Thursday, May 28, 2015

Field Food: "Kinda" Cordon Bleu

My, oh my, the muck and the mire.  (Just finished reading Little Blue Truck to the tot before bed.  Who else has that one memorized?)

Like much of the Midwest, our Spring has been wet.  In farm world, wet translates to: unhappy farmers who can’t get in the field. 

The good news: creative meals delivered to the field haven’t been required lately.  However, blue skies lingered just long enough for the farmer to get in a soybean planting frame of mind today… which means: a field supper. 

My farmer would be grateful for a plain ole hamburger or turkey sandwich, but the key to really making his day, is a small twist on a familiar go-to convenience meal.

Tonight, I pulled out a new recipe: “Grilled Chicken Cordon Bleu Wraps” from the Taste and Tell blog.  Very loooosely chicken cordon bleu.  In fact, in my efforts to simplify the recipe, I looked up “cordon bleu” to make sure I didn’t compromise the essence of the “cordon bleu.”

Ever look up “cordon bleu” before?  It basically means hoity-toity, fancy French spin.  Ha.  Haha.  Sorry.  That part of the essence of traditional chicken cordon bleu may be lost, but it’s still a nice mix-up to your field food routine.

Before the toddler and one on the way, I would have gone out of my way to follow the recipe precisely; but now, I find myself immediately wondering how I can simplify.  So, make the recipe as she recommends, or look to my adjustments below. 

The ingredients are pretty simple:


The original recipe recommends shredded chicken, which would be more savory than either of my options, but I already cooked two chickens this week… and it just wasn’t happening today.

First: pop those frozen chicken tenders in the oven.  This is the only part that might require a little planning.  Start about 30 minutes before you want to assemble in order to allow time to pre-heat oven and bake.  The package also gives microwave directions if you need to work more quickly, but they are crispier baked. 

Ways to tell you're a beginning blogger:
You're not really sure if you should put your name on the sub-par food photos. 
Pretty sure this pic of frozen tenders on a tray isn't going to be stolen.  Just consider this reality kitchen-testing.
While my chicken tenders were baking, I mixed up the very simple sauce.  I feel like the secret to field foods is often in the sauce.  Just a little taste of something different makes supper feel special. 

Easy-peasy: ½ cup mayo, 1 Tablespoon honey, 2 Tablespoons mustard, and salt and pepper to taste.  This is apparently what makes it “cordon bleu,” but I thought we just called this honey mustard.  Either way, I’m not a fan of honey mustard, but liked this one.  Here’s MY golden tip: somewhere along the way I learned to spray cooking spray in the measuring cup or spoon of sticky substances.  Honey spilled out clean, no clingy mess wasted in the spoon!

If chicken tenders or cooking a chicken aren’t for you…shhh… disguise that canned chicken and serve it up!  I tried it this way also because I didn’t have a full bag of chicken tenders… which is required to fill up my farmer and brother-in-law.  I mash it with a fork to make it look more like shredded chicken, and mixed in a generous third of the honey mustard sauce.

Assembling is all we have left!  Anything in a tortilla makes a great field meal.  Start with tortilla, layer a couple pieces of cheese (swiss if you want to be more “chicken cordon bleu” authentic), a few pieces of deli ham (or turkey if that’s all you have), and about half of the canned chicken mixture (one can was 12.5 oz, so half is about a half cup of meat).  Roll it up and set aside while you assemble the rest.

For the chicken tender version: smeared some of the honey mustard sauce on the tortilla (after tasting, I probably would’ve been a bit more generous than pictured), then cheese, deli meat, and chicken tender.
The original recipe calls for grilling.  Five wraps didn't seem to warrant the grill tonight, so I tried a couple of easier options.  

George Foreman: spray top and bottom grills with cooking spray and left on for 3 minutes.

Skillet: Med or Med High heat, spray with cooking spray, approximately 2-3 minutes on each side.  Or really, just until cheese melts, wrap is warm, and edges are sealed. 

Wrap it up in aluminum foil, pour a couple of iced teas to-go, and you’re ready to deliver! 

My verdict: not a particularly special recipe, but a super simple supper with a welcome twist.  My guy was all smiles, so we'll call that: Farmer approved!  (Both versions, though he slightly preferred the chicken tender version.  Grilling method seemed to matter not.)
Field update: one dry week this spring allowed for planting of corn and milo.  With the prospect of a little dry weather tomorrow, hubs was working on adjusting row cleaners and adding bean boxes so soybeans could be planted next.  Crossing our fingers that more field meals are needed this week so planting can be completed and young crops can breathe!
A bonus sunset photo from tonight... because if it works for Ree...


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