Chicken with Morel Mushrooms

Ingredients

1/2 oz dried morels
2 chicken breast halves, skinned and boned
salt and pepper, to taste all-purpose flour for dredging 1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp finely chopped shallots or onion
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup white wine or vermouth
1 cup 35% cream
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Method

  1. Place morels in small bowl and cover with 1/2 cup hot water. Let sit 20 minutes, or until soft. Strain liquid and reserve.
  2. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Place flour in plastic bag. Shake chicken in flour one at a time. Shake off excess flour and set aside.
  3. In large non-stick skillet, over medium heat, heat butter and oil. Add chicken and saute until golden and tender, about 8 minutes. Remove from pan and keep warm.
  4. In same skillet, add shallots and garlic, sauteing until soft, about 3 minutes. Add wine and reserved mushroom liquid, scraping up any browned bits. Add morels, stirring constantly 3 minutes. Add cream and reduce by half. Add chicken just to warm. Season to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings.

Source: Gusto!

It’s Tea Time!

English Tea Set for Two

The Menu

  • Expresso Creme Brulee
  • Green Tea Panna Cotta
  • English Scone with Jam
  • Cheese and Ham Sandwich
  • Smoked Salmon Salad
  • Buffalo Mozzarella with Basil and Tomato
  • Caramel Banana and Chocolate Waffle

Sunday Funnies


Panda

A Panda walks into a restaurant and orders the special of the day.

He eats the food, gets up and shoots the waitress dead. The Hostessruns over to the Panda and says,

“What did you do that for?”

The Panda then says,”Look up ‘Panda” in the dictionary, and you will see…”

And with that, the Panda walked out of the restaurant.

The hostess then rushes to a dictionary, looks up ‘Panda’ and reads…”Panda, n., mammal, eats shoots and leaves.”

* * * * * * * *

Thermos

Red walks into a store. Curious about a shiny object, she asks, “What is that?”

The store clerk responds, “It’s a thermos.”

Red then asks, “What does it do?”

The clerk says, “It keeps hot things hot and cold things cold.”

So she buys one.

The next day, she brings it to work with her. Her boss asks,

“What is that shiny object?”

She replies “It’s a thermos.”

He asks, “What does it do?”

She says, “It keeps hot things hot and cold things cold.”

He then asks, “What do you have in there?”

“Two cups of coffee and a popsicle.”

* * * * * * * *

Peanuts

A preacher goes to a nursing home to meet an elderly parishioner.

As he is sitting there he notices this bowl of peanuts beside her bed and takes one.

As they talk, he can’t help himself and eats one after another.

By the time they are through talking, the bowl is empty.

He says, “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but I seem to have eaten all of your peanuts.”

“That’s okay,” she says. “They would have just sat there. Without my teeth, all I can do is suck the chocolate off and put them back.”

More Flavourful, Healthful Chocolate Could be on Its Way

Chocolate has many health benefits — it can potentially lower blood pressure and cholesterol and reduce stroke risk. But just as connoisseurs thought it couldn’t get any better, there’s this tasty new tidbit: Researchers have found a way to make the treat even more nutritious –– and sweeter.

They will describe their research here today at the 249th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society.

Cocoa undergoes several steps before it takes shape as a candy bar. Workers cut down pods from cocoa trees, then split open the pods to remove the white or purple cocoa beans. They are fermented in banana-lined baskets for a few days and then set out to dry in the sun. Roasting, the next step, brings out the flavor. But some of the healthful polyphenols (antioxidants) are lost during the roasting process, so the researchers wanted to figure out a way to retain as much of the polyphenols and good flavors as possible.

“We decided to add a pod-storage step before the beans were even fermented to see whether that would have an effect on the polyphenol content,” says Emmanuel Ohene Afoakwa, Ph.D., who is at the University of Ghana. “This is not traditionally done, and this is what makes our research fundamentally different. It’s also not known how roasting affects polyphenol content.”

Afoakwa’s team divided 300 pods into four groups that were either not stored at all or stored for three, seven or 10 days before processing. This technique is called “pulp preconditioning.” After each storage period passed, fermentation and drying were done as usual. He reports that the seven-day storage resulted in the highest antioxidant activity after roasting.

To assess the effects of roasting, the researchers took samples from each of the storage groups and roasted them at the same temperature for different times. The current process is to roast the beans for 10-20 minutes at 248-266 degrees Fahrenheit, he explains. Afoakwa’s team adjusted this to 45 minutes at 242 degrees Fahrenheit and discovered that this slower roasting at a lower temperature increased the antioxidant activity compared to beans roasted with the conventional method.

In addition, the beans that were stored and then roasted for 45 minutes had more polyphenols and higher antioxidant activity than beans whose pods were not stored prior to fermentation, says Afoakwa. He explains that pulp preconditioning likely allowed the sweet pulp surrounding the beans inside the pod to alter the biochemical and physical constituents of the beans before the fermentation. “This aided the fermentation processes and enhanced antioxidant capacity of the beans, as well as the flavor,” he says. He adds that the new technique would be particularly useful for countries in Southeast Asia and Latin America where cocoa beans produce a chocolate with a less intense chocolate flavor and have reduced antioxidant activity.

Looking to the future, he says the team will be studying in more detail the effects of roasting on the flavor of freshly picked compared to stored cocoa beans. They will be testing different temperatures and roasting and storing times to determine if even higher amounts of antioxidants can be retained through the process.

Source: American Chemical Society