Friday, February 19, 2010

Changing Up a Favorite

I love my roasted red pepper sauce. Even if it's not the most original thing, it's tasty, it's vegetable-based (so it's kind of good for you), and you can use it on just about anything.

So it was Friday night and I was having a craving for it. I wasn't in the mood to come up with anything too new. I just wanted the sauce. I wasn't sure what I wanted to serve it with. It's great on a hearty pasta like ravioli or tortellini, but I'm trying to cut back on the refined starches these days (thank you Lierre Keith!). I could do chicken, because it's great with chicken, but I didn't want just a chicken breast in pepper sauce. I wanted something more.

Then the light bulb went off. How about chicken rollups? Roasted pepper sauce would be great on rollups and I'd even have some extra vegetables in my dinner.

I rolled up flattened chicken breasts with a pesto-like mixture of spinach, garlic, parmesan, and pine nuts.

When I made my sauce, I decided to add a new twist so it wouldn't be the same sauce as the last time. I decided to add tomatoes to it for tomato-pepper sauce.

I left the tomatoes chunky to give some texture to the dish.

I cut the rolls into slices and tried to make the whole dish look pretty, but something got lost in translation.

Spinach Chicken Rollups with Roasted Pepper and Tomato Sauce


2 red bell peppers, halved, seeded, and cored
Olive Oil for coating and frying
1 onion
4 cloves of garlic
1 handful fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 Tbl dry sherry
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper

Chicken Rolls
4 boneless, skinlles chicken breast halves, pounded thin
Salt and pepper
1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Coat the peppers a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on baking sheets. Roast peppers for about 20-30 minutes or until skins blister.

Put peppers in plastic bags. Wait a few minutes and then remove the loosened skin. Chop into pieces.

In a skillet heat some olive oil and cook the onions and garlic until soft. Add the basil. Add the peppers and stir it all around to coat. Add the sherry and let everything cook down for another minute or two.

Transfer to a food processor along with the basil and puree until smooth. Mix in the heavy cream. Stir in the tomatoes now if you want to keep the sauce chunky. If you want it smooth, add them before you process the other ingredients. Keep warm.

In a food processor, mix spinach, garlic, parmesan, and pine nuts. It's fine if it's not smooth.

Lay the chicken breasts out and spread the spinach mixture on them. Roll up and secure with toothpicks.

In a large pan, brown cook the chicken rolls in olive oil. Brown on all sides, or as close to it as possibe.

Put chicken breasts in the 400 degree oven for 10 minutes, or until cooked through.

Put the warm sauce on the plate in a pool and put the chicken rolls into into the sauce.


Bellini Valli said...

I think you have let us know how truly delicious this was...

Sue said...

I love that. That's so elegant. You've been coming up with way-great food.

~~louise~~ said...

Looks like you've just created a new favorite, keep them coming, that's all I got to say. It looks GREAT and for me quite doable.

Thanks for sharing...

noble pig said...

It's beautiful and colorful, I bet the flavor is incredible!

The Blonde Duck said...

This is great! Ben said the other day how we should use red pepper sauce in a recipe like lentil soup or speghetti!

Emily said...

I agree with Sue! You have.

This dish looks excellent. So healthy and delicious.

The Blonde Duck said...

Please do a Q and A. I'll give you so many fun questions.

Lo said...

Looks great! And I'll bet the tomatoes were fabulous in the pepper sauce. Great idea.

You really should do that Q&A... would love to hear your answers!

Melissa said...

D) all of the above

You really have been making some great food these days. I reeeeeally like this one. A LOT. I would make this in a heartbeat (and just printed it).

Jeff Hickmott said...

Reminds me a bit of the time when I made roast leg of lamb - I deboned it, laid it out flat, smothered it with a mint pesto, roled it up and roasted it. Holy shmokes, was it good!