Posted in French Flavors, General Food Topics, tagged chicken, mushroom, pasta, potato, soup, spinach, stock, tortellini, truffle oil on July 30, 2010 |
Leave a Comment »
While there are endless possibilities of how to use a whole chicken, here are a few different things I tried last month. They’re hardly sophisticated dishes but rather me using up a few items in my kitchen. You can easily start off with poaching a whole chicken in a large pot of water, or you can carve the chicken while raw. So using one whole chicken I made:
For the tortellini and the potato bake, I used the two large chicken breasts which I carved from the raw, whole chicken. The remaining carcass and leg meat was used to make the stock, and the leg meat was shredded for the noodle soup. All of these dishes were whipped up spontaneously and I haven’t had a chance to make them again. However, I do have a couple suggestions on how to improve them in case anyone wants to try them out!
First up is chicken and mushroom tortellini. I had an afternoon free the day I made this, so I was playing around a bit. I had originally wanted to make ravioli which I remember watching Giada de Laurentiis (Food Network) do with wonton wrappers a long time ago. Of course, I ended up with way more filling than necessary so I made tortellini to maximize the use of my wonton wrappers. Giada’s recipe for turkey-cranberry ravioli sounds quite good and I kind of worked off that. My ingredients included:
- Chicken breasts, ground up in a food processor
- White button mushrooms, finely chopped
- Eggs (1 for mix, 1 for egg wash)
- Garlic and onion, finely chopped
- Parmesan cheese
- Seasoning – salt, pepper, basil or thyme
- Wonton wrappers
Now my method was to just combine all the above ingredients and fill each wonton wrapper. However, like many others, my wonton raviolis came out a little watery after boiling them. I was able to correct it by tossing them with some butter, a few more sliced mushrooms, white truffle oil and more parmesan for garnish. But as I’m writing this, I have another thought…
(CLICK FOR MORE…)
Read Full Post »
My new favorite thing to make at home is mayonnaise. It was part of a class a couple weeks ago, and I promise it is extremely easy and takes no more than 10 minutes! All you need is one (or more for richness) egg yolk, a splash of white wine vinegar, a small teaspoon of Dijon mustard, a pinch of salt, (preferably white) ground pepper and vegetable or Canola oil. Garlic mayo is just a small step further. Simply infuse some olive oil at low heat with smashed garlic. There’s no need to chop it as you’ll remove it once it’s done its job.
- Separate the egg yolks and place into a large mixing bowl. The best way to do this is to use the eggshells and pass the yolk between the shells until the whites have separated. Keep them for a great egg white omelette!
- I used three yolks here for richness but you can easily do it with more. For one litre of oil, you can add up to 8 egg yolks. Add just a splash of white wine vinegar. You really don’t need much and can always add more. When you add the salt, be sure to add it to the mustard and not directly on the yolk since it will start to cure it and creates dark spots.
- Put a damp towel under the bowl since you’ll be whisking quite fast. You don’t want to slip!
- Now if you want garlic mayo, combine the garlic-infused olive oil and vegetable oil. Measure about 300ml or about 1.25 cups of oil in total. You can always add more! Whisk the egg yolk(s), vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper until the salt dissolves. Then very gradually whisk in the oil. Be sure to whisk very quickly (this is your workout!). Make sure the oil is fully incorporated before you add more. If it splits (the oil looks separated), just add a little cold water. If it gets too thick, you can add a small splash of white wine vinegar.
- Once you’ve got the consistency you like, make sure you wrap in plastic directly on the surface to avoid a ‘skin’ forming. You must use this within one day!
Now as promised (for Leah and Tae!) – a great use for this garlic mayonnaise is a pesto dip! There are so many variations of pesto, but you can’t beat a classic basil pesto. Here’s a good recipe, but I honestly don’t measure. You need:
- Basil, roughly chopped
- Garlic, roughly chopped
- Parmesan (preferably a block), freshly grated or roughly chopped
- Pine nuts, lightly toasted (just a bit of color on them)
- Salt (rock or sea preferably), go easy because Parmesan is salty!
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil
I use a food processor since it’s much easier. To help out with the process I roughly chop everything. Toasting the pine nuts help to bring out the flavor, but be careful because they’re very oily and can burn quickly. When you add the pine nuts, they’ll be quite warm so I add them on the side and not directly onto the basil leaves (so they won’t wilt). Blend everything but the olive oil. Then gradually pour in the oil while the food processor is on. Go easy because you may not need that much. Make sure you taste! Then adjust to your preference. If you don’t like to eat raw garlic, you can use the garlic-infused oil instead.
Just mix with the garlic mayonnaise and voila you have pesto dip! The mayo will take 10 minutes to make and the pesto another 10. But if you don’t have 20 spare minutes, you can always buy both parts at the store and combine! You could also combine store-bought pesto with creme fraiche or try this sour cream/cream cheese combo. Since I made the pesto mayo for a BBQ, I used it on my burger instead of ketchup and it was delicious! I highly recommend for spicing up a boring sandwich too!
Read Full Post »
Posted in Uncategorized on July 22, 2010 |
1 Comment »
Hello hello. Apologies again for the time lag between posts. School has been busy and (as expected!) physically exhausting. It only confirms why I don’t really want to be a restaurant chef. It’s fast and fun but it hits you on your days off! Just went through my back log of dishes I’ve been making and thought I’d do a post on salads (and one salsa). These aren’t the healthiest salads in the world, but I do live with someone who believes a meal is not complete without meat. So I try my best to trick him with bacon and cheese!
Pasta salads are also a favorite of mine. There are infinite possibilities and it’s so filling. I think of it as a vegetable delivery system and a healthy starch alternative at a BBQ. It’s also what I do to use up various vegetables at the end of the week. It really doesn’t need much dressing. I.e. there’s no need for all this creaminess you see in ready made pasta salads (unnecessary calories!). Just add lots of lemon juice and lemon zest and a basic vinaigrette. If you’re adding cheese (like feta or garlic and herb), you really don’t need any dressing. Sundried tomatoes and fresh basil always add loads of flavor as well. Rocket/arugula is good for adding a spicy kick too. I always prefer to use cherry tomatoes to Roma (large) because they’re sweeter and have better color.
The courgette/zucchini salad below is really just a result of me practicing my julienne cuts after school But it’s actually a great side salad. Just finely slice the courgette or use a mandoline. Make a white wine vinaigrette and add in fresh lemon juice and finely chopped shallots. If you have fresh parsley, very finely chop and sprinkle on top.
Last but not least some corn and bean salsa. I’ve previously talked about my corn and black bean salsa but there are some great ‘Taco beans’ from Tesco that come in a spicy tomato sauce that I use as a replacement for black beans. Just as healthy!
For these salad recipes, click here. Hope you enjoy the photos!
Classic Cobb Salad
(CLICK FOR MORE…)
Rocket Salad with Bacon and Fried Egg
Read Full Post »
Posted in Asian Cuisine, Italian Cuisine, Latin American Cuisine, tagged chickpea, cilantro, coriander, couscous, cumin, peppers, sausages, scallops, sesame, shrimp, tomato on July 9, 2010 |
2 Comments »
Hi All. As I don’t have class today, I’m finally taking the time to catch up with my backlog of recipes and dishes I need to share! Before school started a couple weeks ago, I was keeping myself busy with making new healthy dishes. I also had to work my way through our cupboards and all the various pastas, grains and seeds/nuts I’ve accumulated. So here are a couple dishes but many more to come! Links to recipes are below but you can also go direct to the recipe pages.
Chesham High Street Market
First up is Scallops with Sauce Vierge. So for a couple of weeks, I was passing by the fish monger in the Chesham high street market, looking but never buying anything. But I finally gave in and bought some of the beautiful, fresh, giant scallops which is really one of my favorite seafood dishes. I wanted to be a little different though as scallops are very often wrapped in bacon. I also had seen sauce vierge come up in many cookbooks/sites recently. It’s such an easy thing to make and is so versatile. The key though is to have a really nice extra virgin olive oil. If extra virgin is too strong for you, then use a milder olive oil. I didn’t use red wine vinegar, but some recipes call for it instead of the coriander seeds. Since scallops aren’t exactly the most affordable seafood, I made this dish as a starter with three scallops each. We mopped up the rest of the sauce with some fresh bread. But you could easily turn this into a main dish by serving on a bed of angel hair pasta. The sweetness of the scallops and tomato together are so nice. If you want contrast, some red chili flakes would actually be quite nice. And if you can’t get scallops or don’t like them, you can always serve with some large grilled shrimp or chicken. Hope you like it!
(CLICK FOR MORE…)
Scallops with Sauce Vierge
Read Full Post »