Tonight, I decided we deserved a special treat for dinner. Everyone in the family seems to have just gotten over not feeling well for one reason or another, plus isn't it Oscar night after all?So I cooked Chicken Cordon Bleu with Mushroom Risotto and a Baby Spinach salad with Raspberry vinaigrette.
I started with the risotto which was going to take the longest. Chopped half an onion and sauteed in oil until translucent, then added 1 cup of Arborio rice. Stir stir stir. Add 3/4 cup white wine. Stir stir stir. Meanwhile heat 3 cups of water in the kettle and pour over a small bag of dried mushrooms. Why is it that dried mushrooms have so much more flavor than fresh ones? This one was a mixed bag that I got at Trader Joe's. The mushrooms expand, and you keep adding the water to the rice as the rice cooks on low to medium heat. Stir stir stir. I also added 2 little pouches of chicken broth concentrate. When the mushrooms are soft, fish them out of the water, chop chop chop, and add to the rice. Stir in the rest of the liquid until rice is soft but not mushy.
While the rice was cooking, I sliced open some chicken breasts and stuffed them with a slice each of cooked ham and swiss cheese. Dipped in some beaten egg and breadcrumbs, fried in a generous amount of butter in a stainless steel pan.
When the meat was done, I kept it in an oven safe plate in the warm oven (probably too warm, the pieces got a little darker in there), and made some piccata-like sauce. 2 Tbsp flour into the buttery pan, stirring to get all the chicken come up from the bottom of the pan. Added 1/2 cup of white wine, and juice of one lime. Stir stir stir. When it started to thicken, I added 1/2 a little jar of capers (turns out my older daughter loves them - weird child) and about 1/2 cup of cream. Stir stir stir. Take the meat out of the oven, collect the juices from the bottom of the bowl and add to sauce. Serve over risotto.
The raspberry vinaigrette is a variation of my favorite salad dressing:
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 Tbsp aged Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
Salt and pepper to taste
After stirring this all together, add a handful of frozen raspberries and let sit to gently thaw the raspberries. Add bag of baby spinach and toss gently.
Meanwhile the risotto was smelling amazing and my older daughter was very very hungry. Devoured half a jar of capers while I was cooking. Somehow in there I made Tofu Chocolate Mousse for dessert, and then we all sat down for a strangely harmonious and nice family dinner. Nadia ate risotto, and dipped pieces of chicken in the sauce like a grown up. I can't wait for her to be old enough to really enjoy food. When do kids start liking sushi?