Friday, July 30, 2010

Sardine Impanate - Fried sardines

Have you ever met anybody that cringes about the idea of having anchovies on their pizza? Well I actually belong to the opposite category of consumers. I absolutely adore seafood in every form and shape. The sharper the taste is, the better. I used to be somewhat puzzled by customers when I was working at a restaurant , when they would return seafood plates back to the kitchen, because in their opinion it was "too fishy"...well, isn't what fish is supposed to taste like? I guess my palate is not as refined. I recently also discovered great benefits in eating seafood for a lot of different reasons. Sardines definitively fall into that category. Forget your daily does of vitamins, these little wonders are rich in vitamin B12, selenium, omega-3 oils, protein, phosphorus and vitamin D. Basically what that means is cardiovascular health, memory, joints, skin and energy levels. Today, with this recipe I'll upset a little bit the nutritional value, because I will fry them, but once you try just one, you'll understand my weakness.
Ingredients for four servings:
2lbs of fresh sardines
2 whole eggs
a pinch of salt
a pinch of fresh pepper
15 ounces of breadcrumbs
15 ounces vegetable oil
First of all you have to butterfly and clean your sardines. Just start from the head and pull slowly until all the innards will come out. Secondly, butterfly slowly the small fish and take out the bones with your fingers. Once you have cleaned up all the sardines you need to beat the eggs, adding the salt and pepper to the mixture. Next dredge all the sardines in the egg mixture, and on a different plate, coat each sardine on both side with breadcrumbs.
On a medium size pan heat the oil and then fry the sardines. You can fry more than one at a time according to the size of your pan. The sardines should reach a light golden color before being removed from the pan. Serve with a light sprinkle of salt and few wedges of lemon. Pair up with a nice cold Chardonnay

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Involtini di Pollo - Ham and cheese stuffed chicken rolls

Nowadays there are more chicken recipes out there than days available to be able to cook each one. It is a very popular and versatile type of meat and it pairs really well with a large variety of ingredients. What I really like about chicken is that you can prepare it as a whole or use a different number of parts, the breast being definitively the most popular. I have tried and cooked chicken breast in many ways and the result has always been satisfying. However one thing that I don't think people try very often is using the chicken as an ingredient to be rolled over and stuffed with either vegetables, cheese, or other types of meat (your imagination is the limit). I always enjoyed for example chicken sauteed in butter with some ham and sage on top, but in this particular recipe the breast is laid flat on the pan, without being rolled. Today I'd like to have a very thin sliced and long ( length is important) chicken breast stuffed with ham and cheese of your choice. ( I like Swiss.)
4 long and thin sliced chicken breasts
a slice of ham for each breast
a slice of cheese of your choice
50 grams of butter
1 cup of white wine
Take each breast flat open and lay a slice of ham and a slice of cheese of top. Next roll slowly each breast and try to use more than one toothpick to hold the roll firmly. Please make sure you advise your guests to be careful about the toothpicks when they will eat the breasts! Next, we will melt the butter in a nice large pan and lay all the rolled chicken breasts. To enhance the flavor it is recommended that the chicken gets that brown, caramelized color uniformly all around it created from the butter. After the breasts are brownish all round, top the chicken with the white wine and put a lid on top of the pan, leaving a little opening. Let cook for about 15 minutes on slow-medium fire. Serve warm with a nice white wine. This dish pairs up really well with mashed potatoes.