They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, if that’s true, I better keep on writing. There are very few times when I will justify posting a blog entry and recipe without a picture. The recipe has to be really, really good of course. Something I just couldn’t’t rationalize keeping entirely to myself. Something I feel my readers really ought to know about!
Sixty-five. Whoa. Maybe I don’t want to risk the possibility of boring you with one thousand words.
The only other instance I can actually think of where I blogged without a picture was for my Spicy Butternut-Peanut Soup. But at least in that case, it could be said that a picture is not even really necessary. To be honest, it doesn’t look much different from most other winter squash soups: velvety smooth and vividly orange, this time flecked with bright green cilantro. The taste, on the other hand, differs enough that it was well-worth sharing with you. I’d feel terribly selfish if I didn’t share that with you!
I probably also have a bunch of blog entries that would be better off without a picture, because my early camera skills were just that bad. Not that they are so great now, but I have some pride. I try to give some photographic integrity to the meals I’ve spent time creating and preparing.
If a meal turns out just so-so, or it’s just not that out-of-the-ordinary, and I can’t manage a good picture from it; then I just won’t blog it. When I pulled this dish out of the oven and saw my perfect looking cannelloni covered in rich sauce, I had high hopes for a brilliant blog entry. All that faded quickly as I scooped out the first serving onto a plate. The pasta rolls were sticking together (well, I did have them crammed into a small-ish dish). And the ends hanging over the width of the spatula started to tear due to the delicate egg roll wrappers I used in place of actual pasta. For the second serving, I tried to execute a bit more care as I transferred dinner from the baking dish to the plate, but no such luck. Sadly, my darling husband had already set up my light box for me and chopped some parsley for garnish (always a surefire way to improve food appearance, in my book). But there was going to be no picture taken of this mess of partially torn egg roll wrappers, chicken-and-artichoke mixture oozing out, smothered in boring looking red sauce. Sadly, no blog entry for this meal I was sure would be a wonderful addition to my repertoire.
However, as soon as I took the first bite, I was so happy with what I was eating that I knew I still had keep this one on record, even if I could never get a picture to do it justice (and maybe that will change someday; I’ll have to experiment with individually-baked dishes to avoid the transfer disaster altogether.)
These cannelloni were the result of trying my best to throw together some ingredients around the kitchen – the remainder of a package of egg roll wrappers, some cottage cheese, and a can of artichokes (which obviously doesn’t spoil, but I just felt a little sorry for them, sitting in the pantry for so long.) You already know how much we enjoyed them, since I chose to blog without a picture. The only thing I might do differently next time (if I had a little more time and calories to spare) would be to make a homemade vodka sauce, inspired by one of my favorite local pizza joints (they serve a “Mad Russian” pizza with vodka sauce, artichokes, chicken and spinach – it’s incredible!). But these were truly delicious as is, and very easy to make too.
Chicken & Artichoke Cannelloni
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
3 oz frozen spinach, thawed
2 oz cooked chicken breast, chopped (1/2 cup)
3 artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
4 oz cottage cheese
1 egg white
1 oz grated pecorino romano cheese
salt & freshly ground pepper
6 egg roll wrappers (found in the refrigerator section near produce)
1 cup tomato basil pasta sauce
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a small skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more, then transfer to a medium sized bowl.
Squeeze excess water from the spinach and add to the onions, along with the chopped chicken and artichokes and the parsley. Stir together the cottage cheese, egg white, and pecorino, and combine with the chicken mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread a thin layer of sauce in a baking dish. Working with 1 wrapper at a time, place a scoop of the filling near one of the shorter edges, leaving a little space at the end. Spread the filling along the length of the short edge, and gently roll the wrapper around the filling. Carefully place in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining egg roll wrappers and filling.
Spoon the rest of the sauce over the cannelloni in the baking dish, cover with foil, and bake for about 25 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Let rest for a few minutes before serving.
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 10.7 g
Cholesterol: 54.0 mg
Sodium: 925.0 mg
Total Carbs: 52.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.7 g
Protein: 33.0 g
Nine hundred and thirty-six. Not including this sentence. Next time I hope to have a picture!