Friday, August 31, 2007

Lunch Club Friday

Now that school is in full swing so is Lunch Club Friday (with a couple of Wed. thrown in there too.)
Lunch Club Friday is made up of teachers who share a common lunch (or planning) and cooks a meal for the members. It generally consists of a main dish, side, and a dessert. Since I had to re-do the schedule due to adding mew members my Friday which was supposed to be next week was bumped up to today. I wasn't sure what to make until Wednesday of this week and I was a little stressed since I like to have it all planned out way ahead of time.

I decided to make chicken breasts topped with prosciutto, pesto, and asiago cheese. I started the meal with a simple salad with a balsamic vinaigrette, for a side I made a parmesan risotto with baby bella mushrooms and cannelini beans. And finally for dessert, I browsed around on the foodie blog roll and found a perfect cupcake to make from this blog.

Elly from Elly Says Opa! also gave me a few pointers on this dish. Since I only had a vision of How I wanted to prepare my chicken, It was nice to see one finished that was very similar to my idea.

Pesto Procuitto Chicken with Asiago
(I made this recipe for 12, you can definitely scale it down)

  • 12 boneless, skinless, Chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 cups italian dressing (to marinate chicken over night)
  • 12 thin slices of prosciutto
  • Pesto
  • flour for dredging
  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup white wine (I used sauvignon blanc)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
Heat oven to 350
Take chicken out of marinade and pat with a paper towel to dry. Fit one slice of prosciutto over chicken and dredge in flour. Shake off excess and put aside until all are finished. Heat oil over medium heat and add chicken in batches prosciutto side down. Cook for a couple minutes and carefully flip and cook a couple more. Transfer chicken to an oven safe pan until all chicken is finished. Lower heat a bit and add wine and stock. Scrape up all the browned bit off the bottom of pan, let come to a simmer until reduced by 1/2. Pour over chicken and let bake for 20-25 minutes (or until chicken has reached 180 degrees, I only cooked for 15 minutes and they weren't done. The chicken breasts were huge!)

1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup olive oil

one large garlic clove
3 table spoons Parmesan
Fresh ground pepper
Kosher salt

Put in processor and mix until well blended.

Parmesan Mushroom Orzo
  • 1 box Orzo
  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 Tbs. heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper to taste
Heat butter over medium heat in a large skillet. add mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and pasta and cook for about 3 more minutes to let the pasta toast. Add stock, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or so (add more stock or water if it gets too sticky).
Simple Salad
1 cucumber peeled and chopped
1 yellow pepper chopped
grape tomatoes
Romaine lettuce

  • 1 cup balsamic dressing
  • 1 tbs. dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbs. orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • Garlic powder
    1/2 cup. olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Add together in a small bowl and whisk until combined.

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes
(source Bake and Destroy)
  • (my adjustments in orange)
    30 Oreo (or Oreo-like) cookies
    1 pkg plain white cake mix I used french vanilla
    1 cup sour cream I used low fat vanilla yogurt
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    3 large eggs
    1 tsp vanilla extract I used 1/2 tsp.

Preheat your over to 350 and line two cupcake pans with paper liners. Count out 12 Oreos and separate the top and bottom wafers. Make sure each half has some icing on it. Place one wafer, icing side up, in the bottom of each paper liner. Crush the remaining oreos and set them aside. Place the cake mix, oil, sour cream, eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and blend with an electric mixer on low for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and beat again on medium about 1.5 minutes more. Measure out 1 1/2 cups crushed Oreos and fold these into the batter. Set the rest of the crumbs aside for garnish.
Fill your liners 3/4 full with batter and place the pans int he oven. A little trick if you get fewer than 2 dozen cupcakes out of this, take the liners out of the empty cups and fill them about half way with water. This helps the cakes bake evenly despite the pan not being filled with batter.
Bake the cupcakes for about 18-20 minutes until they are golden and spring back when lightly touched with your finger. Cool in the pan on wire racks for about 5 minutes and then remove cakes from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

Butter Cream Frosting
(source: Hell on HIgh Heels)

  • 1 1/3 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream I used half and half
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 Oreos broken into pieces

In a small bowl, using and electric mixer on low, beat together sugar,butter and salt until well combined. Increase speed to high, beating until light and fluffy. Add cream and vanilla, beating until smooth.Add broken cookies, beating until mixed.


Elly said...

Mmm looks like Lunch Club Friday is off to an amazing start this year! That looks so delicious. I'm definitely going to steal the pesto idea the next time I make this dish.

Deborah said...

Is there anything as beautiful as a shot of melted cheese?? :) Those cupcakes sound fabulous too!

Erin said...

I need to make this chicken!! It looks great!

Unknown said...

I made the Parmesan Mushroom Orzo last night and it was a huge hit! My daughter insists that I make it for Christmas, and she took a little bowl of it to re-heat for her lunch at college today.

One note: The recipe didn't specify when to add the heavy cream and cheese. I added them just before cooking was finished, but wasn't sure if that was right.

Great recipe and great blog!

Jackie said...


I'm a little confused with the recipes for the chicken and orzo. Chicken: when do I add the pesto and the cheese? Orzo: When is the Cheese and heavy cream added to the orzo?

Ally said...

Hi Jackie, sorry about the post, I didn't even realize I left some important directions out!

After you sear the chicken with topped with the proscuitto you top with the pesto and cheese then pour the pan sauce, then bake.

For the orzo, add the cream and cheese at the end.

Hope this helps!