A co-worker helped me define my love of cooking. She said it is my creative outlet. She's right. I did needlework in my youth. I still do flower arrangements when the desire strikes. But cooking is my best method of expressing myself. And I love to take ingredients I have around without any forethought and create something.
Today I did just that. I checked the fridge, the freezer, and the pantry and came up with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sun-dried tomato pesto, and puff pastry that became what I like to call Pesto Chicken en Croute. I served it with mushrooms cooked in butter and Marsala and a salad. I'm still patting myself on the back for this one.
Pesto Chicken en Croute
2 boneless skinless chicken breast
1 tbs unsalted butter
3 tbs sun dried tomato pesto
2 tbs feta cheese
1 tbs water
1 sheet puff pastry
Season the chicken breasts and cook in butter on medium high, until each side is browned. Set aside to cool. Mix water into egg. Roll out puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 12 x 12. Cut diagonally. Place each chicken breast into center of a triangle of pastry. Spread 1 1/2 tbs pesto on each breast and top with feta. Wrap pastry around chicken breast using egg wash to seal edges. Brush fully wrapped breast in egg wash. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, until pastry is golden brown. Allow to cool 8-10 minutes before serving.
3 cups sliced mushrooms (I used a combination of button and baby bellas)
2 tbs butter
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup Marsala
Melt butter in a non-stick pan and add mushrooms. Cook at medium heat approximately 10 minutes, until mushrooms have rendered juices. Add salt and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in Marsala and reduce heat. Cook on low another 5-10 minutes, until mushrooms have absorbed most of the pan juices.
I love these mushrooms. I always have Marsala around, and I always have butter. I sometimes throw in some fresh thyme, but the basic recipe is absolutely lovely and makes a wonderful side dish.
This made an easy, elegant meal...big presentation with little effort.