snail roll-ups bento

26 01 2010

i normally stick to a pretty vegetable-based diet with a smattering of fish, but tonight i wanted to cook something special for the boyfriend (no reason, just cause i love him!).  he LOVES meat, so i made a fancy chicken roulade stuffed with spinach and smoked brie, served over mushroom-infused brown rice (recipes below).  and the thought of making two separate dinners, and then bentoing after that, was… less than appealing — so you bet your sweet bippy i’m making an exception to my usual no-meat rule and chowing down on the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

i thought the roulade slices kinda looked like snail shells, so i cut snail heads/necks and antennae out of provolone cheese and added nori mouths, sesame seed eyes, and ketchup cheeks.  in the fruit and veggie side of the box i added some bias-cut baby carrot sticks, pea pods, grape tomatoes, blueberries in a heart-shaped silicone cup (a similar set is available for purchase on j-list), one nice strawberry, few cucumber slices and the cutest tiny clementine, plus a few slices of fish sausage hand cut to look like flower-stars (i know these aren’t fruit or veg, but i thought it needed more color, so just work with me).

the box is accessorized by another of my new laser-cut felt doilies, plus a “light my fire” spork.  here’s a close-up of the snail friends, and then after that the recipes!

chicken roulades

  • 1 bag pre-washed spinach
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 4 tablespoons minced garlic
  • a nice-sized wedge of brie (you won’t use the whole thing, but you’ll get to snack on the leftovers!)
  • salt, pepper, and olive oil
  • plain wooden toothpicks (do not eat!)
  1. chop up the bag of spinach.  in a large sautee pan, heat up about a tablespoon of olive oil.  add about 1/3 of the chopped spinach, sprinkling a little bit of water on top to help it steam.  when it’s wilted, add another 1/3 of the bag.  when that’s wilted, add the final 1/3.  salt and pepper to taste.
  2. while the spinach is cooking, place one of the breasts between two sheets of wax paper on top of a cutting board. pound the crap out of it!  you can use a meat mallet or the flat of your hand, but either way you want to do a downward-and-outward motion, basically displacing the thickest (center) part of the breast outwards to the edge so as to create a cutlet with consistent thickness throughout.  it will NOT be regularly shaped around the outside, but if you have approximately consistent thickness, that’s fine.  repeat this process on the second breast.
  3. spread 1/2 of the minced garlic over each pounded-out breast, and apply salt and pepper fairly liberally.  when the spinach is cooled distribute an even layer over each breast.
  4. look at the breasts:  there should be a wider, rounded-ish end, and a narrower, pointed-ish end.  slice some slices off of your wedge of brie, and line them up starting at the narrower end, leaving at least 1 1/2 to 2″ of the wider end cheese-less.  (you need this margin of cheese-less-ness for the chicken to roll up properly.)  once all your cheese is in, carefully roll up the chicken (starting with the narrower, pointy end), securing the roll with toothpicks once it’s rolled up all the way.
  5. brush a thin coat of olive oil on the outside of the breast, and apply salt and pepper to the outside as well.  bake in a pre-heated 375-degree oven (or toaster) for about 20 minutes (your oven may run differently than mine, so make sure that the juice runs clear when you take out one of the toothpicks and press firmly down on the roll), then re-baste with olive oil and stick the rolls under the broiler so that they brown up a bit.
  6. let them cool for at least 5 minutes, and then slice away for cute spirals!

mushroom-infused rice

  • 1.75 cups of brown rice
  • about 2 cups of sliced mushrooms, any kind you like (i used half baby bella and half white button)
  • a generous pinch of kosher salt, plus cracked pepper to taste
  • 1 “pat” (about 3/4 of a tablespoon) of butter
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 cups of water

this isn’t really a “recipe” per se, as my cuckoo does all the work for me.  i just dump all the ingredients into the rice cooker’s bowl, lock it, and set it on the pressure setting for about 35 minutes.  it came out a little al dente, so i might let it cook 5 minutes longer next time.  you’ll need to experiment with your own rice cooker, but cooking the ingredients under pressure together (no matter how much time your cooker requires) really gets the mushroom flavor into every grain.  yum!



25 responses

26 01 2010

Wow, fancy schmancy indeed! I always wondered about these roulades. Now I have a recipe to try, and I think I might be able to manage it even!
Snail friends make the whole thing cuter, and I wish the snails in my soggy backyard were as cute as these.
Lovely sides as usual, but don’t I spy some very pink flowers? Kamaboko?
Awesome bento, megan!

p.s. was so excited to comment, but had to wait and wait for you to finish editing… yay!

26 01 2010

haha, sorry to make you wait, i always jump the gun on posting — i think i’m done, and then i find out i’ve totally forgotten to mention something, like the fish sausage (bingo on the pink flowers)!

the recipe is easy, i am SURE you can manage it — and the mushroom rice will definitely work in your handy zo.

thanks so much for your sweet comments! 🙂

26 01 2010
Lia Chen

The chicken roulades look incredibly yummy! And love your work on cute happy snails there … Beautiful and colorful section on the right side. The spork is like swiss army cutlery (spoon-fork-knife). Amazing how many props did you have now?

26 01 2010

thanks lia, your comments are always so nice, i really appreciate it! yes, the spork is actually made for camping… i won’t be roughing it with this bento, but i still thought it was cute. and you caught me red-handed, i have accumulated quite an array of props at this point, whoopsie! blame the addiction!

26 01 2010

Oh yeah!!! New recipe and I like it!
The snails looks like they’re racing and they’re down to the wire with their necks reaching out … who’s going to win? It’s a photo finish!
Super cute bento lunch. Your guy will feel the love.

I’m the same with my posts. I am notorious for “posting NOW” without regards to spelling or grammar. I go back and update and fix constantly.

26 01 2010

thanks debra, sorry you can’t eat this one, but if you end up trying it for saba man i hope he likes it!

i love how we have all the same compulsions (bento shopping, healthy vegetarian eating, korean food, belated-post-editing), hahaha! ;-D

27 01 2010

Ah! You are my hero! I love snails! ❤ That's because the parents of my Schatzi has given me the name "Schnecksche" (means something like snail chan) while my first visit at there home, about 10 years ago ^-^
And your snails are soooo cute! Love them, love them, love them!!!^^

The fruit/veggie section looks bright and shiny 😉 Yummy.

27 01 2010

hey lil’chan, thanks for your lovely words… that’s so funny that schatzi’s family calls you “schnecksche” – mind saying why? were you a slowpoke when you first met them? so nice of you to share that story with us 🙂

27 01 2010

Lovely, lovely. The snail is my totem I think because I’m so sssssssllllllooooowww! And I love them and you have made such an endearing pair and a gorgeous bento AND brown rice – my favourite!

27 01 2010

hey blorgie1, thanks so much for clicking over and for your compliment! you and lil’chan may have something in common… i’m the opposite, i try to do things so quickly that i bump into things and drop/knock things over constantly, haha! i love brown rice too, and i’m trying to sneak more of it into the boyfriend’s diet 😉

27 01 2010

Love these guys! The snails look they are racing (slowly) towards the gorgeous fruits and veggies! Adorable expressions…and hooray for this exciting new recipe! Your spirited healthy-sweet bentos are such a lift–a daily “hooray”!

27 01 2010

What a great idea to turn it into snails. So cute!!

27 01 2010

omg, that’s so cute! Would never think it was a chicken roulade (until I looked closer of course!)

27 01 2010

thanks for all your comments, jenn, melanie and eatlunch!

27 01 2010

I love it!!! Please submit it to WL event:
I have also few Lightmyfire sporks, very useful 🙂

27 01 2010

thanks margot, i’ll definitely submit this one! do we have to wait until the 15th to submit though?

27 01 2010
Susan Yuen

I love those snails! 😀 Lovely bento and not one but two recipes all in one post! Thanks for sharing the recipes, the mushroom infused rice and chicken roulade look delicious! BTW, I’m a big fan of sporks too. 😀

27 01 2010

thanks for your nice comment susan! no problem re: the recipes — i hope you try them and enjoy them (let me know how they turn out for you)!

27 01 2010

That looks so delicious 🙂 I myself am a big chicken fan and eat a lot of it and also love spinach and !brie!, so it *really* looks good to me – I’m drooling over here! I’ve done similar roulades but with spinach and feta or goat cheese, but never thought of brie! and smoked brie at that! 😀
The snails are so cute too – wonder if that’d work with my typical pinwheels… 🙂

27 01 2010

well, that settles it, this roulade will now be known as the “kashmirkat.” who knew i picked your total fave flavor profiles?!

27 01 2010

WooW chicken!! I saw it for the first time in your bento! Adorable snails, they’re smiling for me!
Thanks for sharing your recipes in detail. I love mushroom-rice. Would love to make it with your recipe and try chicken roulade,too!

27 01 2010

aww, thanks babykins! i was happy to share the recipes — and i hope they come out great for you if you get a chance to try them!

27 01 2010
Snail Roll-ups Bento – Bento Central

[…] Gamene’s chicken roulade recipe, and learn more about these cute snails, at bento zen! Share and […]

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[…] get the recipe for this chicken roulade at bento zen! […]

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