For a second night in a row, my lofty goal for a standout dinner fell by the wayside. At first, I got a little discouraged thinking that Johnnycakes and Butters "couple of cooks" blog has been a disappointing showcase of our cooking efforts. After a little thought, I realized that this is the true point of the blog. To provide a realistic look into the average weeknight kitchen of working adults. It's tough to put a balanced meal on the table when you are working all the time and trying to keep up with your other pursuits such as exercise, housework, etc. Hence, the key element to our success: TEAMWORK!
I defrosted two large chicken breast this morning without a clear idea of what to make for dinner. I noticed a large amount of white mushrooms in the back of the fridge that would probably be headed south in a day or two and so I decided we would Chicken Marsala tonight w/ a side of creamed cauliflower. Unbeknownst to me, Johnnycakes had his own idea about dinner. His idea turned out to be a bit more practical and so we went with his plan: Pesto Chicken over whole wheat pasta.
We had made a large batch of pinenut basil pesto a month or so ago after finding an incredible deal on pinenuts. We also had a ton of basil leftover from another recipe. We made the pesto in the food processer following a Giada de Laurentiis recipe. We froze the pesto into individual ice cubes and we pull them out of the freezer when we need them. This is the third time they have come in handy and provided a tasty meal in a pinch. I made a side salad with romaine lettuce, cauliflower, shredded carrots and celery. We also had some hard dinner rolls leftover from Mothers Day. While I went to the gym, Johnnycakes chopped the chicken breast and panfried it with one of the pesto ice cubes. He also boiled whole wheat pasta and used some of the starchy water to mix in two extra ice cubes of pesto.
This meal definitely met the three main "couple of cooks" criteria: Healthy, Economical and Convenient. I might also add that it was damn tasty! Now what am I going to do with those mushrooms...