I was so excited when American Express and the Tastemakers Program with Foodbuzz contacted me to tell me my blog was selected for their Dinner @6 promotion and contest. First of all, this will be my first giveaway on my blog and wow, its a really good one-- read on to see the details on how you can win a great prize courtesy of American Express! Second, came the little challenge for me that I've been mulling over for the last week or so. As part of the contest, I had to create a dinner in six ingredients or less. When you really start nailing that down, it was more difficult than it seemed at first, but I was up for a challenge!
One of my favorite radio programs is The Splendid Table on NPR with host Lynne Rosetto Kasper. As the show says, its the "show for people who love to eat" and it really is. If you love food, definitely check it out. Anyway, one of my favorite segments is when Kasper invites a famous chef or personality to join her in playing "Stump the Cook." She is given 5 ingredients from the home kitchen of a listener and has to come up with a dish that sounds edible given the strange assortment. She is amazing at making something that sounds delicious out of a combination such as maple syrup, beef kielbasa, dark beer, fresh coconut, and alligator pears. Then the celebrity judge passes or fails her. She usually wins and I am usually thinking, "wow, I would actually eat that" she's made the dish sound so good.
This kind of felt like my own version of "Stump the Cook" except that I could thankfully choose my own ingredients (whew). I finally settled on stuffed chicken breasts-- but hmm, what to stuff them with? Since I only had six ingredients, I wanted each one to really pack a punch. According to the rules, we could use salt, pepper, water, and oil and not have them count against our six. That was great news to me! Breaded chicken cutlets are a staple with my Italian relatives and I've grew up eating them. While you can make them many ways, if you want to just make them very simply (but yum, so deliciously) pound chicken breasts, dip into olive oil, and cover with bread crumbs seasoned with salt and pepper. It sounds like it wouldn't be flavorful but its wonderful!
I started with this as my base recipe and then decided to walk around the grocery store and see what caught my eye. The point of this contest is to encourage easy to prepare dinners so I was trying to keep that in mind. I thought peppers of some sort would be tasty so I bought both a jar of roasted red peppers and then spotted the Peppadews on the olive bar. Peppadew peppers are so good-- a little sweet, a little spicy and a ton of flavor. They are the little red peppers that are about the size of cherry tomatoes. They can generally be found on olive bars in the deli section of your well-stocked grocery store. A few months ago, I made pimento mac and cheese with Peppadew peppers and it has quickly become one of my all-time favorite mac and cheese recipes due, in big part, from the flavor of the Peppadews..
Next, I thought my dish needed some cheese, so I picked up some Fontina and Gruyere. Both are creamy and would melt nicely when rolled up in the chicken. The Gruyere, often used in fondue, has a slightly nuttier taste than a young Fontina, which is creamy and mild (and one of my favorite cheeses). Both do well in baking and are good "melting" cheeses.
First I took the chicken breasts and pounded them nice and thin with a meat pounder (such a good stress release), then I sprinkled the chicken with salt and pepper. On one of the chicken breasts, I added sliced Peppadews and slices of Fontina and then on the other I added strips of roasted pepper and slices of Gruyere. Then I rolled the chicken up and dipped each roll in olive oil and then in bread crumbs seasoned with salt, pepper, and a little garlic powder. My final ingredient count? 5!! chicken, cheese, peppers, bread crumbs, and garlic (the salt, pepper, and oil don't count, remember).
After the chicken baked, I called in my resident taste-tester, my dear husband. After smelling the chicken baking while he was watching football, he was more than happy to help. As you can guess from the title, the chicken with the Peppadews and the Fontina won hands down. The peppers added a little heat and a little sweetness and a lot of flavor to the dish and the Fontina was creamy and delicious. This recipe was a snap to put together too, making this a great week night recipe.
One last note, the proportions of this recipe are meant to be a guide and not followed to the letter. If you want to add ingredients to your bread crumb mixture, such as basil or parsley, or use seasoned bread crumbs, adjust it to your taste. Also, I tried to guesstimate on how much cheese and strips of pepper I used, so adjust this as well if you like more or less cheese, etc.
Breaded Chicken with Peppadew Peppers and Fontina Cheese
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups plain bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
4-6 oz. Fontina cheese
8 Peppadew peppers, or more to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place chicken breasts in between sheets of plastic wrap. Pound the chicken with a meat pounder or rolling pin until its about 1/4 of an inch thick. Lightly season chicken with salt and pepper.
In a shallow bowl, mix the bread crumbs, garlic powder. Add salt and pepper to taste. In a separate small shallow bowl, pour about 5 tbs. of olive oil.
Slice 2 Peppadew peppers and place them on the flattened chicken. Add 2 oz. of Fontina on top of the peppers. Gently roll the chicken while keeping the peppers and cheese tucked inside. Dip the chicken roll into the olive oil and make sure the entire breast is lightly covered. Then, dip the chicken roll into the bread crumbs and completely cover. Place the chicken roll on a lightly greased baking sheet. Repeat this process with the other 3 breasts. If you find that your chicken is coming unraveled, secure the seam with a toothpick.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until juices run clear and chicken is thoroughly cooked.
NOW, for the details on the contest. Do you like how I kept the suspense up by making you scroll to the bottom? I'm so mean! :) As part of the Dinner@6 contest sponsored by Blue Cash PreferredSM, American Express provided me with a $100 gift card to give out to one lucky commenter. All you have to do is leave a comment for this post by answering the question: "What is my favorite 6-ingredient recipe?"
So, ready to win a $100 gift card from American Express?? Here's what you need to know:
How to enter: Leave a comment telling me your favorite 6-ingredient recipe. The contest ends on Friday, September 30, 2011 at 11:59pm. The winner will then be chosen by a random drawing.
Some Important Details:
- Only one entry per person- strictly enforced
- You must be 18 or older at the time of entry.
- Only US residents for this contest (sorry about that one, folks)
- All comments must be under this post to be considered for entry.
- Please, please leave me your email address in the comment section so I can contact you when you win!!
- For more information, please see the official rules page.
Disclosure: This post is part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program with American Express.