August 27, 2007

Someone's in the Kitchen with Diinaaaaah!

Tonight was an experiment, not entirely successful, but close. I was inspired/challenged by Victor who sent me a link under the heading "Feel like cooking something bizarre?"

Here's an excerpt from his email:

There's a new food competition called They Go Really Well Together (TGRWT) and the fourth edition is coming up.

Here's a great explanation:

TGRWT is all about combining ingredients people might consider out of the ordinary. But the combinations are not just randomly chosen. The theory behind this is that ingredients with similar volatile aroma compounds should go really well together. But this is just theory. We want to test this by trying them out in dishes, and you can participate!

People have a month to try their recipes with the combination, and post the results on their own sites. It's not so much a competition as it is a challenge.

TGRWT #1 was coffee, chocolate and garlic.
TGRWT #2 was banana and parsley.
TGRWT #3 was strawberry and coriander.
TGRWT #4 was mint and mustard.

This link goes to TGRWT #4, which has links to the first 3 as well. Go here for TGRWT #5, which pairs up chocolate and meat. Horrors? Au contraire! Think mole sauce, then imagine the possibilities.

So anyways, I had a science experiment idea for a recipe in mind using mint and mustard, but didn't have time last month to give it a whirl. Then my neighbor gifted me with a big bowl of garden fresh tomatoes, peppers and zucchini, and I knew that it was time to roll up the ol' sleeves and cook. I made one major change to my original idea though...

Vegetable-Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Orange Cream Sauce

1/2 cup zucchini, julienned
1/2 cup carrots, julienned
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp fresh mint leaves, minced

2 boneless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1/8 cup parmesan cheese

1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup white wine
1/8 cup orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp crushed rosemary

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Veggies
Melt the butter in a skillet while you chop the veggies.
Add the carrots and zucchini to the skillet and saute for a few minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.
Remove the veggies to a bowl and toss with the mint.

Chicken
Put the chicken breasts in a heavy freezer bag (one at a time) and pound the hell out of them with a kitchen mallet or rolling pin until the chicken is about 1/4 inch thick.
Lay the chicken out flat on a plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper and 1/2 of the parmesan cheese.
Spoon half of the veggie mixture onto the chicken and then roll the breast up with the veggies inside. Secure with a toothpick if you want.
Place the breast, seam-side down, into an 8" square baking pan that's been sprayed with non-stick.
Do the second breast, then grate some fresh pepper over the top of them.
Toss the chicken into the oven for 20-30 minutes, until done.

Sauce
Melt the second tablespoon of butter in the skillet, then add the garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic.
Add the wine to the skillet and turn up the heat. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any stuck bits on the bottom of the pan (deglase the pan).
Add the OJ, water and chicken stock. Mix well.
Turn the heat up and get it to simmering, stirring often. Keep cooking until it reduces by a third, and then add the heavy cream.
Bring back to a fast simmer and cook, stirring frequently until it reduces down by half and thickens.

When the chicken is done, put a breast on each plate, and ladle some sauce over each. This would go nicely with some good crusty bread and/or wild rice.

The above is the adjusted recipe from our first attempt. The original sauce was too sweet and the orange flavor was a bit too strong. Adding a quarter-teaspoon of dry mustard to the cream sauce as it cooks might draw down the sweetness too. Come to think of it, so would a bit of onion tossed in with the garlic.

Let me know if you try this. I'll probably be experimenting a bit more with the recipe.

Posted by: Ted at 07:01 PM | category: Recipes
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1 The best conchinita pibil I ever tasted was in Mexico City, made by some friends. The pork was filled with garlic cloves pushed into slits in the meat fibers.

The braising liquid was original recipe Coca Cola and the juice of sour oranges. Maybe a few other things were thrown in, but that was the basics: Garlic, Coca Cola, and sour oranges.

Couldn't stop eating the damn stuff. Incredible!
And yes, mole is addictive.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at August 27, 2007 07:48 PM (8F+iI)

2 I just discovered a recipe for chocolate-covered salt...and now I hear there's a Vosges candy bar that combines milk chocolate and bacon.

Sounds perverse...yet tasty.

Posted by: Elisson at August 28, 2007 09:28 AM (6DLU4)

3 I'm a big fan of the chocolate + salt, but I'm not totally sure about bacon.

Your recipe sounds good, Ted.

Posted by: nic at August 28, 2007 04:21 PM (l+W8Z)

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