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Old 09-28-2006, 11:28 AM   #1
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What veg goes with this:

Hi. I don't know much about cooking, but I want to cook a meal for a special occasion with my girlfriend. I've found a recipe for chicken breasts stuffed with mozzarella and basil, wrapped in bacon, fried then oven cooked, that sounds very nice. I don't know what to serve with it though. I like the idea of pan-fried vegetables, but don't exactly know how to cook them or what ones would go with what I'm making. Any other suggestions would be welcome also.

Thanks!

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Old 09-28-2006, 11:59 AM   #2
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That's a lovely entree you've chosen, amateur. Since it's fairly elaborite, I would pair it with simple sides, like a baked potato or rice pilaf and salad.
If you choose a box of Rice-a-roni or Uncle Ben's for a pilaf, I won't tell anyone.
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:02 PM   #3
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haha, thank you! I've not even heard of Rice-a-roni, so I won't be tempted by that! Rice could be good though. Like that yellow semi-spicy rice.
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:07 PM   #4
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Hi amateur and welcome! I think since you are liking the idea of sauteed veggies you might want to get some zucchini and dice it up and then just lightly fry it in some butter and sprinkle it with some seasoned salt (I also add a teesy splash of soy sauce but that might not work with your chicken) before serving.

I second the rice idea. I think the stuff you are referring to is saffron rice. A bit pricy, but tasty. You could just do regular rice as you have lots of flavours in your entree and it would be nice to have a very simple side. Perhaps do the rice in chicken broth instead of plain water?
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:07 PM   #5
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Roasted potatoes are excellent with just about everything, cut them up in small cubes, toss them with evoo, herb mix of provençe (if this is not available, mixture of oregano, maggioram, thyme, rosemary) and a little extra rosemary and salt. First cook it in a baking dish covered for about 25-30 min. at 180°C/350°F, then uncover and and cook further for another 15 minutes or until the surface is golden brown, or you can turn the oven to broil, it will reach the desired effect quicker. Or maybe it is possible to do the last stretch together in the same tray with the chicken.

Pair with some steamed broccoli drizzled with good evoo and lightly toasted pine nuts.

How does that sound?
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:20 PM   #6
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You're packing quite a flavor punch in your entree - I love to do zucchini and yellow squash sliced sauteed with some white wine, butter, s & P.

OR some nice roasted veggies in the oven.

I also like the idea of rice or roasted potatoes. The rice can be as simple as rice cooked in chicken broth with some chopped onions then when done toss in some sauteed mushrooms/garlic/red wine. Of course s & p and maybe even some thyme.
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:24 PM   #7
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Okay, I'm off in a minute, I think I'm gonna do some rice, maybe saffron rice, or white rice cooked in chicken stock/water, and add some lightly fried zucchini/courgette on the side. How does that sound? Thanks for your help, and wish me luck!
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:25 PM   #8
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LUCK! And try this for dessert. Simple, yet decadent.
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:29 PM   #9
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Cooking an entree AND a dessert in the same night? I don't think I'm ready for that yet. Hence the username
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:31 PM   #10
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Trust me, you do the dessert early in the day (and this cake is like a really heavy shortbread, very easy) and do the dinner just before. You'd be golden. No problem.
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:32 PM   #11
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Yeah, problem is, it's 17.31 here and I'm cooking tonight! Maybe next time though! Thanks for your help, I'm off home!
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:33 PM   #12
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Oops. Ok, didn't realize you were across the ocean from me! Enjoy your dinner!
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:38 PM   #13
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Your dinner will be perfect!!!! Enjoy and let us know how everything turned out. Do that rice in chicken broth!!!!! Alix and I said so, that's why
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:46 PM   #14
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I endorse the rice idea, but would like to add something I like to serve to company. It's called green bean bundles. Buy about 1/2 pound of green beans. Try to pick out the smallest beans or, if you can, buy haricot verts, which are tiny green beans. Also get one yellow squash about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Divide the green beans into four stacks, about 12 beans per stack should do it. Cut the squash into ½-inch slices. Hollow out each slice to within ¼ inch of peel. Thread the bean stacks through the squash rings. Put the green bean bundles in a vegetable steamer and steam them, with a lid on, for about 4 minutes or until the beans turn a bright green and are tender.

While the beans are steaming, heat some olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add some minced garlic, chopped shallots and about 1/4 teaspoon of dried tarragon and mix well. Cook until the garlic is tender but not brown, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat.

Lift the green bean bundles out of the steamer and either put them on dinner plate or on a serving platter and drizzle with the olive oil mixture. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve while warm.

If you want to go the "extra mile" for presentation, you might want to nestle some sprigs of fresh tarragon and some grape tomatoes with the green beans.

Your girlfriend sounds like a lucky girl. Women like men who cook.
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Old 09-28-2006, 01:22 PM   #15
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Since you have lots of flavors in the main dish, I would keep the sides simple, and lean toward Italian sides for chicken with mozzarella and basil.

Angel hair pasta with garlic and evoo (aglio olio), buttered parsley noodles w a spritz of lemon juice & S&P, linguine with pesto sauce (toss in some halved cherry tomatoes for flavor and color). In a pinch, you can buy the pesto ready made. A basil pesto will carry over the flavor of the basil in the chicken, to the noodle. Or an uncooked tomato sauce for the pasta - garlic, basil, evoo and diced fresh tomatoes.

On the veggie side, steamed broc, asparagus or Italian green beans - saute the green beans in Italian dressing. Roasted asparagus (veggies) are the best. You can find many veggie dishes/recipes on this site in a search.

Serve with wine and a light dessert -- i.e. fruit or chocolate dipped strawberries.
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Old 09-28-2006, 01:23 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix
...you might want to get some zucchini and dice it up and then just lightly fry it in some butter and sprinkle it with some seasoned salt
Hi Alix,

A twist I do to this is instead of dicing the zucchini, I use a Y-type vegetable peeler and shave off thin ribbons of the whole zuc. Saute and season. Pile ribbons in a mound when serving. Makes for an elegant side dish!
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Old 09-28-2006, 03:31 PM   #17
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Hey Chopstix, thats a great idea! Its one of those ones where you smack your forehead and say, why didn't I think of that sooner! I'm trying that one soon. I have a giant zucchini on my counter and its going to be part of tomorrows dinner.
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Old 09-28-2006, 09:39 PM   #18
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You're very welcome Alix! :-D

Oh, and I don't peel the zuc, to give the ribbons a nicer appearance.
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Old 09-28-2006, 09:50 PM   #19
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Probably too late - but still...
Lots of protein and fats on that chicken, so I'd go for rice too. Add a 1/2 cup peas, a handful of cashew nuts and golden raisins, fried in butter, and a tablespoon of coriander leaf ( cilantro) or parsley.
Slice up some fresh carrots into julienne. Boil in salted water until barely cooked; remove, drain; return to a buttered pan with 1/2 cup dry white wine and 1/2 cup orange juice, plus a pinch of cinnamon. Add a tbsp of honey just before serving.
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Old 09-29-2006, 08:52 AM   #20
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Hello Amateur.

I think since that recipe is so full of protein and so rich in fat, what u need is something light and fresh, to go with it.
I would make a salad, served with a fresh tangy and sweet dressing. And also, some light and airy bread. eg chiabata(hope i spelled that right)

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