Wait? What's that? What the heck is the name of this recipe? Can you translate that please? :)
Yes, yes.... think of this as rolled-up chicken Cordon Bleu casserole. Better now?
Emergency Eats is about using some simple ingredients this month - deli ham, Swiss cheese, bacon, and you can even cheat by using store bought pre-roasted chicken - rearranged in a new way; well, rolled-up to be exact!
Leave it to Chef Jeff to take the concept of a Vietnamese spring roll wrapping, and reinvent a classic dish along the way. This recipe has all of the taste of classic Cordon Bleu, with a creamy white sauce, topped with a buttery, seasoned Panko breadcrumb crust.
Ingredients for Roll-ups:
8 rice sheets (TheLadyinRed recommends more for mess-ups in case you soak them in water too long and they - oops! - melt!) (You can find these in the Asian aisle of most grocery stores.)
16 slices Swiss cheese
16 slices deli ham
16 slices of thin cut bacon (or 8 slices of regular cut bacon), pre-cooked
1 lb. fresh spinach
1 small pre-roasted chicken, shredded so you have approximately 3 cups of chicken (You won't use the whole chicken, so start by shredding the breast meat, then the thigh meat, and go from there. TheLadyinRed says you will need 3 cups; Chef Jeff says 4. It depends on how much you can stuff into each roll.)
1 lemon, cut into wedges (for garnish) (optional)
Ingredients for Sauce:
1 package cream cheese
2 cups grated provolone cheese (or any grated white cheese of your choice) (TheLadyinRed used a blend of grated white cheddar mixed with grated mozzarella.)
3 cups whole milk
1/2 stick butter
2 Tbsp. dried parsley
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt (TheLadyinRed recommends leaving out the additional salt as the bacon, cheese, and ham already contain salt and it's best not to over salt a dish.)
1 red pepper, minced (optional says TheLadyinRed)
Ingredients for Topping:
2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1 stick butter
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. corn starch
1. Melt the 1/2 stick butter for the sauce in a medium sized saucepan.
2. Once the butter is melted, add the cream cheese. Mash it up with the spoon. This is sort of a melt-and-mash process.
3. Add the milk, salt (if using), pepper, red pepper, cornstarch, grated cheese, and parsley. Keep stirring until everything is combined and melted. It should be very hot but not boiling. Keep the cheesy white sauce on the lowest temperature stove-possible, and stir it occasionally so it doesn't stick or burn as you prepare the rest of the dish.
4. Preheat the oven to 425°.
5. In a large frying pan, with a diameter a bit bigger than each rice sheet, pre-boil 1 - 2 cups of water then turn off the heat. You want a water depth of about 1/2 an inch.
6. With tongs, grab a single rice sheet and submerge it into the hot water. Remove it after about 20 seconds so the sheet is soft and pliable. WARNING! DO NOT SOAK THE RICE SHEET TOO LONG OR YOU WILL HAVE A MUSHY MESS! (We're not naming names here, but let's just say a certain Lady in Red made this mistake and it was a good thing she had spare rice sheets on hand. This is why it's good to have extra rice sheets in your arsenal.)
7. Remove the rice sheet and carefully place it onto a cutting board that you have immediately available beside the pan so it remains flat and spread out.
If you have kitchen fairies or little helpers, the roll-up part is where you can get your assembly line going! Here's what you do:
8. On the softened rice sheet, place 2 pieces of ham, 2 slices of Swiss cheese, followed by 12-15 spinach leaves, a layer of shredded chicken, topped with a piece or two of bacon.
9. Fold the top of the rice sheet to overlap the middle, then roll that baby up! Fold in both sides of the rice sheet. Then gently.... but quickly, place it into a pre-greased 9"x13" baking dish.
10. Repeat steps 6-9 to create a total of 8 large rolls, lined up side-by-side in the baking dish. (Don't forget to stir your cheese sauce!)
11. Pour JUST SOME of the cheese sauce over the top of the rolls. DO NOT USE IT ALL because the baking dish will overflow! Save the extra cheesy white sauce for plating.
12. In a small pot, melt 1 stick of butter on medium heat.
13. Add the spices, mix, and once the butter is entirely melted, add the Panko bread crumbs. Stir it up until the crumbs are coated in butter.
14. Spread the bread crumb mixture over the top of the entire casserole evenly.
15. Lower the oven temperature to 375°. (The oven temperature was 425°, which is higher than the required baking temperature. This was purposely done so when you open the oven door, and heat escapes, the temperature doesn't drop too low.)
16. TheLadyinRed recommends placing the baking dish on top of a foil-lined tray before putting it in the oven, so if anything bubbles over, you won't have a huge oven mess. It will allow for easy clean-up.
17. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let it stand for at least 10 minutes before serving with lemon wedges as a garnish. The lemon adds a complementary flavor to offset the creaminess of the dish.
18. Spoon some leftover re-heated sauce across the center of each serving.
Serves 4-8, with possible leftovers, depending how hungry everyone is.
If you have leftovers, you can freeze them with the extra sauce in a container or zip loc bag.