Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Garden Report & two new recipes!

I took these photos on Sunday, so the tomatoes are a little bigger now. 

 The banana peppers are starting to produce now too!
Now, on to the recipes! Tonight I tried two different ones that have been on the side of the fridge for several weeks now:
Pea and Bacon Risotto, from Food & Wine May 2011
Walnut-Stuffed Chicken Roulades from Martha Stewart Living March 2010

Pea and Bacon Risotto

6 oz lean bacon, diced
2 c frozen peas, thawed
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, minced
2 c arborio rice (I only had jasmine rice so that's what I used, which is a different texture.)
1/2 c dry white wine (I forgot to buy this, so I omitted it)
7 c simmering chicken stock (I used some frozen chicken stock that I made a couple months ago)
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 c parmesan
1 Tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Drain bacon on a paper towel. Reserve 1 Tbsp of bacon fat.

In a food processor, puree 1 c  peas and 1 c water.

In a large saucepan heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until tender.

Add the rice, until coated with oil. (Like you would do if you were making Rice A Roni out of a box.)

Add the wine and simmer until evaporated.

Add about 2 c chicken stock and simmer over medium heat, stirring, until absorbed. Continue adding stock and stirring until all stock has been incorporated, about 25 minutes.

Add the pea puree, remaining peas and bacon.

Remove from heat and add butter, bacon fat, cheese and lemon juice.

Note: I also added 5 oz. chopped mushrooms because I had them leftover from the following chicken recipe. I sauteed the mushrooms in olive oil before adding with the bacon.

Walnut-Stuffed Chicken Roulades

10 whole grain crackers, such as Kavli (I used 15 original Wheat Thins)
1 1/4 c chopped walnuts (I used pecans because I don't like walnuts)
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, minced
3 oz mushrooms, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
2 oz spinach (I used frozen)
1 Tbsp water
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded evenly

Preheat oven to 375.

Pulse crackers and 3/4 c pecans in food processor until finely ground.

Heat oil in skillet. Add garlic and shallots and cook until soft. Add mushrooms and thyme and cook until mushrooms are golden. If using frozen spinach, add it and the water to the mushroom mixture.

If using fresh spinach, remove the mushroom mixture from the pan and put on a plate, and cook down the spinach with the water before adding the mushroom mix.

Add the remaining 1/2 of pecans.

Lay a half of a chicken breast on a plate and spoon some of the mixture onto it. Roll up the chicken and then roll through the pecan/cracker mix. Place on a greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers 165.

Here's the mushroom/shallot/garlic mixture. I could of eaten it with a spoon!

Definitely glad I switched out the walnuts for pecans. Together with the Wheat Thins, they made the crust a little sweet!

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