Saturday, February 25, 2012

Stuffed Chicken Breast and Cous Cous

Let me start off by Saying Sorry about the absence, I've been sick with Strep  so I haven't done much of anything

on with the food! 

My mom went to the Grocery and  picked up a bunch of different proteins with no real  plan .  One of the  Meats was Chicken breast. I went to the grocery and  picked up some spinach so I could Unroll the  chicken and roll it back up with some spinach and Swiss cheese.

I also decided to make Cous cous  with sun dried tomatoes and some Minced Kalamata olives.

  I  rolled out 4 chicken breasts, like fileting a fish it's a bit difficult Unrolling the breast that is opposite your dominant hand.  the  breast  are all  big at the top which is why I  unrolled them instead of just splitting the breast down the center or " Butterflying" them

 The filling for 4 breasts:
2# Spinach
2 tablespoons olive oil or bacon fat(1 for each 1# batch of Spinach)
6 cloves Roasted Garlic
1 cup Shredded Swiss

 heat 1 Tbsp of  oil and garlic in large Saute pan, add  1# spinach and a pinch of salt.  after the greens have wilted remove them , cook second batch the same way, Cool both batches  chop the spinach , making sure the garlic is also chopped. Mix in the cheese

after you've unrolled all the breasts take your spinach mixture and split into 4 portions.

season the meat and spread mixture onto about 7/8ths of the meat leaving a bit of exposed meat on the side you are going to end your roll on

 Roll  the Meat back up, Trying to keep even pressure so the  newly rolled/ stuffed piece is an even size all the way down

Repeat with the other Pieces and Truss with Butchers Twine.Make sure to evenly space the trusses,  you can also uses the twine to help adjust the shape of the  breasts

I layed the remaining spinach out on the bottom of an 8x8 pan. Covered the pan and put in a 375 degree oven, after about 30 mins I uncovered and finished cooking untill the internal temp reached  165 degrees

 I drained the Juice from the pan into a small saucepot  over med heat, I stirred in a stick of butter  untill it was melted and Emulsified making a sort of Beurre Blanc  to spoon over the  sliced meat

 The cous cous
2Tbsp chopped sun dried tomatos
3Tbsp Chopped Kalamata Olives
2 Cups  homemade chicken stock
1 box Original  cous cous
 bring stock , olives, tomatoes to just off a boil. Add cous cous   remove from heat and cover for 5 mins. Fluff with fork. Serve


This is a nice little meal to test / practice your knife and  trussing skills

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Caramel Pear Butter

I was at a local Fruit stand and decided to make some sort of Fruit butter My dad Always  makes Apple Butter, normally after going to apple orchards in Eastern WA  and getting a  box of apples

I got 8 #'s of pears  (3.5# comice, about 6 and 4.5# Green Anjou)

Due to my dad's apple butter  making we have an apple peeler/corer/slicer.

DID NOT work on the pears! the spikes that hold the fruit in place Tore out the inside of the pears,

I hand peeled and cored the pears and Placed them in water to boil them down(in hind sight I'd have used a juice  of some sort)

 Once They were boiled and I could I Pureed them With my Immersion Blender Then I Put the Puree in a crock pot on High and let it cook for about 6-8 hours (the less water you start with  the faster this step goes)

sorry I don't have a complete Picture, my camera ate it

2C Sugar
.5 C Water
1 Tbsp Light corn Syrup

Mix it all together and start cooking over Med High heat

I cooked it to about 380 degrees,  then I pulled it and waited a bit for the camera to work so it went a little over(it's right on the edge of being toooo Burnt tasting)
Alton Brown said to pull it when you see the first signs of smoke

then stand back and add 2 cups of heavy cream.

When it  starts to settle down stir with a wooden spoon and return to a boil for 3 mins

In the last 30 seconds I got a 9x9 metal pan to pour the caramel into so I could rapidly cool it in the freezer

after cooling I mixed it all up and  Started to mix the 2 parts together( pear and Caramel)

I did a little test and decided 2 parts of Pear and 1 part Caramel is pretty good, Maybe up the pear to up to 3 parts instead of 2

 Finished Product, A little thicker than applesauce, a bit grainy  due to the texture of the pear

 Would be perfect on toast . or ice cream   or mixed into anything that could use a little sweetness

Monday, February 6, 2012

Meat fab part something..... KATSUDON!

 This is one of my favorite things to eat since i was a kid, I mean who doesn't love fried pork!?
katsudon is something my mom learned how to make In Japan when we were living there, which may be part of the reason why I really like it.

We have a recipe in some cookbook which is kinda the one i followed except for in the final preparation on the  ingredients. this is a pretty simple recipe it takes a little bit of prep but it is soooo worth it

I started by  breading the  pork cutlets
It's simple 3 stage breading,  Seasoned flour / beaten egg/ then Panko Bread crumbs
 most people  follow "wet hand, Dry hand" keeping one hand  to take the cutlet from the egg and place it in the  panko , the other hand placing pork in the flour moving it to the egg and removing it from the panko and placing it on the rack

The Theory behind  breading these first, is that the Crust will settle and  after being fried it will stay attached to the pork better

Nexted I prepped the onions for the Sweet onion Soy sauce. I thinly sliced 2 onions

I make a lot more of the sauce than you would normally need because the sauce is good on just plain rice  too and I am all about  getting more than one use out of one  product/prep
 Sauce ingredients:2 cups Broth -3/4 cup  soy sauce and 3/4 sugar - 1/2 Mirin .
Bring the ingredients to a simmer then add the onions
 The onions will  turn transparent  after cooking  while the  other items are cooked
You can cook the Cutlets one of two ways,  you can use about an inch of oil and "deep" fry them
or use a little over a quarter inch of oil, Fry one side then flip  and repeat.
The oil should be like 350, I normally just drop in a panko breadcrumb and when it bubbles it's hot enough to fry.

 Drain on a cooking rack over a layer of paper towels on a sheet tray

because I have a lot of cutlets to cook, I  stored the cutlets in a 175 oven to keep the  crust crisp while I fry the remainder

Crunchy Toasty Pork
 Completed Onion Sauce

While the last batch of pork is frying, Scramble  some eggs(6ish for 4 servings)

Construction!: Bowl of rice( you've seen how to make this)

place scrambled eggs, Fresh peas , A ladle of sauce(extra onions for me)  then Sliced  Cutlet

The book we adapted this recipe from  says to cut the pork and  heat it in the sauce in a skillet coating each piece then adding the peas for a bit before pouring that on top of the rice, But that could lead to the Pork getting soggy  and nobody likes that!