Cooking with Stanley this week is definitely a Sunday night dinner or you can split it up and have each dish randomly during the week. I'm also going to take a second to make a little announcement. If you've been reading the last few months, you might have seen me say a few times that there are lots of changes coming and new things in the works I've been excited about. Life With A Side Of Coffee has had a lot of food featured lately but nothing necessarily original. All the recipes made have generally been from other blogs and chefs I love with my own photos. As fun as that's been, I've been working on creating original recipes. Yes, you read that right. Life With A Side Of Coffee will be featuring soon recipes written by yours truly. This means, Weekly Eats will eventually phase out leaving room for more original content. With that said, Cooking With Stanley is here to stay. This is an experience that has been giving me memories upon memories and it's a ton of fun. I will be sticking it out through the rest of the book (minus the shellfish). This is something I've been thinking about for quite a while and cooking from already written recipes was my way of getting familiar with ingredients and flavors. I hope you're as excited as I am for what's to come!
Starter: Rice with Zucchini
Main: Chicken with Rosemary
Side: String Beans with Tomatoes
The Rice with Zucchini was fairly simple to make and incredibly delicious. This is probably my favorite dish on the menu. It was light and great for summertime. This could honestly be a meal on its own. When you mix everything together to bake in the oven you also add in some Asiago cheese. The combination is just incredible. The recipe calls for brown basmati rice but I bought regular white basmati. I imagine you could use whichever rice you prefer since you cook the rice separate at first. The only veggies included are onions and zucchini but you can go nuts with this and add in whatever is in season or just a few favorites.
The Chicken with Rosemary was great but a little more work. Cook the chicken in the skillet, move it to the oven, take it back out, pop it back in the skillet, back in the oven. Just a lot of physical work that's a bit difficult when you're managing two other dishes that also need attention. The white wine, rosemary sauce that accompanied the chicken was well worth the work in the end. It was phenomenal and really topped the dish off perfectly.
I paired everything with String Beans with Tomatoes, a very bright flavored side. The dish included fresh green beans, potatoes and tomatoes. I hand crushed some canned whole tomatoes so I didn't need to go through the process of peeling them. I loved this. It would have been even better had I not forgotten about it and overcooked it while dealing with the chicken but c'est la vie. Not everything can be perfect.
The chicken and bean salad would be a great meal together sans the rice. We had a ton of leftovers so what we did was cut up the leftover chicken and mix it into the Rice with Zucchini which made a great, light lunch the next day. Also, spoiler alert! I normally cook the Cooking with Stanley meals on the weekends because they can be super intense, however I managed this on a Monday night in about an hour and a half. I know that's not ideal for a weeknight but not too bad if you need to manage a weekday dinner party. What's better, the Rice with Zucchini can be made hours in advance and then when you're ready, just pop in the cheese and bake for a few minutes. Even the String Beans with Tomatoes can be prepared in advance. So you don't have to scramble like me and do it all at once.