Free at last! Free at last! I have been banished from the Land of the Eternal Bluelight. That’s right; I have FINALLY been able to punt my weekend gig! (I never knew that freedom could be so satisfying)
What I thought was going to be a 5 or 6 month stopgap measure turned into 2 ½ years of multiple nights per week. Talk about exhausting – this is the first week in that amount of time that I get to work under 60 hours. One thing the experience has taught me – I really enjoy being my own boss. There is no way I could work in corporate America – common sense is something I value too much and (evidently) large corporations don’t value at all. Enough said.
I celebrated my first evening of freedom by hitting happy hour on the waterfront. Honestly, to empty your head of the nightmares of discount retail, there’s nothing like a nice glass of Malbec at your favorite restaurant as you watch the water traffic. Ahhh, peace and serenity…
Of course, I also had to play a little in the kitchen as part of my ongoing festivities. And since I’ve now ditched my second job, I still have to keep an eye on the grocery budget – so Inexpensive Eating must go on. I’ve saved this recipe for just this occasion – the play on words was just too childishly easy to pass up.
Chicken cordon bleu is one of my all-time favorite dishes. It just seems so decadent to shove a ham & cheese sandwich in the middle of chicken doesn’t it? (People love shoving ham & cheese in a variety of things – can you imagine the guy who came up with a Monte Cristo?) But we’ve also been trying to eat a little healthier lately, so I wanted to lighten it up a little. And I was still celebrating; I thought a little unnecessary fanciness was in order too. The result was this little ham & cheese roll-up.
I pounded the chicken out pretty thin between two sheets of plastic wrap (the poor dog always runs and hides when I start beating the countertop with a frying pan). It’s a little satisfying to release all of that aggression too (maybe I should have made this before I ditched the part-time gig). Once I added the ham, cheese, and other things, I rolled it up tight and secured them with toothpicks. I then proceeded to sear them off right away, but I think 20 or 30 minutes in the fridge would have helped them hold their shape a little better.
You could easily run these through a breading station before you throw them in the pan, but in an attempt to be virtuous, I skipped it. Instead, I made a pan sauce at the end that was mostly butter. (What can I say? Virtue is in the eye of the beholder.) It was still definitely decadent enough to celebrate with.
So make this dish and hold your own little celebration on my behalf. And remember – never take a job that requires you to utter the phrase, “Attention Kmart shoppers…”
Recipe: Chicken Cordon Bleu Roulade