I’m still working on getting my mojo back 100% but I find it hard to concentrate on cooking and recipe development when I have SO much other stuff on my plate. I’m planning a Nautical Baby Shower, a Vintage Candy Shoppe themed second birthday for my twins and our December holidays. While that’s going on I still have events to attend, I’m worried about my brother who is madly in love and writing his matric finals (never a good combination) and I’m trying to keep my family fed, bathed and just generally alive.
Now I know what you’re thinking, especially if you are a working mother, “I do all of that everyday, and then some!” I have the utmost respect for working mothers. I know that being a stay-at-home mom is really hard because there is no break from your children but having to work all day, then coming home to hyperactive yet over tired children, a family that needs to be fed and a house that needs to be cleaned everyday… just the thought exhausts my already tired mind. And even though I am incredibly fortunate to have a full-time, live-in Domestic worker and a husband that is so amazingly understanding and supportive that I sometimes hate him for being so perfect, I’m still tired, so hats off to all of you who are doing this without help. You are indeed, all Super-moms!
And before this starts sounding like a parenting blog, I’ll get back to food. When I’m out of mojo, like now, there are a few people I turn to to get me back into the swing of things. Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson and Martha Stewart all have the power to inspire me and get me amped to cook again. Yesterday I was feeling particularly mojo-less and decided to browse through Martha’s WONDERFUL photo galleries. I went through her 100 easy chicken recipes and spotted this amazing idea. It sounded inspiring but easy. I’ve always loved Orzo (rice shaped pasta) and so I knew this would be dinner.
I made a few changes to Martha’s recipe and the end result was juicy, flavour packed chicken. What more could you ask for? Just excuse the absurd amount of pepper on the chicken, SOMEONE in our house (I’m not naming names) accidentally filled our pepper mill with already milled black pepper (I don’t even know who bought that) and then just topped it up with peppercorns. And I realised too late that while I was happily grinding away, clouds and clouds of already milled pepper were wafting through my kitchen and ontop of my beautiful chicken. I scraped off as much as I could without damaging the chicken, but luckily, magically, the pepper taste wasn’t too hectic, so all’s well that ends well.
Oh, and before I forget, this week I’m giving away Marcus Wareing’s “How to Cook the Perfect..” . Incredible chef, Marcus Wareing presents more than 80 popular recipes ranging from the perfect Roast Chicken, Roast potatoes and Creamy Mash to Apple Pie, Chocolate Brownies and Treacle Sponge. For every recipe he identifies a “Key to Perfection”, the one element to get right for outstanding results.
Once again I thought I would do “Guess the ingredient” because last week’s got so much attention. I thought I would make it slightly easier this week though, as last week’s ingredients were quite hard to guess. I will be posting 3 pictures over the next 3 days and once again, just e-mail me all 3 answers on Thursday and I will announce the winner on Friday. I’ll also post the full pictures on Friday. e-mail the answers to [email protected] . Happy guessing!
Guess the ingredient #1
8 skinless chicken breasts, deboned
2 cups cooked baby spinach, chopped and squeezed dry
200g low-fat Ricotta, crumbled
50g pecorino, finely grated
150g cottage cheese, cream cheese or mascarpone
2 garlic cloves, crushed
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt & pepper to taste
For the orzo:
300g orzo, cooked
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced
100g cherry tomatoes, quartered
2tbsn sweet chilli sauce
salt & pepper to taste
- For the stuffed chicken, carefully slice the chicken in half length ways (butterfly) and place between two pieces of clingwrap. Flatten the chicken out slightly with a rolling pin/meat mallet and set aside.
- For the filling, combine the spinach, cheeses, garlic, lemon juice and seasoning. Mix well. With a chicken breast infront of you, place a tablespoon or two of the spinach mixture on the widest part of the chicken and roll away from you. Place seam side down on a greased roasting tray.
- Repeat until all the chicken has been stuffed then place in a 180°c oven until the chicken is golden and cooked through. (about 15 minutes)
- In a large saucepan, saute the onion and garlic until soft and fragrant then add the cherry tomatoes, sweet chilli sauce and 1/2 cup of water. Allow to simmer until the tomatoes are broken up and the sauce has thickened slightly. Add the cooked orzo and season to taste.
- Serve the orzo and chicken warm.