Antonia Landi

Posts Tagged ‘supper’

Stuffed chicken breast with garlicky beans – Better than Toast

In Food, Student life on March 8, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Picture: Antonia Landi

You are only a few ingredients away from making a lovely Italian inspired dish. What better incentive to get started?

Sometimes, I forget how much I love a certain food until I eventually eat it again. This especially happens with green beans. Whenever my mum made it, I used to wolf down half the bowl myself, but for some reason I never really cooked with them myself. Well, that’s about to change cause it turns out that I really love green beans! But something I love even more than green beans is umami. I’d happily swear to never ever eat sweets again, as long as I have a moderately (un)healthy supply of all things savoury. Hard cheeses and cured meats are only some of the foods naturally rich in umami and they both feature in today’s recipe. Throw in a good dose of garlic and I’m in heaven! Did you know that umami can be found in breast milk? We’re basically raised on it! And next time you find yourself craving some miso soup, remember that umami is a big part of Japanese cuisine.

If you’re not a big fan of pesto, don’t fret – there are many other things you could stuff your chicken with. How about some plain soft cheese with a bit of lemon juice, chives and crushed black peppercorns? Or if you’re looking for something more robust get yourself a pesto made with sun-dried tomatoes. Same great umami flavour, without the mountains of basil. If you’re looking to save some pennies, you can opt for a simple prosciutto instead of the real deal Parma ham, although I often find that it’s better value to get the latter. And if you’re cooking for two, there’s always a couple of slices left over that you can eat out of the packet when no-one’s looking… after having washed your hands thoroughly, of course. Oh and don’t worry If some of the filling spills out – just serve it on the side with the chicken. If you really don’t want to make a mess, you can cook the chicken in little parcels made out of baking paper – simply put the chicken on the paper, fold it over, and then fold the edges together. That way, there will be no spillage on your baking tray!

Feeds 2:

2 reasonably large chicken breasts

2 tbsp pesto

1 heaped tbsp soft cheese

4 slices Parma ham

250g green beans

2-3 garlic cloves

Good olive oil

Salt, pepper

 

Bake chicken breasts on a medium-high heat for 25-30 minutes, or until juices run clear.

Watch the video for instructions, and do get in touch if you have any questions, as silly as you think they might be!

And finally, have a look at these great links for inspiration and information.

This week I’ve really been struggling to decide on three links to give you… so I’ll cheekily include two in one: The first one tells you all about how Parma ham is made, and the second one is the official Prosciutto di Parma website, which has tons of information and most importantly: great recipes!

If you’re not a fan of green beans, here are 30 other sides you could dish up!

Finally, if the concept of umami still confuses you, this website has all the info: From what it is, to where you can find it – you’ll never have to go without!

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Mushroom risotto – Better than Toast

In Food, Student life on November 27, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Picture: bbcgoodfood.com

 

Hailed as the quick and easy midweek supper, risotto actually took me quite a while to perfect. But once you’ve got your technique down, it’ll definitely become a favourite.

Making risotto is all about stirring stirring stirring – unlike instant polenta, there is no cheat mode to delightful risotto! I used to find making it really stressful, as I’m usually busy doing three different things at once when I’m cooking – chop while you cook, that kind of thing. I would’ve been really grateful if someone told me at the start that risotto requires your full and undivided attention, so here it goes: Risotto requires your full and undivided attention. That means measuring and chopping and grating all the ingredients before you start, and having them at arm’s reach. As if you were doing a cooking show! This way, you can pay close attention to what is happening inside your pan, which is very important. By stirring the rice frequently, you do not only prevent it from burning to the bottom of your pan, you also release its starchy goodness, which leads to a heavenly creamy risotto. Do make sure you use either Parmiggiano Reggiano or Grana Padano as these cheeses blend into the sauce wonderfully. Mushroom-wise there is not much you could do wrong. Go for wild mushrooms as they have a bigger and more diverse flavour range than the more traditional mushrooms you find in your supermarket. Remember, mushroom season is almost over, so make the most of it while you can! Think girolle, oyster, brown beech, pied bleu – the list goes on and on. If you’re struggling to find any, have a look at dried mushrooms – they keep forever and all you need to do is soak them before cooking! My favourites are girolle, oyster and porcini mushrooms, but there are endless possibilities. If there’s a big Morrison’s supermarket near you, get your mushrooms there. They have the biggest variety of mushrooms I’ve encountered in a supermarket so far, and their labels tell you about the variety’s taste and texture. Last but not least don’t attempt cooking a risotto with long grain rice – it won’t work. Have a look at the links below to find out why. Carnaroli is my rice of choice, but Arborio is generally easier to find – I got my rice from asda though, so there’s no need to go to an overpriced deli for it! Just shop around and I’m sure you’ll be able to find what you need.

Feeds 2:

180g Carnaroli rice (Arborio is fine as well)

Half a chopped onion

1 garlic clove

Knob of butter, plus approx 40g to finish

Approx 200g-250g wild mushrooms

1l good quality chicken stock (good stock cubes will do; or veggie ones for a vegetarian version)

1 small glass (125ml) white wine

Handful of grated Parmiggiano Reggiano

Seasoning to taste (remember the stock is already quite salty)

Watch the video for instructions, and do get in touch if you have any questions, as silly as you think they might be!

And finally, have a look at these great links for inspiration and information.

 

What’s the difference between basmati and Arborio rice? And what about Carnaroli? Does it really make a difference? Find out here why risotto rice is different and get acquainted with 5 different types (yes five!).

I’ve never made any kind of stock myself and I don’t really mind admitting that, but I feel like I should at least give you the option to do it yourself. And who knows, maybe with this second version that uses no chicken bones at all and is only supposed to take an hour I might even try it myself!

OH NO! I’ve made too much risotto! Yeah right, we all know that you just wanted to have enough leftovers to do these super tasty rice fritters.

Antonia Landi for the Useful Times.

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