Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Day in the Life

The truth is the days and nights at Chez Leiser are pretty uneventful.

The husband goes to work and returns in the wee hours of the night. Sometimes, he’s home for dinner. Yay!

The wife cooks, cleans (No, this isn’t 1950), blogs and teaches her amazingly fantastic piano students. Telephone calls, e-mail and Facebook are also in that mix sometimes. (OK, all the time.)

On the nights when the stars align and husband and wife can sit down and have a proper dinner together, this is likely to be on the menu:

Chicken with Prosciutto, Cheesy Orzo and Sauteed Spinach.

I was reluctant to share this with you, because well, I find it kind of dull. But, I don’t know, maybe you won’t. It tastes super delish, so that’s a plus.

And really, how many of us are going gourmet in the middle of the workweek? Most people order takeout. So, maybe you can shake up your daily dinner rotation with my menu.

The Cheesy Orzo is a Rachael Ray recipe. Here's the link. I know Rachael Ray is a polarizing figure. Some love her; some hate her with the intensity of a 1,000 suns. I do think some of her recipes are ridiculous, but this Cheesy Orzo is AWESOME. I highly recommend it. I cut the recipe in half, because Rachael Ray recipes are always gihugic.

Chicken with Prosciutto
5 or 6 thin cut chicken breasts, just over a pound
½ cup flour
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
¼ cup white wine
1/8 pound thin-cut prosciutto
Grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place flour into a wide dish.

Season each chicken breast with salt and pepper on both sides. Dredge each chicken breast in the flour so that both sides are covered. Tap off excess.

In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. butter and 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook three flour-coated chicken breasts for four minutes on each side. Repeat with remaining butter, oil and chicken breasts.

Remove chicken. Place on a baking sheet. Return pan to heat. Carefully pour wine into pan. Using a wooden spoon with a flat edge, scrape off the brown bits on the bottom of the pan as the wine bubbles and reduces for a minute to make a wine sauce.

Using a spoon, pour the wine sauce over each chicken breast until you use all of the sauce.

Place a piece of prosciutto onto each piece of chicken. Top the prosciutto with a teaspoon or so of grated parmesan cheese.

Bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until cheese has melted and prosciutto has crisped up. Serve immediately.

Note: You may prepare this dish ahead of time. After topping the chicken with prosciutto and cheese, cover baking sheet with aluminum. When ready to eat, bake for 7 to 8 minutes.

Sauteed Spinach
1 lb. fresh spinach, washed
¾ cup water
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper

Place spinach and water in a large saucepan. Place saucepan over medium-high heat and cover until spinach is wilted. Remove pan from heat. Using the lid carefully drain most of the water from the spinach. You may also ladle the water from the pan.

Push the spinach to one side of the pan, and add olive oil to the cleared portion of the pan. Heat over medium-low heat. Add garlic and for a minute or two. Mix into the spinach. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for a few more minutes and serve.

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