Classic French Dish of Truffled Baby Chicken

Ingredients

4 poussins (baby chickens), about 1-1/4 pounds each
1 small fresh or flash-frozen black truffle (about 1 ounce), cut into 1/16-inch or slightly thinner slices
salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons unsalted butter: 4 tablespoons at room temperature, 2 tablespoons melted
Fleur de sel

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Grease a large shallow roasting pan.
  2. Rinse the poussins under cold running water; dry thoroughly inside and out with paper towels. Using your fingertips, carefully loosen the flesh over the breast of each chicken, working first from the tail end and then from the neck; be careful not to tear the skin. Using one-quarter of the truffle slices for each bird, lift up the skin and carefully arrange the slices over the breast meat. Season the chickens inside and out with salt and pepper, rubbing the seasonings into the skin. Rub 1 tablespoon of the softened butter generously over each bird. Tie the legs of each chicken together with kitchen twine.
  3. Arrange the poussins in the prepared roasting pan and roast for 20 minutes. Baste with the melted butter and roast for about 5 minutes longer. Baste the birds with the pan juices. Roast for about 10 minutes longer, basting once more, until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh registers 175°F (80°C) on an instant-read thermometer. Cover the poussins loosely with foil and let rest in a warm place for 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer the poussins to plates and set out a small bowl of fleur de sel for individual sprinkling.

Note:

To make a pan sauce for the poussin, transfer the birds to a platter, cover with foil, and set aside in a warm place. Spoon off most of the fat from the juices in the roasting pan. Set the pan over low heat and add 1/3 cup dry white wine, stirring to release the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and boil, stirring once or twice, just to cook off the alcohol. Add 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and 1 teaspoon thyme leaves and stir until the butter is melted. Pour into a small pitcher and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Truffles

Chinese-style Vegetarian Potato Cakes

Ingredients

8 oz potato
1-1/2 tbsp grated carrot (skin removed)
4 water chestnut, skin removed and grated

Seasoning

1/3 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
dash of sesame oil
pinch of pepper
1 tsp ginger juice
1-1/2 tsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tbsp oi

Method

  1. Remove the skin of the potatoes. Wash and cut into slices. Steam for 20 minutes until tender. Mash into paste while hot.
  2. Mix all vegetable paste with seasoning. Shape into round patties.
  3. Heat 4 tbsp oil, fry patties over low heat until both sides are golden. Remove to serving platter. Serve with tomato ketchup or Hoi-sin sauce.

Source: Chinese Vegetarian Dishes

Western Mediterranean-style Stuffed Sardine

Ingredients

16 large sardines, scaled and gutted
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and ground black pepper
flat leaf parsley, to garnish

Stuffing

1 tablespoon light olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
6 tablespoons blanched almonds, chopped
2 tablespoons golden raisins, coarsely chopped
10 pitted black olives
2 tablespoons capers, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1 cup bread crumbs

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a large shallow ovenproof dish.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion and garlic gently for 3 minutes. Stir in the almonds, raisins, olives, capers, parsley and 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Make 2-3 diagonal cuts on each side of the sardines. Pack the stuffing into the cavities and lay the sardines in the prepared dish.
  4. Mix the remaining bread crumbs with the cheese and scatter on the fish. Bake for about 20 minutes until the fish is cooked through. Test by piercing one sardine through the thickest part with a knife. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately with a leafy salad.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Healthy Mediterranean Cookbook

Thai-style Coconut Ice Cream Dessert

Ingredients

1 can (425 g) coconut cream
1-1/2 cups 33% cream
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
fresh mint leaves and toasted, shredded coconut, to garnish

Method

  1. Place the coconut cream and cream in a medium pan. Stir over medium heat, without boiling, for 2-3 minutes. Set aside; cover and keep warm.
  2. Place the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla in a large heat-proof bowl. Using electric beaters, beat the mixture for 2-3 minutes until frothy and thickened. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water.
  3. Continue to beat the egg mixture while gradually adding the warm coconut mixture, 1/4 of a cup at a time, until all the coconut mixture is added. This process will take about 10 minutes – continue until the custard thickens. The mixture will be the consistency of thin cream and should easily coat the back of a spoon. Do not allow to boil or it will curdle.
  4. Cover the mixture and set aside to cool. Stir occasionally while it is cooling. When cool, pour into a lamington tray, cover and freeze for about 1-1/2 hours or until half-frozen.
  5. Quickly spoon the mixture into a food processor and process for 30 seconds, or until smooth. Return to the lamington tray or place in plastic containers. Cover and freeze completely.
  6. Coconut ice cream looks attractive if served in scoops and garnished with mint and shredded coconut.

Makes 10 servings.

Cook’s Tips

  • You can store this ice cream for up to three weeks in the freezer.
  • Before serving, allow it to stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes or until slightly softened.

Source: Step-by-step Thai Cooking

Indian-style Pizza with Chicken Tikka Masala on Nan Bread

Ingredients

2 tablespoons clarified butter (ghee)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups white onions, finely chopped (1 large onion)
3 cloves garlic, grated
1 inch piece of ginger root, grated
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream or sour cream
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
4 prepared nan bread

Method

  1. Heat clarified butter or ghee and olive oil in a heavy-bottom saucepan. Saute onions until translucent. Add garlic and ginger. Stir to combine and continue sauteing until the garlic and ginger begin to turn golden.
  2. Add tomato paste, paprika, cumin, cayenne, salt, turmeric and cinnamon. Saute for a couple more minutes to “toast” the spices.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes and chunks of chicken. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes with the lid on. Stir occasionally. Stir in cream. Continue to simmer on low heat with the lid off, stirring occasionally until the sauce is reduced and the consistency of thick gravy. The sauce can be made in advance and kept for 2 days in the refrigerator.
  4. To make the pizza: Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  5. Lay the nan out on a rack set into a sheet pan and sprinkle a small amount of the grated cheese on the bread. Top the cheese with the tikka masala, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edge. Sprinkle the top with more grated cheese.
  6. Place in the oven for about 15 minutes. The pizza is done when the cheese is melted and the edges are crisp.
  7. Remove from the oven and brush the edges with a little olive oil while it is still hot. Serve and enjoy.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Institute of Culinary Education