Chapter 2: A new beginning

No such thing as a free lunch? There was today! My official debut to my new potential bento eaters. Six have signed up and I wanted to give them a free preview of what they were getting into. I stayed in budget and whipped up some nice little tidbits to kick things off.

I endured a soaking wet trip to the farmers market this weekend and grabbed some farm fresh made goat cheese. It's been really dry here in Austin and far be it from me to complain about rain, but it did make for quite a soaking at the market. The goat cheese stand caught my eye, and I tucked under the tarp to see what they had. I came out with a cranberry horseradish goat cheese and a garlic and chives goat cheese. Not quite knowing what I was gonna make, I took a gamble that I could build something from goat cheese. I settled on a chicken roulade two ways. I flattened out some chicken breast and spread out the goat cheese. With the garlic and chives I added a some chopped roma tomatoes. A quick sear and I finished it off in the oven.

For the side, I searched out some nice oyster mushroom, two varieties normal king oyster mushroom, and a golden oyster mushroom and put together a nice pasta with a light cream sauce. Is there really a difference in the two mushrooms? I felt like the normal oyster mushroom was dryer both in the sense of dry wine and dry texture. I chose a farfalle pasta as the slight crinkle will hold some sauce, but not as much as a fusilli as I didn't want to do a full on alfredo sauce. I discovered one of my potential eaters was trying gluten free, the box could easily have been made so by a pasta substitution and removal of the dessert. On reheat for myself I think no more cream based sauces, they are too fragile and generally don't go well esp if I'm not serving it out in person.

I felt the need to lighten things up and put together a nice cherub tomato salad with an anchovy vinaigrette. The sweet tomatoes with a caesar like vinaigrette was a perfect blend of sweet and salty. I actually had another bite this evening and it was even better than yesterday.

I had the budget and went ahead and made some prosciutto wrapped asparagus. Easy peasy here, a quick blanch, roll up and finish on the skillet. Crowd favorite and helped with lightening up the box, I finished it with a bit of lemon juice and zest. It's an easy add in, it fits in the utensils slot.

For dessert I cut corners and went with my italian theme and got some amaretti cookies. I'm still waiting for the results of the tasting, hopefully everything went well. I'm glad to have a chance to continue the blog. No bento next week, unfortunately I have stuff going on that prevents my kitchen access. But more good stuff to come!

Box Contents
  • Chicken Roulade two ways
  • Oyster Mushrooms and farfalle with light cream sauce
  • Cherub tomatoes with anchovie vinaigrette
  • Prosciutto wrapped asparagus
  • Amaretti cookies


Angela said…
I would so subscribe to your bento service if I lived anywhere near you. This sounds absolutely delish. You inspire me to try some more adventurous recipes.
Ironjack said…
:) if only i shipped. I'm glad you've found inspiration from my blog. Don't hesitate to ask for a recipe if you see something you like.

Thanks for coming by!
. said…
My brother lives in Austin! Maybe he can ship me some of your awesome lunches! LOL!

I wanted to ask you - do you give all of your lunchers a Laptop Lunchbox and then you clean them? Or do you use disposable containers? Just curious!
Ironjack said…
Every luncher does indeed get a laptop lunchbox for every meal. It makes portioning consistent and loading brain dead simple. I usually close up the small sub-boxes with some cling wrap to keep the aromas from mingling too much (as well as keep in sauce). They eat their meal and return the boxes to me. Usually clean, but I put them thru the wash just in case.

Actually I may have to buy some more in order to accomodate more folks we'll see if I take on more. I'm back up to cooking for a full 6 with at least 5 waiting in on the sidelines.

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