Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A few new treats.

OK OK.... it's been a while since I've written. You've missed several good meals. This one was Chicken Kiev, which turns out easier than you think to make if you have a little know how and a smart girl friend. We made a compound butter mix with parsley and tarragon. That got formed into a log and placed in the freezer to set up a little while we worked over the chicken. Putting a chicken breast on a piece of plastic that had been sprinkled with water and folded over the top of the chicken, we whacked the hell out of it with a skillet until it was either about 1/8th inch thick or until it told us the secret entrance to the hiding lair. Turns out there wasn't a hiding lair. After that, we took out the butter and sliced it and placed in the middle of the hell ridden chicken and folded/rolled the chicken around the butter. That got to chill out in the fridge for a while (Alton is sooooo fond of doing things over night). The next day it all got dunked in beaten eggs (not a good week for chickens I guess) and rolled in panko crumbs then fried in a little hot veggie oil. While that was cooking we had also made some noodles. That's right kids, fresh home made noodles. We'd taken a class and were itching to try it. The class was well worth the price and aggravation of the couple sitting next to us... gotta love know-it-alls. I know it's another of Mr. Brown's recipes, but it works and turned out very tasty.

The next one we tried was Drunken Risotto. This one took a little more time, work, and patience. It started with browning 3/4 pound of Italian sausage, add in finely chopped onion (a whole small onion) and a few cloves of finely chopped garlic. The hard part came with stemming 3/4 pound of spinach leaves, but that comes later. The Rachel Ray recipe (I know, not a different chef!!) called for fresh ground nutmeg, we used already ground stuff and it worked out ok. While the sausage was browning I was bringing 3 cups of red wine and 2 cups of chicken stock to a low simmer, this is important. When the browning was done, I stirred in the risotto, giving it time to soak up any oils. Then a few ladle fulls of the wine/stock mixture at a time went in, giving it time to absorb and cook off before adding more until it was all in, very time consuming and lots of constant stirring. In the last 5 min's of cooking I stirred in the spinach until it barely softened. Just before serving I stirred in 1/2 cup of grated romano cheese. Patience pays off for this one. The rice was just barely softened, and the flavor was amazing. I'm not a big fan of red wine but I really liked this one. As you can see we threw in some broccoli for color and taste. Quite nice if I do say so myself.

By the way, if anyone is actually out there reading this, it would be nice to hear a comment. At least say "Hi". More to come.