Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Keeping it simple

It's been a tough weekend and despite that, I still really wanted to get a bento out the door. So I designed a bento that had some flash but was able to cut corners on complexity on two of the items to bring the overall effort down a notch.

We start with the entree, Chicken Saltimbocca. There are many ways to put this dish together you can either flatten the chicken and wrap it around some ingredients (in my case baby swiss, prosciutto, and roma tomatos) or you can put the ingredients on the chicken breast and secure it with the prosciutto. I happen to like my way better. This was one of the first dishes I learned to cook when I started really taking cooking seriously (moving on from the instant ramen staples of my college years). It's a lovely dish that's still impressive, you get plenty of oohs and ahhs when your diners cut into the chicken. I try to grill this by pan as I'm afraid of the chicken getting too dry if I try to bake it. Perhaps a sear on the stove and a finish in the oven. (notes for experimentation)

So yes, this is a repeat of sauteed green beans I had done earlier, it's just so easy and good for you, that you have to keep it around as a staple. A quick blanch, then saute with some chopped garlic and olive oil, see, simple! I wanted to try some new vegetables, but I need to poll my bento-eaters on what they might find palatable (e.g. brussel sprouts or something like that).


My secondary side, I wanted to play with some different textures to complement the snap of the grean beans. Orzo for me is an interesting bit of pasta that satisfy that criteria, it looks like a grain, but has the soft texture of pasta. It's light and perfect for an easy side dish. I chopped up a bit of fresh herbs (parsley, green onion) paired it up with some stir fried sliced mushrooms, dumped in the orzo, added a bit of parmesian for binding and voila, yet another simple dish.

As usually I cheated on dessert, but the high fiber of the fat free fig bars really fit with the the health profile so it was an easy fit.

All in all I cut preparations down to 1/3 of my usual outlay of time with pounding out the chicken to be the most time consuming task. Not bad, plenty of time to sit back and relax in front of the TV for the rest of the weekend. Sorry about the late post folks. More to come so stay tuned!

Edit: Wow! we just passed 8k visitors thanks so much for coming by!

Box Contents:
  • Chicken Saltimbocca
  • Sauteed Green beans
  • Orzo with Mushroom and fresh herbs
  • Fat free fig bars

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