What I learned from Martha Stewart

Stuffed Chicken Breast Rolls

When I first saw Martha Stewart on TV many years ago after I just moved here from Brazil, I  thought it was something seriously wrong with her. The slow talking, slow moving, the half smiles, the irritating hair in the eye, the missing sense of humor. What exactly is she? A baker?Designer? Not a chef, not a decorator…Wedding planner? I learned later that boring Martha was is an American icon and everyone loved loves to hate her.

I’m not exactly a fan but she has my respect. After all she has survived fame, prison, divorce, building an empire twice, and she has taught me how to pound a chicken breast properly.

Now, since I couldn’t find a video of Mrs. Stewart herself pounding the chicken breast here are the non-illustrated directions:

  1. Take a full chicken breast and place it on your cutting board.
  2. Take a piece of plastic wrap 2X bigger than the breast itself and put it over the chicken breast.
  3. With a meat mallet start pounding the chicken. Start from the center and work your way out. Use short and even strokes.

I use this method frequently to make chicken piccata, chicken scaloppini and chicken rolls. Stuffed chicken breast rolls is a quick ‘make ahead’ recipe. I usually stuff it with sauteed spinach, mushrooms, fresh mozzarella and basil, ham and provolone, and even stuffing. First you need to pound the chicken breast like you were Martha and then:

  1. Season the thin fillets with salt/pepper/garlic powder.
  2. Place a mound of stuffing on each breast.
  3. Wrap and roll the fillets over the stuffing.
  4. Secure breasts with toothpicks.
  5. Place rolls, seam side down, on a greased baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 380F for at least 40 minutes (depending on the size of the rolls)

Wrap the rolls in bacon or prosciutto for extra flavor. If we could only do the same to Martha Stewart!!!!


Citrus Skirt Steak

Citrus Skirt Steak

I have this silly habit of believing I’ll remember and achieve the same flavors with NO recipe. Well, that NEVER happens. I suck at documenting recipes, therefore repeating ‘winner’ dishes. I may find a cure for this here in this blog!

You see, it’s one thing to mess with your kids Mac & Cheese recipe and a completely different story to screw up your client’s favorite steak (I do have a personal chef/cook gig for those who didn’t know). So when my client asked me to make this Citrus Skirt Steak again I panicked.

It all worked out at the end and they enjoy this flavorful steak almost every week. I usually serve it with tortillas for tacos and a side of Honey Lime Cumin Slaw salad (I’ll post the recipe here once I have a decent picture of ‘her’).

So, for my own information and for the sake of my client’s Tuesday Taco here is the recipe:


  • The juice of 2 medium limes
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds flank steak

Blend or mix all ingredients and spread the paste on the steak(s). Stack the steaks on top of each other on a airtight container or large Ziploc bag. Refrigerate overnight (this is a MUST). Bring to room temperature before grilling. Fire up the grill or heat a grill pan. Scrape the marinade off the meat and season with sea salt. Grill the steaks over moderately high heat until seared and crusty, about 3 minutes per side for medium rare. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.