Friday, November 20, 2009

Broccoli lovin'

I know, I know, I haven't posted in days - such a blog slacker! Kitchen life has been sort of uneventful lately (I'm really trying to cook at least once a week!) and the whole not running thing has gotten me down (seriously itching to run) so I don't want to bore you guys with little things. Also, this always happens when I live alone...I feel compelled to be more social/spend less time at home because let's face it, the apartment is lonely and I'm the type of person that craves interaction. Hopefully you guys don't mind my scattered postings :/

The past couple of days have actually been jam packed! I squeezed in a last minute haircut on Wednesday at Bang Salon (the Verizon Center location) with Roberto, my current favorite. I was way overdue for a cut but I had no idea what to do with my ridiculous mane. I finally decided on just a trim with layers and some side bangs. Yeah, nothing exciting - totally my safe cut. Roberto tried to get me to do full on bangs but I promptly passed because bangs make me nervous. But I might consider them at a later date...

So this is what the 'do looked like. I have not been able to get it to look like that since Wednesday. Ha. And yes, I look that tired in person...sleep schedule is all messed up!

Dinner that night was some leftover Chicken Tortilla soup from Whole Foods (no photo). I was in Tenleytown earlier in the week and had to get some grocery shopping done so I decided to stop at the Whole Foods, practicing restraint, to see if they had my absolute favorite store-made soup. They did so I walked away with one of those big containers of it! You have no idea how much I love this stuff. It's kinda salty so I only get it every so often, but if there was a recipe for this sucker, I'd make it all the time (with some mods)! You should see if your local WF has it and give it a try! Note - it's the one found with the chilis and stews.

Last night was my scheduled cooking night since Susan and I had plans to revert to our younger years and have a gym/dinner/sleepover night. The whole gym thing fell to the wayside when I got an email from old coworkers organizing a happy hour ;p I haven't seen these ladies in awhile so I couldn't say no, plus it was one of those weeks at the office...a drink was definitely in order!

I met up with everyone at Elephant and Castle for a couple beers (apparently Boddingtons has become my drink of choice there, sort of like how the Black Velvet is my drink at The Big Hunt) and Susan met up once she was done with work. It actually took a lot of willpower to not order snacks! I kept chanting 'budget! budget!' in my head.

We finally made it back to my apartment close to 8pm so I tried to make dinner as quickly as possible...starving! On the menu - chicken breasts stuffed with spinach, feta and sundried tomatoes served over crisp potatoes, broccolini (you bet!) with a lemon/butter/wine sauce. A bit of a random creation, but I wanted some broccolini and needed to use the bag of spinach in my fridge.
I was pretty confident about the stuffing, but not so confident about what to do with the taters or the sauce. I'll be the first to admit that I don't know the first thing about sauces, but that doesn't mean I won't give it the good 'ol college try!

There aren't really any measurements for the stuffing (I grabbed and threw into food processor and I may or may not have been cooking slightly buzzed) but here's a guesstimated recipe.

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Spinach, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Feta
1 1/2 handful spinach
1/3 c full fat feta
1/3 c sun-dried tomato halves
2 chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded to 1/4" thick pieces
8-10 toothpicks
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pulse first 3 ingredients together until a pasty mixture is formed. Lay chicken breasts out and pat a generous amount of the mixture on each piece.
Roll chicken up, secure with at least two toothpicks and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium high heat and brown chicken on all sides. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
Pretty chicken, yah? Thank Susan who was my photographer for the evening!

As the chicken was baking, I started on the potatoes and broccolini - super fast and easy!

Potato Crisps
2 large fingerling potatoes, thinly sliced
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

Heat butter and olive oil in the same pan the chicken was cooked in over medium high heat. Sprinkle potatoes with a generous amount of salt and pepper and place potatoes in pan, making sure they form one layer. Cook for 3-5 minutes on one side, stir and cook for another 3-5 minutes or until potatoes start to look brown and crispy. Plate immediately.

Spicy Garlic Broccolini
1 bunch broccolini, trimmed
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chili paste
2 tbsp water or broth

Heat olive oil in a pan and saute garlic for 1 minute. Add broccolini and water or broth, stir and cover to steam for 3 minutes. Add chili paste and saute for 1-2 minutes.
So here's the taters and broccolini on the plate:
Once the broccolini was done, I got to work on the sauce.

Lemon Butter and White Wine Sauce
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp chardonnay
1 1/2 tbsp heavy cream
Salt and pepper

Heat butter in chicken/potato pan. Once butter has melted, add lemon juice and chardonnay, stirring constantly. Whisk in cream and salt and pepper.
Heat til combined and pour over dish.

More tonight - might be a stir fry sort of evening! Happy Friday!!


High Heels and Huntin' Boots said...

Great recipe! Thanks for sharing!

Lexi said...

beautiful plating!

Anonymous said...

I just printed out these recipes! not even kidding - that looks SO good and easy!! I might substitute roasted red peppers for the sun-dried tomatoes, just because I'm a little obsessed with RR-peppers..... :)

have a gooood weekend!! Dinner/hh the week after thanksgiving? email me! we'll figure somethin out!

Jamie said...

wow, you made this? it looks so good except for the broccoli....definitely a lot better than the food on base.

Karena said...

thanks! but susan gets all the credit for making my food look good ;)

heather - will def keep in touch! there are a few new places that are on my must check out list :)

j - psh, it's broccoLINI. you'd eat it. you have eaten it!! ;p

MarathonVal said...

I love the haircut!! I personally find side bangs super annoying and am always pushing mine to the side, but it's such a cute look on you!