In my last post, I shared my Potato Leek Soup, as served at our campout at Villanueva State Park. Today, I’m going to share the recipe for the Spinach Pesto Pinwheel Rolls I served with the soup. I adapted two different recipes for the rolls. I used a recipe from foodgeeks.com for Herbed Whole Wheat Pinwheels for the dough, substituting honey for the sugar and brown sugar. (I’m pretty sure this caused the dough to be more liquid, since I used more flour than the original recipe called for.) Instead of their herbed filling, I used this spinach pesto recipe from yumsugar.com for the filling, adding some basil for additional flavor.
I made the rolls up until the “roll up” a couple of days ahead, wrapped up the roll, and kept it in the refrigerator (and then the cooler). This was not an optimal method. Part of the dough rose in the refrigerator, part did not. So, the rolls turned out uneven in size. This was not a huge deal baking in the Dutch oven on a campout.
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add 1 tablespoon hone, let stand for 5 minutes. Add milk, remaining honey, butter, salt, and whole wheat flour. Gradually add white flour, until stiff dough forms.
Kneed dough for 10 minutes, either on a board or by mixer, until dough is smooth and satiny. Place dough in an oiled bowl, roll to coat dough in oil. Cover and let rise until doubled.
While the dough is rising, prepare the pesto. Place spinach, basil, nuts, lemon juice and peel in food processor, pulse until well mixed. Turn processor to continuous low speed, slowly add oil until mixture is creamy. Stir in pepper and cheese.
Once dough has risen, punch it down. Roll out into a rectangle, approximately 12 X 16 inches. Spread pesto evenly over the dough. Roll lengthwise in jellyroll fashion. (This is point at which I stopped and held the dough in the refrigerator for later use.)
Slice the dough crosswise into 1 inch slices. Arrange slices in Dutch oven. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Bake in Dutch oven for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown. (Or place on greased baking sheet and bake in oven at 375 degrees.)
What a busy week! Our menu plan for the week required some alterations because of my work schedule. We got to the end of the week with more veggies in the refrigerator than I expected. Since one can’t roast spinach, I decided to try a fried rice dish instead. I dug out everything I could find, chopped it up, and combined it with some leftover teriyaki pork and rice. Yum!
4 cups cooked brown rice (should have been cooked at least 24 hours prior)
2 cups shredded pork
several tablespoons soy sauce, to taste
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in wok or large skillet. Add carrots, pepper, and spinach. Stir fry until spinach is wilted and the remaining vegetables are tender. Remove from pan.
In the same pan, scramble the eggs well, breaking into very small pieces. Remove from pan.
In the same pan, heat remaining oil. Add rice and pork. Stir fry until heated through. Return vegetables and eggs to the pan. Add several tablespoons of soy sauce, to taste. Continue to stir fry until all ingredients are hot.
OK, so this is a little embarrassing. I was looking for a good recipe to make with the spinach in our harvest box this week. I saw a recipe on allrecipes.com that looked good. I thought the title was Spanish Rice. It wasn’t until I started cooking that I realized it was SPINACH rice. Not bad, just not what I was expecting. However, it turned out good anyway. It is amazing how little it takes to make a side dish into a main by just adding a little ground meat.
Spinach in our harvest box always makes me nervous. I love baby spinach in a salad, but have bad memories of cafeteria canned spinach in elementary school. The spinach we got in our box this time was past its baby stage, so it had to be cooked. I found this recipe for spinach pesto on about.com several years ago. Usually, I just use it on plain pasta, but decided to add some chicken this time. I try to use fresh basil rather than dried when I can.
⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese plus extra for sprinkling over the pasta.
Cook penne according to package directions.
While pasta cooks, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add cubed chicken, season with pepper. Cook chicken until golden brown.
While chicken cooks, make the pesto. In a food processor or blender, grind ½ the spinach, the garlic, pine nuts, and basil with a little bit of the remaining oil. Slowly add remaining spinach and oil, then cheese. Process until smooth.
Add cooked penne to chicken in the skillet. Pour pesto over, tossing to coat. Continue to cook, tossing frequently, until the pesto is heated through. Serve with additional parmesan sprinkled on top.
I love baby spinach in a salad, but the spinach we received in our box this week was a little too tough to eat raw. I’m not a fan of cooked spinach. (Sorry, just not my thing. Bad memories of elementary school hot lunch.) When I have to cook spinach, I’m always looking for some way to hide it in a dish.
This recipe for stuffed chicken breasts from Rachel Ray looked good. However, I did not want to fry the stuffed breasts. I wanted to make sure they were cooked through. I decided to alter the recipe a little, and bake them instead. The length of time it takes to bake these will depend on how thinly you pound your chicken.
Place spinach in a microwave safe casserole, add a couple of tablespoons of water. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Cool slightly. Place in a towel and squeeze to remove all the excess moisture.
While the spinach is cooking, heat oil in a skillet. Add mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Saute until vegetables are softened. Transfer cooked mushroom mixture into a food processor. Pulse until mixture is coarsely ground. Mix ground mushroom mixture and spinach. Add pepper, cheese, and nutmeg.
Pound chicken breasts to about ½ inch thick. Spread ¼ of the mushroom mixture over each breast. Roll tightly and secure with a couple of toothpicks.
Coat a baking dish with non stick cooking spray. Place stuffed breasts in the pan. Bake at 375 degrees until juices run clear, 45-55 minutes.
While the chicken bakes, make the wine sauce. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in wine and cook another minute. Whisk in broth and And simmer until ready to serve. Pour over stuffed breasts.