Chicken Cordon Bleu

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.



Rolled Stuffed Burgers

The inspiration for this meal came from two things: One, the Super Bowl and Two, the Atlantic Bakery Co.’s Onion Sub Rolls. You will see them later in the background of one of the pictures. We are lucky enough to have a great bakery right down the road from us that sells wholesale to the public!

As you can see in the first picture, I have covered the counter and the rolling-pin with plastic wrap and placed two 8 oz burgers on it.

burger patties

The second picture not only shows the rolls I mentioned earlier, but one of the burgers rolled out a little longer than the buns. You want them to be about ½ inch in thickness when you are done.

rolled meat

In the third picture you can see the burger seasoned with salt & pepper and strips of pepper jack cheese cut into strips and laid across the bottom of the flattened burger.

burger w/ cheese

Now here comes the tricky part, using the plastic wrap as a third hand and starting from the cheese side, you want to roll up the burger into sausage like looking thing as seen in this picture.

rolled burger

Now in the fifth picture you will want to heat a large non stick pan to medium with some butter in it to toast the buns in preparation for the meat tubes of cheesy goodness that will shortly follow.  After taking the rolls out put the burgers in the pan and let them cook a few minutes on one side. Then carefully roll the beef over on its other side and let cook there for a few minutes. Keep rolling and cooking for about 8 minutes or so. Once you see the cheese start melting out one of the ends you would be close to a medium burger.

searing burger tube

Put the burger tube on your toasted bun and dress it the way you like.  Personally I just like ketchup on my cheese burgers.

burger w/ ketchup on bun

In the last picture you can see the bun, the meat-cooked medium and the cheese in the middle oozing out of the center. Serve them with some garden veggie straws that come from Costco or potato chips.

finished burger tube

Hope you like my new way of making burgers.  Enjoy ~

Spinach and Bacon Quiche

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.

peppered pie doughFor 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.

eggs, onions, galic, milk

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.

quiche in oven


cooked quiche

plated quiche


My wife is not a big fan of meatballs, she complains they are always too dry. In my hometown in New Jersey was a family from Italy who showed me how to make simple and yet moist meatballs.

Simple Meatballs

  • 2 tbsp garlic
  • 4 tbsp pecorino romano cheese
  • 1 tbsp salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp bread crumbs
  • 1.5 lbs ground beef – 80/20 is the best kind to get

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  • Mix and form into large balls with ice cream scooper

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  • Then cut in 1/2

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  • Roll and place on 1/2 sheet pan

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  • Bake at 400 F for 10-15 minutes
  • Take out and let cool

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The meatballs are now ready to be added to an Italian gravy or eating plain. Another benefit of this recipe is that these meatballs can be stored and frozen up to 3 months. And when ready to use, let them thaw and then put in any gravy or sauce you want.

And these my wife will eat.

Foccacia Breakfast Sandwich

I love my wife’s focaccia bread. I will caramelize onions and take rosemary from our garden, mix with some olive oil and place on top of the bread before it bakes.

Since there is always leftovers, I am always looking for ways to use her bread with future meals.

Caramelized onion and rosemary focaccia bread with egg and cheese.

Caramelized onion and rosemary focaccia bread with egg and cheese.

1. Slice the focaccia bread in half and placed in a buttered fry pan to warm up and toast.

2. Fried an egg and placed some cheddar cheese on top to melt.

3. Placed egg and cheese between bread and it is ready to eat.