Saturday, September 03, 2005

Decadent Afternoon

Grilled Chicken...
Baked Risotto...
Tossed Salad...
Vodka cocktails at 3pm...
Decadent Mid-day Dining...

Skrat came over to cook lunch and we ended up dishing and drinking till 5! There's something so deliciously naughty about imbibing in the afternoon and pairing that up with lots of nibbling.
Whilst snacking on ice-cream cake from Island Creamery, we talked, chopped, diced, seared, tossed and baked through most of the day.

On the menu:

Baby Spinach Salad tossed with a dressing made from tomato & olive pesto, red (chilli) pesto, sesame seed oil, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and cracked black pepper. Throw in adorable little honey tomatoes for sweetness and cheese for bite. I used Muenster cheese here, but it didn't work so well. We agreed Parmesean or a hard, sharp cheese of the like would do much better.
These tasty little treasures can be found at Tanglin Market Place at Tanglin Mall.

Next, a little something I dreamed up last night: Tapenade-Stuffed Chicken Rolls. Except I took more than a little culinary license with the tapenade. Instead of the usual anchovies, I decided to use veggies instead.
Sweat 1 chopped onion, 4 cloves garlic in olive oil, add chopped brown button mushrooms, 1 small tin chopped black olives, 1 jar drained capers and 1 head chopped spinach over medium heat in a saucepan till aromatic and wilted. A quick whizz in the blender yields plenty (enough for 10 chicken breasts, I'm sure!). Behold!
No one wants to see yucky slimey raw prep pics, so we'll just gloss over them, shall we?
Grab a chicken breast (skin attached), pound it flat, spread the tapenade over the skinless side, crumble feta cheese over, roll chicken breast tightly (skin side out)and secure with wooden skewer. Repeat with as many chicken breasts for as many people as you need.
Sear in hot, hot pan to seal in juices, then place in baking dish and cover with foil that has been perforated.
Place under grill set to highest setting for 15 minutes, then remove foil and grill till skin is nicely crisped.
Grill cherry tomatoes in the pan with the chicken if you like (makes a nice tarty-sweet balance to the salty, savoury yum of the chicken).
Serve with salad and Skrat's Baked Prawn Risotto with fresh prawns, real prawn stock and mozarella cheese crust.

Hey Deetour chick, we had some fun indeed! I need your mum's lovely prawn stock recipe too!

I love Italian food! What do i like about it......gee where do i start. Perhaps its my innate love for carbohydrates (despite what it does to my waistline), combined with my weakness for cheese and salty is a cuisine i cannot see myself ever disliking.

Since University days, i have cooked pasta to death. To me, pasta is my definition of "fast-food", simple, easy and wholesome, an "All-in-one meal". The strangest thing is, i have never tried cooking a Risotto. As i was explaining to my buddy Deetour chick, it is probably because of how the italians cook their risotto, to me its usually too rich and creamy for me to finish the entire plate, thus, i avoid risotto in general. But it does not stop me from attempting a risotto of my own. I adapted my recipe from Delia Smith. I was salivating when i first read that recipe and told myself i HAD to give it a shot!

Tiger Prawns Risotto with Prawn Stock


6 tiger prawns; peeled leaving tail, de-veined
175g Arborio Rice
780g lobster bisque (i couldnt find lobster bisque, i chanced upon a jewel in Deetour chick's fridge; Home-made Prawn Stock!)
40g butter
75ml sherry
50g Gruyere cheese; i didnt have that, i substitued it with good-old Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 tbsp whipping cream
sea salt & black pepper


Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees C; place baking dish in oven to warm
in a medium-sized saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, saute onions for 7-8min until soft.
Stir in rice into the buttery juices so that it gets a good coating then pour in the prawn stock and sherry and bring it to simmering point. Season with 1 tsp sea salt and ground black pepper.
Pour in whole lot into the baking dish that has been warming in the oven and return to the oven uncovered for 35min.
After 35mins, remove dish from oven and change settings to grill on the highest setting.
Taste the risotto to check on seasoning then drizzle cream over, place prawns on top and sprinkle shredded cheese over.
Place the dish under the grill for 2 mins or until cheese is brown and bubbling.
Serve immediately.

Risotto: Fresh out of the oven!!

I served it with Deetour chick's wondefully yummy Baby Spinach Salad with Tomato & Olive Pesto and Red Pesto.