One of the best parts of cooking large meals is bringing people together. For this week's meal, we invited my Zia Tia and Uncle Dan over for dinner. This was the first time I brought extra family into this experience. Until now, it's just been my mom, aunt, two cousins and grandparents. It was fun to bring new people into this experience and this was a great meal to do just that. This week, there wasn't anything too adventurous on the menu but definitely tasty.
Appetizer: Poached Eggs on Country Bread with Asiago
Main Course: Chicken Rolled and Stuffed with Smoked Mozzarella, Spinach and Prosciutto
Side: Rice with Vegetables and Fine Herbs
This was the first time I'd ever poached eggs before. It was a terrifying yet enlightening experience. It seems so hard if you haven't tried it before. Just tossing a raw egg into water does't seem like a good idea in theory. It sounds messy and like you're attempting to make egg soup. It's basically the same thing as frying an egg though. The only difference is you're cooking it in water and it turns into a funny shape. The longer you leave the egg in, the more solid the yolk will get. So depending on whether you or your guests like your eggs a little more runny or a little more solid should determine the amount of time you leave it in the water. If the white of the egg is completely solid, you should be good to go. I also took into consideration the jelly-like quality of the yolk. If it was bouncing around like crazy when I took it out of the water, I dropped it back in for a minute or two. I like my yolk a little more solid. I wasn't sure how this appetizer was going to come out but it was really delicious. This would make a nice everyday breakfast too. I bought some nice, heavy sourdough bread for this particular meal but you could just as easily toast up whatever you have in the fridge for a typical morning. This recipe was originally made with Pecorino Toscano but that cheese is very hard to find and typically expensive if you do so I went with a tangy Asiago.
I modified the chicken recipe a bit as well. Rolling the chicken was not working out for me so instead I just folded it in half. I loved the main course. I love the saltiness of prosciutto. It's a fancier version of putting bacon in things and sounds much better. I will say that this menu in general had a lot of preparation. I spent about an hour chopping vegetables and chopping and dividing herbs for each dish. The three items together paired up really well though so it was worth it. The chicken was pretty easy once you stuffed it up. The way you cook it is by individually wrapping each piece of chicken in tin foil, placing them in a baking sheet and baking them in the oven for a out 20-30 minutes. The good thing about it is that I could just turn on a timer and leave it while I took care of other things, like the Rice with Vegetables and Fine Herbs (aka risotto). If you've ever made risotto before, you know what a tedious process this is. Luckily, I had my mom slowly stirring in the broth for me while I took care of everything else. The flavor of these dishes was incredible. Everyone enjoyed them and overall, they weren't too bad for you. As much work as everything was, this was a filling but light meal. There wasn't anything too greasy or carb-ridden. I have to say that this was the best menu plan since starting this series. Everything worked really well together and complemented the flavor of the next dish.
This was one of my favorite Cooking With Stanley meals so far. What do you think? Is this something that you'd like to have for family dinner one night?