Have you ever thought up a recipe, could smell it, taste it and visualize the final dish?
Well my friends… this is it!! I went to a deli a few weeks ago and they had this pea/rice and shrimp dish and they placed the mixture into small mini loaf pans and then inverted on the “to go” plate for the customer, they added sauce over it etc. But I thought it was such a cute idea!!
However, the peas and shrimp (even though I adore seafood) just didn’t do it for me. I thought to myself, “self”, what can we do this? I immediately answered and said, “DINNER”!!
Mind you I can totally see this as being a vegetarian dish… think peppers, sautéed onions, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic wilted spinach etc. How about a seafood version; salmon with peas or spinach and asparagus spears cut in quarter’s? See what I mean? The possibilities are ENDLESS!!! Ready for the recipe?
Here we go!!
1lb boneless skinless chicken strips
2 cups rice (I used long grain)
1-1/2 tablespoons chicken base (or 3-4 chicken bouillon cubes)
1 small green pepper diced
1/3 cup shredded Romano cheese
5 tablespoons garlic infused olive oil divided (or 5 tablespoons olive oil with 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder stirred in)
1/2 tsp. Garlic powder
1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 jar roasted red peppers drained and excess oil wiped away
1 cup fresh mushrooms sliced or 4 oz., of canned mushrooms
Directions:Using a medium saucepan, prepare your rice by adding in the chicken base and water. Stir in the rice and bring to a simmering boil. When rice is boiling, turn off heat, cover and set timer for 17 minutes. At the end of 17 minutes, when the rice is done, fluff rice using a fork.
Meanwhile, as rice is being being cooked, in a sauté pan add 1 tbls of garlic infused olive oil, let the oil heat. Add your diced green peppers. Once softened, remove onto a plate and set aside. Using the same pan, add 2 tbls of garlic infused olive oil and heat on medium high heat. Add your chicken strips and start to sauté, sprinkle on your garlic powder and continue cooking till chicken is no longer pink. Set sauté pan with chicken aside, and reserve the drippings as well. *we waste nothing *
Preheat oven to 350F.
Rice should be done now. In a large mixing bowl, add your cooked still very warm rice. Sprinkle your oregano, salt & pepper and onion powder over the rice. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the rice, add in your sautéed diced green peppers, and 1/4 cup of the Romano cheese. Stir till rice is fully incorporated with seasonings and cheese, set aside.
Using your favorite meatloaf pan, pre-spray liberally with non-stick cooking spray, or do what I do, baste the pan with whatever flavor oil I’m using, for this dish it will be garlic infused olive oil.
Add one third part of your rice mixture to bottom of pan, using very clean hands or a spatula, press down firmly.
Add half of your mushrooms and chicken strips, place half of your roasted red pepper strips over the chicken.
Now cover with another one third of the rice mixture, press down firmly (very important step, as you are pressing down, you are actually compacting the loaf so it all stays in place and cuts nicely).
Add the last of the mushrooms, chicken strips and the last of the roasted red peppers. Top with the last of the rice mixture. Press down very well, and drizzle with the reserved drippings of your sautéed chicken.
Bake for 35-45 minutes till rice is starting to become golden. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. Invert on a plate (or if you have those fancy meatloaf pans, definitely use those), sprinkle the remainder of your shredded Romano cheese. Let stand another few minutes and slice.
One pot dinner, what could be more simple??
Serve with your favorite veggie or salad.
Yield: 8 servings
Till next time!!
Dishin with Didi