Stuff It!

The summer heat is almost unbearable this go-around. My brain has started to feel like it is turning to mush. Thank God for air conditioning! Yes, it is way too hot to be eating soup in Tennessee but I found a recipe I had to make- thank you Heidi Swanson for your 101 Cookbooks blog. She has a lovely summer squash soup recipe which Grant and I have renamed, Creamy Potato and Summer Squash Soup. I know, way too long of a recipe title, however, I think you can get more people excited about this little concoction with a name change. Grant isn’t a huge squash fan nor does he understand my need to eat soup when it is 100 degrees of sticky, humid heat outside either. Luckily he was starving as he came home the other day and would have probably eaten anything. Once he tasted this delicious soup, however, he declared it his second top favorite soup I’ve ever made! I served it with a spinach salad made with homemade pesto dressing! I rarely ever do this but, I actually followed the soup recipe pretty much word for word so I will not post it here but please check out Heidi Swanson’s blog and the recipe here.

Earlier in the week, I made some homemade corn tortillas and Grant made some yummy Migas Tacos which we served with watermelon margaritas! It was delicious!

Yesterday, I knew I would be cooking dinner as Grant had an afternoon gig so all day, I kept thinking about ingredients trying to decide what to make. I knew we had some chicken breasts, along with some yummy mushroom varieties- portobello and beech, vidalia onions, spinach, a little piece of Rogue Creamery Smoky Blue, and a little wedge of brie. I grabbed some asparagus on my way home and decided to try my hand at stuffing chicken breasts! I looked on the internet just to get the method down and then this is what I came up with:

Smokey Stuffed Chicken Breasts
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2-3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small vidalia onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 portobello mushrooms, cut into cubes
a handful of beech mushrooms
some chopped spinach (maybe 2 cups)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, flattened
a few glugs of red wine
small piece of Rogue Creamery Smoky Blue cheese (or another blue), crumbled
small piece of brie, cubed
smoked sea salt (or any sea salt)
fresh ground black pepper
fresh chives, chopped

Sautee onion in olive oil and butter. Add garlic and stir. Add mushrooms and cook for about 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Add some red wine (maybe 2 tbsp). Turn off the heat and add spinach. Place mixture in a bowl. Place the chicken breasts in a ziplock bag and pound with an iron skillet (or kitchen mallet) while you allow the vegetable mixture to cool. Once it has cooled a little, add the cheese. Take a spoonful of the mixture and place in the middle of the chicken breast. Roll the chicken over the mixture as best you can and use toothpicks to secure chicken. Place olive oil in skillet. Place chicken in skillet. Cook chicken, flipping it over once browned. Add another glug of wine to keep chicken from sticking. Add in extra vegetable mixture. Cover skillet to give chicken a little more time to cook through. Remove from heat, sprinkle with chopped chives and serve with the delicious wine you used in the recipe!

We enjoyed our stuffed chicken with this yummy Austrian wine we purchased from Woodland Wine Merchants, while listening to Lyle Lovett‘s new album, Natural Forces. (By the way, Lyle’s website is sharp! These are some of my favorite photos. Very inspiring.)

Figs. I’ll end this post with figs.

Our friend Aaron wanted me to come up with a good fig pie recipe. He was really thinking of a pudding pie and for my next fig pie, I will work on this however, with it being so hot and the figs so fresh, I wanted to do something simple. So, while listening to some Justin Townes Earl, I just used a big bowl of fresh figs, 1/2 cup of organic cane sugar, about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons of flour. I used one dough ball for the bottom crust and another to make a lattice top. I baked it for 15 minutes at 425 and then lowering the over temperature to 350 for another 35 minutes. I think the simplicity was just right for the delicacy of the figs. Pure goodness.

Big weekend coming up with a trip to the Farmer’s Market, pie making, another Red Barn Round-Up party, and some good music next week! Hoping for cooler temperatures.