Day 291: Tastes so much better than it looks

October 18, 2007

The first night at home with the little one went pretty well, she’s got the knack of feeding most of the time, and she certainly sleeps alot in between times. Compared to our rambunctious little toddler, she seems so very easy, for now at least. We think A is starting to get a little more used to the notion of sharing her parents, although she did tell L that she didn’t like the baby when they were out buying diapers. And I suppose that’s absolutely to be expected, and she is also intrigued by the baby so I am sure it’ll all figure itself out sooner or later. Let’s hope for sooner, there are only so many tantrums that should fit into each hour.

In between falling deliciously in love with Baby N, feeling guilty for rocking A’s world, and trying to manage the mountainous milk machines that are growing by the second, we found time to cook Spinach and Goat Cheese Chicken Rolls in a Pan Sauce. While L is on his paternity leave (until Thanksgiving, oh glorious (unpaid) academic sick leave policy) we are considering making some of the Rachael Ray meals for lunch and making sure to eat dinner with the kids every night. We’ve been a bit rubbish about family dinners just because some of these meals take forever to cook and concentration is required to follow a new recipe every day. So we tend to feed A something quick and easy then cook whatever is on the agenda after she has gone to bed. Starting Monday we’ll change that around- we are hoping to halt the increasing refusal of food and the requests for something else instead. It’s like food is becoming a source of power and that is not a winner.

Anyway, so this meal took forever to make and doesn’t look particularly photogenic, but it actually ranks as one of the best chicken recipes that we have made this year. Chicken breasts were pounded into cutlets, then rolled up with a filling of frozen spinach (sieved not dried), Boursin, lemon zest and salt and pepper. They were dredged in flour and sesame seeds, browned in olive oil then finished in the oven. Ours looked really unattractive, like big fat green-filled sausage rolls, but looks aren’t everything, I suppose. Once they were in the oven, we added more olive oil to the pan and fried the garlic, onion, thyme, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. After a few minutes we stirred in some flour, then whisked in some chicken stock and lemon juice, and the sauce was finished with parsley and chopped roasted red peppers. We served the rolls with buttered orzo with parsley, as suggested by Ms Ray.

Having been pretty ambivalent towards yet more poultry rolls in a chicken stock sauce, I think it would be fair to say that we were both almost blown away by how tasty this meal is. The chicken was perfectly moist and succulent, and the spinach cheese filling was excellent. We made some extra filling to have handy to eat on bread or with pasta it was so nice. It was aromatic, smooth and satisfying, and complemented the chicken well. Even the pan sauce seemed to be much better than the usual offerings. The red peppers added a welcome splash of colour, and the sauce seemed to have a good balance of acidity to smooth. The orzo was a good backdrop, being bland enough to bulk up the meal and soak up the flavours of the sauce.

Having just mentioned L’s fantastic paternity leave, tomorrow he has to go into work for a day of committee meetings. Hopefully I’m going to be able to finish preparing for baby. Finally we have a room that looks like a baby room, but things just aren’t quite there. The rocking chair we bought purely for looks is not working out well as a nursing chair- I need like 500 pillows to get comfortable, and last night as I kept falling asleep feeding N, my arms would slide off the arm rests and we’d both be rudely awakened. The chest of drawers under the changing mat is full of stuff from our old house- sewing stuff, art supplies, office junk, with no diapers or wipes to be found. We have a cupboard full of size 1 nappies, but N is currently swimming in the newborn size, likewise all her clothes. And I have no idea where the blankets and stuff that we used with A are- when N took the opportunity to wee all over as I was changing her we had a minor crisis. Two swaddling blankets, her little crossover shirt and hospital issue socks were all wet. To be replaced with? Er? We have plenty of cute clothes but not much handy for the early in-house swaddling days. I’ll find something, hopefully. Oh and there will be sleeping, so much sleeping, I hope. And in the evening we will celebrate the productivity with Lemon and Brown Butter Fish Fillets with Seared Red and Yellow Grape Tomatoes, except all the tomatoes will be red.

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  • Reply one year project » Blog Archive » Day 302: In search of wings October 29, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    […] To use up the remainder of the phyllo pastry, we did however make up some spinach and goat cheese filling, as inspired by Recipe 291, Spinach and Goat Cheese Chicken Rolls in a Pan Sauce. We made much smaller rolls, less than an inch in diameter, and they were in all honesty the best rolls we have had this week. In future I would make them with puff pastry for it’s satisfying puffiness, rather than phyllo pastry with it’s dangerous, potentially throat- ripping, shards. […]

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