For my Food Network cooking challenge this week, I had to make something on Giada de Laurentiis’ recipe list. I picked two recipes that I thought sounded good and that the kids would eat.
First, I picked Sweet Potato Fries with Basil Salt and Garlic Mayonnaise. This recipe was pretty easy to make. In fact, I got one of my minions to mix up the mayo dip while I sliced the sweet potatoes and prepared the basil-salt mix.
The second recipe I chose was Chicken Saltimbocca. Ever had chicken cordon bleu? Well this is very similar. It’s a rolled piece of chicken, prosciutto (fancy ham), and spinach. This recipe was “intermediate” but it wasn’t so bad.
I went shopping today for the ingredients, pleased to know that I had most of them on hand anyway. I didn’t have the prosciutto. When I found it, it was $19.99/lb. ACK! Fortunately, it is packaged all pretty in a little pack for around $5. Imagine a fan of napkins at a fancy party. The prosciutto was in a circular package and looked just like that. The package said it was “deli sliced” and I hoped that was thin enough for my recipe.
I got the sweet potatoes in the oven to bake while I started preparing the spinach and meat for the Chicken Saltimbocca. I put the chicken breasts on a cutting board and topped them with the prosciutto. The prosciutto turned out to be paper thin and I only ended up using half a pack. No idea what I’m going to do with the rest of it; I hope the next chef in the challenge has a recipe for it.
When I got to the spinach part, I must say it was MESSY. You take frozen spinach and thaw it…little pieces of spinach EVERYWHERE. All over my counter, my sink, and my son, who was helping to “squeeze to remove excess water.” After much squeezing, we put it on the prosciutto-topped chicken breast and it looked like this.
I rolled them up and secured them with two toothpicks and proceeded to cook them. The next step tells you to pour in chicken broth and lemon juice, so I did. Immediately, the house was full of smoke. It’s been almost an hour since then and it is still hanging in here. I finished with the rest of the directions without a problem though and there was no need to call the fire department.
The verdict? I thought the sauce on the chicken was too lemon-y. And I love lemon! The sweet potato fries were good with the basil-salt mix on them. The garlic mayo dip was ok. Kids wouldn’t even try the dip, they don’t like mayo. I have gobs leftover. Jordan ate most of his chicken and a lot of the fries. Cady unrolled the chicken, picked out all the spinach, and ate the chicken and prosciutto. I think she may have eaten one or two fries.
Will I make these recipes again? Probably not. The chicken recipe was rather expensive with the prosciutto, and I like chicken prepared other ways better. (Ways that don’t fill the house with smoke.) I have several recipes for the sweet potato fries that I also prefer. One thing I did learn was that I really liked the fresh basil. I can see myself adding it in other recipes in the future.