With a little help from my friends

Being part of a foodie community has truly been a great experience – I’ve gotten to know some wonderful women and it’s great having people to chat about food (and life!) with. And since we talk about food so much, it seems that these people know my palette better than some of my friends and family here in MA! One of the most surprising and thoughtful gifts we received last week was a package from Papardelle’s Pasta Company from my friends in the Windy City – Elly and Joelen. What a treat! I received:

*Autumn Harves Orzo (sage, pumpkin, and chestnut)
*Sweet Potato Papardelle
*Calyspo Blend shells (lime, mango peach, and red chili)
*Meyer Lemon Oil
*Blackberry Ginger balsamic vinegar

I know I can come up with some fabulous creations with these, and I decided to go ahead and experiment with the orzo first. I came up with a Spinach and Cranberry Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken to serve with the Autumn Harvest Orzo – it was fantastic! I served this with some cremini mushrooms sauteed in sherry with shallots, garlic, and thyme for a delicious fall dinner.

2 chicken breasts
1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 oz cranberry goat cheese (available at Trader Joe’s)
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
splash of white wine or cider
3 oz Papardelle’s Autumn Harvest Orzo
1 1/4 cups chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350F. Begin sauteing onions and garlic over medium-low heat in a large skillet, in a dash of olive oil (I usually start with a small drizzle, then add olive oil spray as necessary). Season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, mix spinach and goat cheese. Carefully cut a slit into each piece of chicken, and stuff the spinach and cheese into the pockets. Place in pan with onions, and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove from pan. Add white wine or cider to delgaze, scraping up browned bits from pan. Add orzo and stir, letting it toast for a minute or two. Add broth, bring to a boil, then turn off heat and return chicken to pan. Place in oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until orzo is tender, liquid is absorbed, and juices from chicken run clear.

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12 Responses to “With a little help from my friends”

  1. 1

    Elly — October 16, 2007 @ 4:09 pm Reply

    Looks SO yummy. I knew you’d come up with something delicious. And, even though you probably didn’t know it, you totally made a “youvetsi”–orzo baked with meat, hehe 🙂

  2. 2

    Cara — October 16, 2007 @ 4:30 pm Reply

    omg yes! now I need to do that with lamb – I had that in a restaurant, so yummy!

  3. 3

    winedeb — October 16, 2007 @ 7:08 pm Reply

    What a cool gift! I love getting gifts like that, you know, things you may never buy for yourself but would love to have! Nice thought!Dish looks yummy!

  4. 4

    Kevin — October 17, 2007 @ 2:42 am Reply

    The flavoured orzo sounds interesting. I am going to have to look for some cranberry goat cheese!

  5. 5

    Joelen — October 17, 2007 @ 5:46 am Reply

    Congrats and a belated bday to you Cara! So glad you enjoyed the gifts and its no surprise that you would tackle the orzo first! I look forward to the awesome creations you’ll be making with the rest of the goodies!

  6. 6

    Nunnie's Attic — October 17, 2007 @ 2:05 pm Reply

    It all sounds so yummy! That was such an excellent gift. Keep us posted on everything you create.Love,Julie

  7. 7

    Rosie — October 17, 2007 @ 6:49 pm Reply

    How very exciting and what wonderful gifts! Can’t wait to see what you do with these :)Rosie x

  8. 8

    Emilie — October 20, 2007 @ 7:32 pm Reply

    You are sooo gourmet! I love it!I’m going to come and steal those gifts from you. I want them. Especially the Meyer Lemon Oil.

  9. 9

    The Foodie Princess — October 22, 2007 @ 1:58 pm Reply

    What a great blog, you are so creative and obviously have a great palate. Belated congrats on your marriage as well, you were a beautiful bride.

  10. 10

    JennDZ - The Leftover Queen — October 22, 2007 @ 5:48 pm Reply

    Now that is a great gift! I just love foodies! They always know the best things to give I think you did a wonderful job!

  11. 11

    Mehgan — October 30, 2007 @ 5:57 pm Reply

    Ohhh, I want your Meyer Lemon Oil, too! It’s so hard to find Meyer Lemons here in the Pacific Northwest, grrr! Nice Beatles reference, btw. 🙂

  12. 12

    Mehgan — April 5, 2011 @ 1:13 am Reply

    Ohhh, I want your Meyer Lemon Oil, too! It's so hard to find Meyer Lemons here in the Pacific Northwest, grrr! Nice Beatles reference, btw. 🙂

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