Macon Telegraph

hot off the press: cantaloupe jalepeno chicken roulade with Vidalia onion risotto


Note: this was originally posted on on July 23:

Welcome back to our humble kitchen! This go round we wanted to share a way to utilize a few other seasonal ingredients in ways that are both slightly unconventional and also very easy.

Two of my favorite foods in the world are cantaloupe and Vidalia onions, but sadly they are often relegated to the realm of garnish or sides, not really the powerhouses of a dish. It really is a shame, because few things are better than the flavor these fresh ingredients.

Cantaloupe Jalepeno Chicken Roulade

Roulade Recipe:

4 chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded thin

Salt and pepper to cover

1 ½ brick Greek yogurt cream cheese

½ cantaloupe, cut into small pieces

1 whole Jalapeno, seeded and chopped

8 large sage leaves, chopped

Juice of ½ lemon

First, let’s start with the protein side of this equation- a nice chicken roulade with a light, flavorful cream filling. Roulades sound and look much fancier and complicated than they really are, making this method a great way to add flair and flavor to a dish without too much effort, especially if you use an outdoor grill as I did with this recipe.

To start the roulade, take the chicken breasts and trim any fat. Butterfly each breast by cutting it in half from the side, but not cutting it all the way through—essentially doubling the surface area. Season with salt and pepper and then pound with a meat tenderizer until each one is about ¼ inch thick. Go ahead and light your grill and heat to about 400.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip together the cream cheese, jalapeno, cantaloupe and sage for about three minutes until well combined and has a light consistency.

Cover each chicken breast with the mixture, spreading even with a spatula. Roll tightly on the vertical axis and tie with kitchen twine. Squeeze lemon over each one.

With the grill ready, place the roulades over direct heat about 4 minutes per side. Reduce heat to 325 and cook an additional twenty minutes or until a meat thermometer reaches about 165. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting into pinwheels about an inch thick. Serve atop the risotto.

Vidalia Onion Risotto

2 cups Arborio

4 cups chicken broth

1 large Vidalia onion, frenched

Salt to taste

1 stick butter

½ cup white wine

5 cloves garlic

6 leaves basil

Juice of 1 lemon

¼ cup fontina cheese

In a heavy bottom pot or dutch oven, melt ½ stick of butter until almost browned. Add the onions and cook until they are brown and soft in texture, about 25-30 minutes on medium low heat. Remove from the pot into a bowl. Heat the chicken broth over low heat in a separate pot.


In the onion pot, melt the next ½ stick of butter and stir in the Arborio. Toast the rice for about four minutes and then add the white wine. Stir until it is absorbed, and then add 1 cup of the broth. Stir and allow the rice to mostly absorb the broth until adding the next cup. Continue until all broth is used or the rice is tender. As the last dose of broth is being absorbed, add the onions, garlic, basil, cheese and lemon juice and stir until well combined.

Kale Salad

1 bunch kale, finely chopped

1 small cucumber, diced

1/2 cup dates, chopped

½ cup walnuts, chopped

1/8 cup olive oil

Juice of 2 lemons

1 tsp sherry vinegar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Place the kale, dates, walnuts and cucumber in a large bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice, oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Toss the dry ingredients in the dressing.

All together this is a nice, bright summer dish that really makes a statement on a plate. The combination of ingredients creates a nice balance and it is an excellent way to re-imagine these “sides” into something bold.

hot off the press: squash and zucchini savory tart

squash zucchini tart

Some of you know that Alex and I have a syndicated column in the Macon Telegraph, but if you didn’t know, now you do, and you can look for it on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month!  We were so excited when we were approached with this opportunity and love contributing to local content in the Living & Entertainment section.

You can check out our first story on the Telegraph’s website here, and I’ve brought the copy to you here on our blog to enjoy.  This first one originally ran on July 9, and Alex will post his first column (second for Bungalow Kitchen) tomorrow.  Stay tuned for our next column next Wednesday, and thanks for all of the support and well wishes!


My husband Alex and I have been writing a food blog, Bungalow Kitchen, for over a year now, and one of our goals is to eat as seasonally as we can.  There’s nothing better than a ruby red tomato in July or a butternut squash in November, and that’s because it’s in season.  As Georgians, we are particularly lucky that we live in an area of the United States where farmers can grow produce year round due to our temperate climate, so we should most certainly take advantage of it.  Alex and I will take turns sharing seasonal recipes with you, and as the seasons change, so will the featured ingredients.

If you have ever had too much zucchini and yellow squash hanging around your kitchen and you would like to do something other than squash casserole or roasted vegetables, this recipe is for you.  Early summer is peak time for both of these squash varieties, and during this time you’ll notice that the colors of the vegetables get brighter and deeper.  I encourage you to buy zucchini and yellow squash from your local farmers market, such as Mulberry Street Market on Wednesdays, from a local CSA (community supported agriculture) farmer such as The Dirt Farmers or Babe and Sage Farm, or even from a roadside vendor.  The shapes and sizes of these varieties vary greatly from the farmer, but are more uniform at the grocery store.

While squash is a staple in Southern food because of its plentiful existence in our region, it’s not usually seen as a show stopper.  This vegetable is usually hidden in a cream-of-something soup with crackers on the top in a forgotten side dish.  I say it’s time to flip the switch and create a styled squash that’s fit for any backyard barbecue or summer cocktail party.  This squash and zucchini savory tart is visually appealing and will impress your fellow partygoers with your innovative use of seasonal bounty and stylized presentation.  Pro tip: it’s also very easy to make!

Squash and Zucchini Savory Tart

1 puff pastry sheet (I use Pepperidge Farm, check your grocer’s freezer)*
2 medium-sized zucchini
2 medium-sized yellow squash
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 oz. soft goat cheese
6-8 fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper

*The night before you make the tart, place the puff pastry sheet in the refrigerator in its package to allow the sheet to thaw.

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Sprinkle your countertop with a pinch of flour, then roll out the puff pastry with a rolling pin.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place the rolled-out pastry sheet on the parchment paper.  Create a crust by turning over the edges of the sheet about 1/2 inch, then crimp the edges with the tines of a fork to seal the crust.  Lightly cut a few lines in the pastry sheet, but not all the way through.  This creates a vent for the pastry so that its will not puff up too much in the middle.  Bake for about 8 minutes, then remove from the oven.

While the puff pastry is baking, Cut off the ends of the squash and zucchini, then halve them lengthwise.  Now thinly slice each into half moons and set aside.

Now that the puff pastry is out of the oven, create five alternating columns of vegetables: zucchini, squash, zucchini, squash, zucchini.  Now create another row, this time changing the order so that the column that started with a squash has a piece of zucchini.  Follow this pattern and complete each column.  Be sure to overlap the squash and zucchini, but allow each bright green or bright yellow edge to be seen.  When all of the columns are complete, lightly sprinkle with salt and cracked black pepper.  Place in the hot oven for about 5 minutes.

Take the pastry out of the oven and turn on the broiler.  Evenly arrange the goat cheese in large sections over the pastry and place under the broiler for about 4 minutes.  While the cheese is slightly melting, stack up all of the basil leaves, roll them tightly like a cigar, then thinly slice them into ribbons.  This method is called chiffonade, and it’s an easy and beautiful way to use herbs for garnish.  When the 4 minutes are up, take the pastry out of the oven, remove the cookie sheet and parchment paper, and top it with the basil ribbons.  Let cool for at least 10 minutes, then cut into squares.

Alex and Eleta Morrison live in Macon and write a food blog, Bungalow Kitchen.  Like their page on Facebook for updates and visit their blog at  Alex and Eleta can be contacted by e-mail at