Saturday, April 14, 2012

Italian Light 2 Bento

Finally! A bento! I talked about easeing myself back into things. I'm very glad that I did, it's so easy to get out of the habit of doing things not just cooking but sitting down and writing. I was able to get everything cooked and photographed but just getting the time to writing this post has been tough. Ok I'm just going to launch into the bento.

I went with a "italian" light theme again, it's probably one of the easiest themes to fall back on. I started things with a sous vide poached chicken breast topped with a mint pistachio pesto. I poached the chicken with fresh rosemary, thyme, and basil. Sous vide-ing the chicken really brought out the flavors of the herbs. It was very fragrant without being overpowering paired with the bright flavor of the mint pesto really made it feel light and fresh. Of course the extra tender texture the sous vide process makes this a real winner. I'm not sure there's any other way to prepare proteins that can achieve this level of tenderness.

Next a quick pasta with chili and pecorino. Not much to say here, this is one of the reasons I like to lean on the italian themes. Pasta can easily take up a large spot as a second dish. It's versatile, you can put almost anything into it and use it as a true side dish or in this case as a supplement to the entree. Here I instructed my bento-ers to reheat the pasta gently and top it with the chicken and pesto. This allows the pesto to do double work as it works it's way into the pasta.
This turned out to be a wonderful side dish that I've been taking to a couple of potlucks and earning some rave reviews. I can't take credit for the recipe but it's a real winner. It's broccolini sauteed with kalamata olives, capers and garlic. I was curious about the origins of broccolini apparently it's a man made hybrid plant crossing broccoli and chinese broccoli with the result of a tender stalk. It's a recent invention that has only been commercially available since 1996 in the US. You've got me sold!

Finally dessert did not come out as intended. The initial recipe was from Giada De Laurentiis of an arugula salad with roasted fruits. I had to stop the ship half way thru, I made the panatone croutons and the dressing but after tasting the dressing felt it was way too over powering and I didn't believe the salad would hold up over night in a box. I decided move forward and go ahead and roast the fruits and added a bit more berries from a sack of frozen berries for smoothies and that alone seemed to be an acceptable dessert to my girlfriend. So I present dessert, Roasted fruits yeah I know not a very good name, it's all I got though.

Whew finished. I had to jam this out because I'm already prepparing for my next bento and I didn't want to be behind on pushing out a post. Sorry if it seems a little rushed.


Box Content
  • Sous Vide Herb Poached Chicken Brest with Mint Pistachio Pesto
  • Spaghetti with Chili and Pecorino
  • Broccolini sauteed with garlic, olives, and capers
  • Roasted Fruit

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