It’s a roll. An asparagus roll

Sides can be¬†daunting. Veggies can be… y’know. Green. And if that’s not your favorite color, then they’re a drag. As I’ve gotten older, grown up, I’ve developed an appreciation for certain veggies. I’ve actually come to LOVE some of them. Asparagus definitely fall in that very small percentile. I L.O.V.E.me some asparagus.

A few months back I was watching a travel¬†show, I think it was Samantha Brown in SF. She was showcasing a cooking school in town. This was the first time I saw asparagus¬†rolled in prosciutto. These days I see it almost every time someone is making asparagus.¬†Nonetheless, I thought it was an awesome idea and couldn’t wait to give it a try.

However, the more I thought about it, I felt the prosciutto may just dry out. That, in my book, is a serious offense against pork. Alas! Lightbulb moment. Sub prosciutto for bacon and thus it went.

This is so ridiculously easy AND delicious you won’t be able to stop making it. And if you have picky eaters, who can say no to bacon? Seriously.

Bacon & Asparagus Roll

16 asparagus spears
4 slices bacon, thick
Black pepper, to taste

Trim and peel¬†the asparagus:¬†Bend the bottom inch or so of 1 spear, it will break where the tender part begins. Then use that spear as a guide to cut the other spears. To peel, use a potato peeler¬†and peel about 1-1/2 inches from the bottom. This is not a necessity, but sometimes the peel can be a bit tougher than the flesh and you’ll end up with stringy asparagus. Rinse and pat dry. Set aside.

Place the bacon slices on a cutting board and thin it out a bit to make it more pliable.

Divide the asparagus in 4’s. Tuck 4 spears together and lay them on top of a bacon slice. Wrap the bacon around the bottom of the asparagus, then continue rolling the bacon towards the top of the asparagus bundles.

Hubby can tuck the bacon under to secure it… I must admit¬†when he makes these, they’re way prettier than mine.¬†I just use a toothpick and secure the bacon to the asparagus. Repeat this process for the other 3 bundles.

Heat up a skillet–preferably non-stick–over medium high heat and place the bundles about 1-inch apart from each other. Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper. Brown the bacon on all sides, about 2 minutes per side.

Remove from the skillet and set aside. Carefully remove the toothpick before serving. Hubby likes to slice them so they look like sushi.

That’s it. Enjoy!

Cookingyly yours,
Anamaris

Mas chicken!

There’s a reason for it. I will tell you about it this weekend, I hope. I made another chicken breast dish. A few days ago you saw my post for Chicken Cordon Puff. Today I’m sharing my take on a BLT, if you were to sub the L for C and the T for A and you don’t serve it on bread.¬†It is a Bacon Chicken Avocado Roll.

OK, it’s nothing like a BLT, but I did use bacon. Oooh¬†did I use bacon. I hope you like it! If you’ve read¬†previous recipes (you better have been!), you’ll notice that this recipe is almost identical to the process I described for the Chicken Cordon Puff. I decided to include detailed steps here again for your convenience. I hope you don’t mind repetition too much.

I should say that I prepared both recipes the same evening. Getting the chicken breast ready took me less than 1 hour from start to finish. That includes, butterflying, marinating, trussing and stuffing 4 breastesses. Not bad at all, it would probably take about 20 minutes to prepare 2 breasts for either recipe.

Bacon Chicken Avocado Roll

2 chicken breasts, skinless & boneless
1/2 cp Italian dressing (salad dressing)
2-4 slices bacon, thick cut
1 avocado, ripened
Cooking twine or toothpicks

First you will need to butterfly or split the breasts in half and even them out. Place the thickest side of the breast closest to you. Make sure you’re working with a very sharp knife. Place your hand over the breast and guide the knife into the flesh. Your goal is to thin out the breast so that the thickness is all pretty even. Carefully work the knife through the breast, making sure you don’t go all the way through. You’re simply opening up the breast.

Once you’ve finished both breasts, you will need to even out the thickness. The easiest way is to use a ziploc bag large enough to hold one at a time; cut the bag open on one side and the bottom. Lay the breast down on one side of the bag, top it with the other end then use a mallet or a flat heavy pan to flatten the breasts out.

Pound it out a few times, just until it looks even. After that’s done, pour the salad dressing over both breasts, allow them to marinate while you get the other ingredients ready. Set aside for about 15 minutes.

Spread the bacon out and stretch it a bit to make it more pliable. Peel¬† and slice the avocado into thin strips.¬†¬†It’s time to assemble the roll. Spread out the breast on your cutting board and place¬†a few¬†slices of avocado on one end of it.

Make sure you’re rolling it tightly and¬†tucking any straggling ends towards the center. Next, roll it in the bacon. Start at one end and work yourself towards the center. Then start the second slice from the opposite end and again work towards the center.

Once you’ve stuffed and rolled, you’re ready for some trussing!

First, take the longest piece of twine and slide it under the trussee. Bring it to the top, pull towards one of the ends and tie 2 knots. Make sure to pull it taut, but not too tight.

Next, you will need to knot the cross-sections. Take another piece of twine and slide it under to about 1-inch from the center tie. Pull up, double knot. Repeat this step for as many sections as you need. The chicken breast I rolled for this demonstration was about 7, maybe 8 inches long. I tied it twice on either side of the center cross-section.

Make sure to trim the twine before you put it in the oven.

Preheat oven to 400. For step-by-step trussing instructions, follow the link. Place the finished breasts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the bacon is golden. Remove from the oven and allow it to rest for 5 minutes before cutting away the twine.

I made a quick cream sauce to serve with it. In a small pan I mixed

1/2 cp sour cream
1/2 cp milk
1/4 tsp Herbs d’Provence
2 slices avocado, diced
Dash of cayenne pepper (to taste)
Dash of salt
Stir all the ingredients over low heat, just long enough for sour cream to melt.

Slice the roll before serving.

Cookingly yours,
Anamaris