Adjusting to cooking in another kitchen isn’t too tough if you have all the best ingredients and the basic essentials, but coming home to my kitchen is like a family reunion. All my tools are waiting for me. All the spices are in their perfect places according to my specifications. The choices of oils abound. Like playing a game on home turf, I’m in my element. Last night, I kept it pretty simple.
I was feeling Italian and had what I needed to pull a nice dish together in a short time. Chicken topped with spinach, Asiago, and prosciutto. I had chicken thighs, but breasts would be good too. In fact, this kind of thing is so versatile you could probably use any protein.
I popped it in the oven on 375 with some summer squash from my garden that was already roasting in there, tossed with fresh herbs and olive oil.
What’s cool about covering the chicken, spinach and cheese in prosciutto is that the salty goodness melts into the whole package making it deliciously succulent. It’s like when you wrap stuff in bacon – automatic salt and the moisture gets sealed in with fat. Yum!!
I don’t usually do a starch, but I was feeling Italian and one of my favorite things to make in that theme is bruschetta. I chopped up fresh herbs basil and parsley, Roma tomatoes, and stirred in truffle oil. Do I over use truffle oil? Oh well. Put all that on some fresh Tuscan bread and baked for about 10 minutes, just so the bread is a little toasty but the spread is still moist. You can also just dip the bread in this mix, no bake style. I love dipping things into things!! You can be totally creative here – I’ve added things like artichoke hearts, olives, peppers, pretty open here.
It came out great. Even though it’s hot as hell outside here, I had to have red wine with this meal – not because your supposed to have red wine with Italian, but because I could taste it in my mouth with the truffle oil, tomatoes, basil. Yeah, it was a red wine night.
I went with a lesser-known varietal, a Petite Sirah. Markham, one of my wine clubs, is a great winery out in Napa Valley. It’s got reliable quality, a great selection of varietals, and isn’t too hard on the wallet.
And then there was the after dinner drink…stay tuned!