with a piece of the roasted red pepper again and some chopped basil for garnish. Finished everything with a light sprinkle of good extra virgin olive oil and some coarse salt & pepper.
I have to admit they didn’t last long and they were really good.
For a nice weekend brunch or even a light weeknight dinner a quiche always works. You can change the fillings and spices to have something different every time. My wife makes the dough as she enjoys baking.
For the dough:
1 1/2 cup flour
4-5 tablespoons cold milk
4 tbsp unsalted butter cold – cut into small chunks
4 tbsp shortening cold – broken up into small chunks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Mix the flour, salt and pepper together. Add in, alternating, the butter and shortening into the flour. Using a dough blender or a fork, combine until the dough is coarse pebbles. Add in 4 tbsp of milk and bring the dough together in a ball, if it is still dry, add more cold milk. Take the dough and wrap with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to chill.
Roll out the dough and place in a nine in pie plate.
For the filling:
6 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
6 strips of bacon
1 cup frozen spinach, drained and chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp garlic, finely diced
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
In a large saucepan cook the bacon until crispy, place them on a paper towel to drain any excess oil. Do not discard the bacon grease left in the pan. Chop the bacon into chunks.
In the saucepan add in the onions and garlic and cook until softened. Remove from pan.
In a large bowl whisk the eggs and milk. Stir in salt, pepper, onions and garlic.
Place the egg mixture in the rolled out dough in the pie plate. Place the chopped bacon, cheese and spinach carefully in the egg mixture.
Cook at 375 F for about 35-45 minutes until eggs are set.