Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Weeknight Bust

The evening is short after working all day, your energy level is low and you've gotta put something on the table.

For some this task can be a challenge, but for me it's been a tough day...so let the therapy begin!


My company hours are 8am-5pm. Usually by 3pm, I'm ready to call it quits...the coma following lunch has set in, I've dealt with enough BS for my liking and I'm already beginning to plan dinner in the back of my mind.

When I notice the clock in the bottom right of my computer screen is past 5:00 PM, I head for the door.

As soon as I get to the car I turn on some fine country tunes and hit my favorite Hannafords on the way home.

Once inside I begin cruising the produce section and try to stay open minded. You never know when something unique is available, or just on sale, to inspire a whole new dinner menu.
This time, being only 2 days before Thanksgiving, much of the seasonal items have already been cleaned out by the soccer moms and eager holiday shoppers. Tonight, I decide to grab some spinach for a stuffed chicken of sorts.

Next is the deli...hmm, perhaps some mozzarella would be good?
I am not sure if you have ever seen this, but my deli counter has a sign showing the relative width translation for thin, medium and thick. Of course being the cheese lover that I am, I want double-XL. I ask the nice woman behind the counter for "3 slices of extra, extra thick mozzarella, please?" She says "okay, but how thick is that?"

Here I go again...reading into her words, tone, and body language (the whole obsessive compulsive BD part of me) - I convince myself it's going to waste several seconds for her to dial a satisfactory thickness and then a few more to put it back into the normal range. Still planning the meal in my mind, I somewhat realize aloud the rather obvious - "6 slices of the thick cut will do the job." She smiles with a bit of confusion and agrees.

As she slices I explore the array of meats before me. Having just had a conversation about Turducken, I'm inspired to try stuffing meat into meat. I find myself staring at the Italian style options...salami, pepperoni, capicola.
When done, the nice deli lady asks, "is there anything else I can get you?" I feel the pressure mount for a prompt decision. The eyes of the people waiting behind me are burning holes into the back of my head. "Yes, can I please have a half pound of...hard salami?" I hear a sigh or two in the background...in case you didn't know the proper protocol of deli orders is meat first, cheese last...oh well, get over it people!

Next essential is wine. I grab a bottle of a cheap Merlot and continue onto the meat cooler.
A package of boneless chicken breast is added to the basket and I do a 180 down the international aisle for some diced tomatoes. On the way I grab a box of rice and head to check out.
The total? Under $20! I thank my cashier and hop in the car to head home.

Once home I layout my goods and begin prepping. My husband, out of his natural curiosity, stops in.
(I like to accuse him of hovering...which deters from my therapy)

My response to his inquiry:
"um...not sure, stuff chicken of some sort."

I open the tomatoes and season them
with some dried herbs and other spices.

Then butterfly the breasts.

Say hello to my little friend, chicken!
Beating the crap out of raw meat
is quite therapeutic...
especially if you've had a rough day!


The flattened breast are stuffed with spinach, cheese, salami and the tomato mixture.
They are rolled in plastic wrap and set to rest, or rather harden to form, in the refrigerator.

An egg wash is prepared and seasoned breadcrumbs poured out.

With the chicken breasts coated...

Let the cooking begin!






Within 30 minutes of cooking, we're done!


My husband is a pretty quiet person and dinner conversation is not his forte. He is however a honest food critic. I have never made anything where, after the first bite, he looks up and says 'Wow! This is the best thing I've ever had!' Or even 'This is delicious!!'

I ask what he thinks, his response is "good." I know that good is not great, so I dig a little deeper and ask "on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate it?" He takes another bite and looks up at the ceiling to think..."I'd say a 5."

I like my dinners to usually range around a 7+ on his scale, so while this idea might have been good in theory...it's a bust in execution.

Next time, I'll likely default to my cheddar and broccoli stuffed chicken (a 7 or 8 rating).

Also worth noting...

This is the first night he has done the dishes in over a week!

Broken collarbone and all, my man helps out :O)

1 comment:

  1. Oooooh- I love the idea of a Brooks Rating on all your recipes! Would show your progress and/or disasters. Great idea! And look at him. He has to participate in some way.