Stuffed Poblano Peppers + Adobado Pork

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

True talk: Rachael Ray taught me how to cook. Living alone after graduating college, I binged on 30 Minute Meals and absorbed her tips and tricks. As I learned more from other TV cooking shows, cookbooks, and blogs, she's fallen off my radar as a go-to resource - until recently. A friend gave me a stack of old Rachael Ray magazines and this stuffed pepper recipe popped out as something different but delicious-looking.

You start off prepping your poblano peppers. Her recipe asks for 6 but I only did 4. I sliced off the tops, removed the seeds and ribs, and rinsed inside and out. Then, you prep the filling, which includes:

1 15 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed
1 4 ounce log soft goat cheese
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Monterey jack (I used feta - had it on hand!)
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (I used frozen kernels rinsed in warm water)
1/4 pound salami, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (I left out)

So, I cut down the number of peppers, but didn't cut down the filling amount. You'll see below that this causes a tiny problem. My beans were not on board with being mashed up as the recipe calls for, so I left most of them whole. All in all, I liked the heartier texture when we ate them later!

I stuffed the filling into the peppers which were simply overflowing. I tried to jerry-rig a "stand" of sorts by rolling up some aluminum foil to keep all of the stuffing from falling out during baking. I popped these into an almost 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

Some of the stuffing still fell out, yes, but it was AMAZING. The cheese on the outside got all crispy and crunchy and the high heat of the oven blistered the pepper skin beautifully.

I paired the peppers with But I'm Hungry's Pork Chops Adobado. Sounds and tastes super fancy, but it's basically a (mostly) dry rub for pork that contains:

2 tablespoons olive oil
5 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste

I marinated two chops in the rub overnight and then threw them in the oven for 30 minutes or so in the same oven as the peppers until cooked through. Admittedly, I was preparing them right before bedtime and was wiped out, so I just tossed everything in a bag instead of toasting them all a bit on the stove. Even in Raw & Lazy form, the flavor is delicious. The paprika just adds such a big punch of smoky, rich flavor - you will love them.

We each got a chop and two peppers. This was one filling and flavorful dinner! The peppers were such a hit. I love that the heat was so high in the oven that the pepper skin got so blistery and hot. It was totally the look, texture, and flavor I imagined when I read the recipe, but I didn't have to deal with the grilling. I'll definitely be serving these again!

Oops, I Did It Again - Herbs De Provence French Bread

Monday, October 27, 2014

I am obsessed with this Rosemary Kalamata French Bread I shared with you awhile back. I've made it twice since and it is just perfection. I enjoyed a slice of it with some scrambled eggs for breakfast when inspiration struck. I love adding Herbs de Provence to my scrams and knew those same herbs would be outrageous in this most perfect of breads.

And so I began making this recipe for a fourth time. I started with the traditional HdP mix:

If you can't read the labels in the photos, I used savory, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and dried lavender. I used ALL of each of the 5 green ones and a little more than a tablespoon of the lavender buds. I've lamented with friends before that, though I LOVE fresh herbs, I loathe the tedious process of removing them off of their stems. Other than the lavender, I prepped all of these herbs. It took me for fucking ever to do, and I grumbled along the way, but I knew the final product would be worth it. (Spoiler: it is.)

I ran a pair of kitchen shears through the whole mix to slightly break down the larger pieces, but otherwise kept everything whole. Primarily this was for full flavor permeation and a rustic look to the final bread, but I was also so friggin tired of working on the herbs at that point. Laziness doesn't always taste better, but it rocked in this case.

If you don't want to click back to the original post, I mixed 4 cups all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon active dry yeast, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 cups warm water with the dough hook in my Kitchenaid. Once it all started to come together, I dumped in the herbs. After about 8 - 10 minutes mixing on low, I removed the hook and covered the bowl with plastic wrap.

Plop this somewhere dark and come back four hours later. It will expand into this:

Roll it around on a lightly floured countertop and shape it into a ball. Oh, update! In the original recipe, I have you simply put the ball of dough into a lightly oiled Dutch oven. That was great but the bottom crust was too dark for my liking, almost black. In my subsequent executions of this recipe, I put a piece of Parchment paper on the bottom, then add a bit of oil, then add the bread. The bottom crust comes out PERFECT. I highly recommend this twist to the recipe. Let it sit in the Dutch oven on the counter for another 30 minutes or so, slice an X on the top, and bake. You bake at 450° with the lid on for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and reduce the heat to 375° for another 15 or so minutes.

This is a thing of beauty. The time it took to pluck all of the herbs? Beyond worth it the second you catch a whiff of this aromatic, fresh and fragrant bread.

And you want to keep eating it. And eating it. And eating it. And your husband calls to you from the other room and you can't answer him because your mouth is stuffed full of herbaceous, doughy, hot from the oven bread. And you wonder if you REALLY have to share the rest of the loaf with him or save it for future use.

You save it. Breakfasts are better because of Herbs de Provence toast. Soups are better because you dip Herbs de Provence bread into them.

Make this bread. Make it with herbs, make it with olives, make it with sun dried tomatoes, make it with roasted garlic cloves, make it plain Jane. I just beg of you - make it. You will never be the same again.

Roasted Salmon With Horseradish Dill Sauce

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Happy Thursday! It's my Friday today as I'm traveling tomorrow - thank freakin' goodness - so I'll give you this quick and easy salmon sauce.

The fish itself is simple -- I had the fishmonger take the skin/scales off of two beautiful salmon fillets. I seasoned them with salt and pepper and a tiny drizzle of olive oil and baked them at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.

While the fish cooked, I mixed up the sauce. I started a ton of fresh chopped dill -- it's not helpful recipe-wise, but dill is very hit or miss for people, so use as much as you like. I went with "lots". I added it into a cup of 2% Greek yogurt with the juice of one lemon and 2 tablespoons of horseradish. I love the spicy punch that the horseradish brings, but the yogurt helped cool it down a bit so the fresh green dill shone through the brightest.

I served with a few Persian cucumbers sliced up and lightly salted on the side. They added some much needed crunch to the plate.

Oh, and remember the soup?

This almost edged into Diet Food territory, it was so light and healthy. So I had an extra glass of chardo for dessert. Moderation is the name of the game, right?

Wine Wednesday: Bigorre, Clos Basté 2012

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My new job is a few short blocks from Astor Wines, an absolute playground for oenophiles in NYC. I've gone there a few times on lunch breaks just to wander and 'window shop' so to speak. The staff is extremely approachable and knowledgable

I felt very much in a rut a few weeks ago and decided that cooking a fancy weeknight dinner and pairing it with a new wine we'd never tried would help lift the shroud. The soup part of that dinner I shared with you yesterday and the salmon piece is coming tomorrow (promise!). All I could think of that day at Astor was finding a red wine to go with a nice hearty piece salmon. I know, I know -- red wine and fish? It worked and did not overpower.

No lies, I picked this bottle primarily because it was French and I wanted to help break out of my rut with my Edith Piaf Pandora station. You know I like a theme.

I got a very crisp celery and green pepper aroma - very exciting since I didn't want it to be too heavy with the fish. After sipping, it gave me a very bright mineral feeling, almost like licking a stone (don't tell me you never did this as a child), with a very smooth dark blueberry flavor as well. The crispness and fruitness paired beautifully with the fish. When I checked back to my photos of the signage from the store, "wet stones" is listed as a flavor note - I felt really proud at myself for identifying what should otherwise be a ridiculous flavor to pick out of a wine!

I purchased this for $11.96 at Astor Wines and loved it. The price is perfect for Weeknight Wine and I certainly will be back for another bottle!

Artichoke Asparagus Soup

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Beautiful Soup, so rich and green,
Waiting in a hot tureen!
Who for such dainties would not stoop?
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!

- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

As evidenced by the poetic intro, I love soup. I whipped one up recently on one of our first chilly days of autumn. Ironically, I went with two super springtime vegetables - asparagus and artichokes.

I started out with the following ingredients:

1 lb marinated artichoke hearts (oil drained)
1 bunch of asparagus, woody stems removed and tops reserved
2 1/2 c vegetable stock (you can certainly use chicken stock or plain water - use what you have!)
2 cloves garlic
Chives, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon 2% Greek yogurt (not pictured above)

I heated a bit of olive oil in my tallest-sided pot and added the chives and garlic to sweat a bit. After a minute or two, I added the asparagus, stirred, and cooked for 3 - 4 minutes. Next came the artichokes.

I left them whole since I planned to puree the soup, but you can certainly slice them down if you want to get fancy with your presentation. While the veggies softened and cooked, I added salt and a LOT of fresh black pepper.

After about 5 minutes of the vegetables sauteing, I added in the stock. I brought it to a boil, reduced the heat, and let the whole thing simmer for about 10 minutes.

Then, I whipped out the immersion blender. I have been living with J for four plus years now and this was my first time actually using the tool myself. I always imagined me splattering the entire kitchen with food and/or burning myself in the process. Luckily this worked out and the soup turned out perfectly smooth.

Once blended, check for seasoning and add more stock if you want it to be thinner. Then, stir in the tablespoon of Greek yogurt. You can certainly use cream if you wish, but I love the tangy flavor from the yogurt as well as the protein. I also added in the asparagus tops, a trick I learned from the OG Of Asparagus Soup (my mother). You get the pretty flowery tops of the stalks as well as that nice tender bite in the otherwise smooth, velvety soup. Keep the soup simmering for another 5 minutes or so to be sure you heat the tops all the way through.

Serve up in bowls and top with more fresh cracked black pepper.

I patently love pepper. Start to finish, this took about 30 minutes, including the vegetable prep. The leftovers were delicious to take to work in my Thermos and reheated really well. It was so light but still quite filling. I served this on the side of a light, herby fish dish that I'll post later in the week!

Sesame Stir Fry + Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I love a good stir fry. It's a great way to fill up on loads of veggies in one meal. I added on to Real Simple's kale & red pepper stir fry recently and ended up with a heap of sesame-flavored vegetables paired with an Asian spiced pork tenderloin.

The stir fry contained:

1 red bell pepper
2+ teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
1 medium bunch of kale, leaves ripped into bite-sized pieces
1+ cup snow peas, halved
1 10 oz container sliced mixed mushrooms
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 - 2 glugs of chicken or vegetable stock

Heat canola oil in a pan, then add pepper and ginger. After about 2 minutes, add in the mushrooms and peas. After another minute or so, add in the kale and soy sauce. Continue to toss until the kale wilts down but remains bright green. During this wilting process, I noticed the pan getting a bit dry, so I added in a small splash ('glugs' above) of stock. The stock gave off steam which helped further the kale wilting. Once finished, I drizzled on some sesame oil and sprinkled with sesame seeds.

I paired this with slices of pork tenderloin that I'd rubbed with a dry spice mix and baked. The mix was a tablespoon of Chinese 5 spice, a teaspoon each of cumin, hot paprika, and garlic powder, a 1/2 teaspoon salt and many aggressive shakes of fresh cracked black pepper. I let it sit on the countertop for about 10 minutes in the dry rub while the oven heated up, but you certainly could do this overnight for stronger permeation. This would work great on chops or chicken, too.

A flavorful pile of veggies and a rich, spicy protein, from fridge to plate in under an hour. I know some balk at weeknight meals that go past 30 or 45 minutes, but this one is full of big flavors. If you're not a pork eater, certainly swap in some chicken or even shrimp - even add them to the stir fry itself!

Corn Radish Salad + Onion Meatloaf

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

As I've heard from plenty of you before, sometimes the hardest part of figuring out dinner is what to cook on the side. Wandering the Greenmarket on a lunch break a few weeks ago, Side Dish Inspiration struck when I saw a massive bunch of radishes next to a heaping pile of fresh sweet corn. I had to have them both.

At home that evening, I cut the kernels off of the two ears of corn and diced up the radishes pretty small. Since the corn was so fresh, I didn't even consider cooking it. It was so crunchy and sweet in it's lovely natural state and totally held it's own agains the tart spice of the radishes.

I then set out to dress up these pink and yellow beauties. I had on hand a jalapeño, a bunch of cilantro, a lime, and the other half of a radicchio head. I added them all (just the juice of the lime) to a blender, added some oil, salt and pepper, and gave it a whir.

I also found a way to use up the other onion soup packet - meatloaf! I dumped the mix into a pound of ground turkey, added an egg and some breadcrumbs, mixed, and baked until cooked through.

I tossed the corn and radishes with the dressing... which ended up way more brown than green, thanks to the radicchio. Looks gross, tasted fresh and spicy and herbal. Promise.

All in all, this was a home run weeknight dinner - quick to put together and really delicious. Sweet and crunchy salad punched up with a zingy dressing paired with a juicy and onion-rich turkey meatloaf. I lucked out finding such perfect fresh corn and hope I can score some more before the season truly ends!

Pad Thai Quinoa

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Since starting my new job at the end of August, I have been religious about bringing lunches to work. It continues to astound me at how much money I'm saving just with an hour or so of prep work on Sunday afternoon. In NYC, a standard lunch could run you $10 - $12 for a chopped salad, or a hearty sandwich, or even a soup combo with either. Take out? Possibly even more. Do that five days a week, four weeks a month, and that's $200 minimum on lunches!

One of my favorite big batch, make ahead, bring to work meals are quinoa bowls. You add in whatever protein and vegetables you want and portion it out across multiple days. The first actual recipe-based one I tried - and LOVED - was Iowa Girl Eats' Thai peanut pad thai bowls.

You'll need:

1 cup quinoa, well rinsed in cool water
1 3/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 teaspoons peanut oil
6 oz chicken breast, thinly sliced
1 cup coleslaw mix
1/2 cup frozen shelled edamame
2 green onions (scallions), chopped
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 cup salted peanuts, chopped

To stretch my dollars even more, I used veggies I already had in my fridge or freezer. Instead of edamame, I used frozen corn and frozen peas and swapped the coleslaw mix with 1/2 a carrot and 1/2 a radicchio head, both shredded.

For the Pad Thai sauce, you'll need:
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon peanut butter
2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce (I used harissa since it was in the fridge!)

You start off cooking the quinoa. Bring the stock to a boil, add the quinoa, lower the heat and simmer with the lid on until the liquid is absorbed. I also seasoned the broth with some Chinese five spice to add another layer of flavor - unnecessary, but I'd totally recommend. Just like All The Real Chefs tell you to salt your pasta water, I've started seasoning my quinoa water. Game changer, just saying.

For the sauce, combine all ingredients in a bowl, whisk, and zap in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Whisk again and set aside. Whisk your egg with some sesame oil and keep aside, too.

Once all of your stir fry ingredients are prepped, heat oil in your pan (I used olive instead of peanut, sue me) and cook the chicken. Once no longer pink, remove from the pan and set aside. Into the same pan, add all of your vegetables and stir fry until tender. Once they've started to soften, push everything to the outside, dump in your whisked egg and scramble it.

Add the chicken back in, the quinoa, the peanut sauce, and the peanuts. Mix until everything is coated and do your best not to immediately start scooping spoonfuls into your watering mouth.

I mean.... dang these are good. All in, this takes about 30 minutes start to finish, including prep. In those 30 minutes, I made lunch for an entire week. Once the final mixture cooled a bit, I portioned it out in to Tupperwares and stacked them in the fridge.

This has your protein from the chicken and quinoa, some sweetness from the vegetables, some heat from the peanut sauce (and a squirt of sriracha - I'm That Girl who keeps a hidden bottle at her desk!), and some crunch from the peanuts. I can't get enough of it!

Five On Friday: Lazy Food Write Ups

Friday, October 10, 2014

Happy Friday! Today is a happy one for me as I'm gearing up for a fun weekend celebrating our first year of marriage! It feels like decades and it feels like a week since we said, "I do". A little drink clinking and holding hands around Manhattan will be a nice antidote to a few crazy weeks. How crazy? Well, I have five delicious recipes for you today but could not find the time, energy, or wherewithal to turn them into full posts.

Without further ado, I give you today's Lazy Five On Friday Food Write Ups!

1. Shrimp Quinoa Bowls adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

I planned on making lettuce wraps and using the shrimp marinade from this recipe. Then, New York City spit in my face and all of the lettuce/cabbage/radicchio/etc. at my local store was nasty the day I went to shop. So, I reverted back to the original recipe and made quinoa. I cooked it in chicken stock and a few shakes of cumin - it was so fragrant and a little darker brown than usual. While Kristin's marinade worked on the shrimp, I cooked a diced shallot and corn sliced from two cobs in oil, then added two cans of roasted and chopped green chiles. Once those were heated up, I added in the marinated shrimp PLUS the marinade - it made everything saucier. Once the shrimp turned opaque and slightly pink, I dumped in the quinoa, mixed it all together, and served in bowls. With a bit of sriracha drizzled on top, this was a light yet very filling weeknight dish.

2. Curry Coconut Chicken from Half Baked Harvest

This is freaking awesome. The recipe calls it "butter chicken", but of all of the flavors you taste, butter is not even recognizable. This is spicy, this is tomato-y, this is creamy, and it is perfect. Keep this in your back pocket for when the weather gets cold and you want to heat up from the inside out! My tip? Make it easy on yourself and do the ingredient prep the night before. I had all of my spices mixed, my onion minced in the fridge, and all of my canned goods out on the countertop the morning I made this. This is one of those great slow cooker recipes where you simply pour everything into the hot tub, stir, set it, and forget it. I went a little heavy with the hot spices so used a bit more yogurt to tone it down a bit. I served it with garlic naan bread and a cool, crunchy cucumber salad. I took leftovers to work for lunch and they were super tasty.

3. One Pan Seafood & Chorizo Bake from Real Simple

Mussels take time to prep. You have to soak them and de-beard them and soak them some more. But if you're willing to put in the time and energy, the rest of this dish was really straightforward. I tossed the mussels, some sliced pre-cooked chorizo, and cleaned shrimp in a bit of oil and Old Bay and spread everything across a large sheet pan. I baked it until the mussels opened and the shrimp was opaque and served it with lemon wedges and crusty bread.

4. Savory Citrus Slow Cooker Chicken from Miss In The Kitchen

Another Pour, Mix, Start slow cooker recipe. I poured beer over Dijon mustard and whisked in the bottom of the cooker. Then I dumped in the rest of my Napa seasoning and some herbs de Provence. I added two pounds of bone in skin on chicken thighs (they were $1.97 a pound at Fairway and you better believe I have several packs in my freezer for the future!) to the seasoned liquid, topped with a sliced orange and some fresh rosemary sprigs, and set it to low for 8 hours. The chicken pulled apart with barely any fork pressure and was perfectly juicy. It soaked up all of the herbaciousness of the spice blends and the zing of the orange with a great bitter undertone from the beer. The original recipe calls for honey Dijon - I used regular Dijon and honestly would squeeze in a bit of honey the next time I make this. It was simple and fool-proof and an absolute hit.

5. Buffalo Cauliflower Chili from Kitchen Treaty
I've turned into That Girl who is close to reciting Sonnet 43 to her slow cooker. It's just so easy! This meatless chili is delicious and requires you to open cans, shake spices, and stir. Technically you need to cut up a head of cauliflower into florets, but I took 10 minutes the night before to do so (and dice up an onion). I also had a bunch of radishes sliced in my fridge and threw those in as well. Otherwise, this is spicy, it's hearty, it's comforting, but it's vegetables and beans and will fill you up without making you feel too weighed down. Topped with chopped chives and some blue cheese and you have yourself a fantastic dinner.

Have you made any quick, easy, and awesome recipes recently? I'd love for you to send them my way - I'm always on the hunt for simple and tasty.

Enjoy your weekends!

Oh and yay -- the Five On Friday girls are hosting a giveaway!

Spicy Apple Cider Pork Tenderloin + Sautéed Apples

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I have fallen in love with the site Feasting At Home. The site's writer, Sylvia, has a focus on seasonal preparations and seasonal ingredients, which is what I found in this slightly complex but entirely delicious recipe of hers.

There are three key players: the marinade for the pork; the hard cider sauce; and the sautéed apples.

Pork Marinade
1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin whole
1/4 C fresh lime juice and zest from one lime
1/4 C fresh orange juice and zest from one orange
1/4 C maple syrup
3 garlic cloves minced
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

I didn't know what to think about the lime in the marinade. Lime and maple? It sounded super weird. But I went for it and it all works. The combination of both citrus flavors really cut through the syrup and added a bright freshness. I prepped the marinade the night before I cooked this, so I had a full 24 or so hours of flavor permeation. I'd definitely recommend you marinate as long as you can.

The main difference is that she grilled her tenderloin whereas I baked it in the oven until around 140 degrees. After letting it rest for a few minutes, I sliced it up and plated.

Hard Cider Sauce
1 T butter
1 large shallot finely diced
1 cup hard apple cider
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 of a whole serrano chili, seeded and finely diced (I used one small jalapeño)
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream (half and half will curdle)
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste (add last)

After softening the shallot in butter, you add the cider, stock, and pepper, bringing the whole mixture to a boil. I bought all of the ingredients for this recipe at the Greenmarket and was so excited to find freshly pressed local apple cider. Then I got home and realized I needed hard cider, not regular old tart-n-sweet cider. But I went with it anyhow, added a splash of Maker's Mark for the booze component, and it was delicious. Simmer to reduce by half (around 20 minutes), then slowly whisk in the cream and simmer for another 15 minutes or so. I used light cream instead of heavy and, as Sylvia warned me in the recipe, it separated a bit. Not the prettiest end result, but certainly still tasty.

It was creamy and sweet, but the heat from the pepper creeps up on you in the back of your mouth. It's Mouth Spicy, but not Stomach Ache Spicy, if you know what I mean. Such a neat twist to this sauce. The spicy was off-set by the cider, but also the soft apples served on the side.

1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 apples unpeeled and thickly sliced (I used Gala)
1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage (I used rosemary - all I had on hand!)
1 1/2 teaspoons teaspoons sugar (I skipped this; see below)
1/4 teaspoon salt
splash cider

These are fantastic and I highly recommend you make them even if you don't do the other components. Especially now that we're in the height of Apple Picking Season, this is a great way to turn them into something other than desserts. After slicing your apples, cook them on medium heat in olive oil until tender. Add in your chopped herb(s), salt, and splash of cider. Since my cider was non-alcoholic, I figured it was sweet enough already and I left out the additional sugar. Once the liquid evaporates, the apples are ready to serve.

This is a sweet, spicy plate of autumn - it truly felt like a fancy weeknight feast. The pork is so tender and is punched up with the peppery apple sauce. The Gala apples still have a slight bite to them and work beautifully with the fresh rosemary. This does take a little bit of prep, especially if you do the marinade ahead of time, but you can make the sauce while the pork bakes, which is what I did. If nothing else, head over to Feasting At Home and check out some of the other beautiful recipes she has created and shared!

Hasselback Caprese Chicken

Monday, October 6, 2014

Have you ever eaten Hasselback potatoes? I admit - I have not. I heard about them a year or so ago during a lazy weekend lounging about watching Bobby Flay look sexy while grilling things on television. You slice potatoes most of the way through, fill the slices with some sort of flavor butter/paste or ingredient, and bake. I saw a version of this applied to chicken breasts on Pinterest and was totally sold on the idea. Chicken breasts are the most boring and flavorless of all proteins to me, so any recipe that jazzes them up is a win! I’ve been having a Moment with sun dried tomatoes so wanted to do a riff on caprese flavors.

I started with three boneless skinless chicken breasts (two for us for dinner and one for a take-to-work lunch). Using a sharp paring knife, I made a series of slices about 1/2” apart from each other. Make sure you stop before you slice all the way through!

I sliced some fresh mozzarella and sun dried tomatoes and stuffed them as far as I could into the slices. I also seasoned with salt and pepper.

I bought an 8-ounce container of fresh pesto at Fairway and used about half of it on the three chicken breasts. I baked them for 25 minutes at 350° until the meat thermometer hit 165°.

I served the chicken with cauliflower ‘rice'. I shredded it in my food processor and cooked it on the stove top in oil to slightly brown it. Then, I tossed it with the remaining pesto sauce. To be honest, I would have much preferred pasta -- these flavors just beg for some penne or cavatelli -- but after a few days of eating leftover Packers Casserole, I needed a vegetable. Whether with pesto sauce or tomato sauce, a pasta side for this would be delicious.

It would be delicious because this chicken is fantastic. The rich tomatoes, the melty mozz, the spicy pesto - you cannot beat this combination of adornments. These were devoured right quick. Plus, the third that I saved for a lunch reheated beautifully and was just as tasty. I am already dreaming up different Hasselback iterations - red onion, jack cheese, cilantro, and BBQ sauce is one that immediately comes to mind. What would you stuff into your Hasselback chicken?
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