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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Poulet avec Asperge et des Poivres

Fuckin' French. I looked up Cordon Blue to see what it means in French to help me name this dish I made last night for Deittra. It means Blue Cord. What the F? Well anyway last night I cooked up a variation on this classic and here's how we do:

Very rarely do I conceive a dish prior to the moment of divine creation. In other words I don't know what I'm making until I'm making it. I always have some sort of vague notion because I know what I'm using. It's like the Iron Chef. I just buy stuff, and then throw myself at it, see what happens. It's art.

Last night I actually envisioned the meal before even going to the store. I ended up changing one thing - a pasta sub out for rice (I suck at rice, my Charleston born and bred Deittra has shown me how simple it is, but I'm gun shy and switch my starch from the intended rice quite often, that is if I can't get somebody else to do it).

First roast some peppers. Roasting peppers has become a matter of ceremony and I rarely prepare them any other way. If your going to cook them, you need to roast 'em first; to blister off the thin cellophane type skin, and to release the smoky goodness within.

Cut off the tops where the stem connects with the pepper. Don't remove the seeds unless you are truly a wimp. I used three kinds of peppers; one yellow bell, one poblano, and four red santa fe's (the poblano and the santa fe's are chilies). Once you have cut off the tops, you can stand the pepper in a baking dish. Rub them with olive oil, and roast at 500 degrees. You can broil them, but you gotta watch 'em or they'll char up on you. When they are nice and blistered, but not totally black, pull them out and let them stand as they are to cool. Many folks soak them in water at this point, but that will dilute the oils which are chock full o' flava!

Veggie chopping; get very high.

Take one bunch of asparagus. Cut off the top inch, the most tender bits, and set them aside. Cut off the top half of what is left of the stalk and set them aside. Put the bottom halves in a bowl with the pepper tops. Save all discarded veggie matter.

Two large shallots. Peeled and chopped. Put skins in bowl with the bottom halves of the asparagus. Chop the top halves of the stalks, and add to chopped shallots in a sealable container. Add a cup of beer (Eggenber Pils), some fresh dill, and a dash of olive oil. Shake furiously and let it sit in the fridge a bit.

In a large pot with two quarts of water boil the discarded veggie matter to make a stock. I added two packets of beef bouillon, some cumin, some graham masala curry, salt and pepper, and fresh dill.

While you are boiling the fuck out of the stock pot, it's hammer time. Take filleted chicken breast, and cut each breast into two sections along the natural fault line. You'll have a large bit and a smaller one. If you have a mallet, break it out. Cover the chicken in wax paper if you got it. Plastic wrap will do if your in a pinch. I had no mallet, so I put a spatula in a sandwich baggie and used the heel of my clog. When hammering the meat, go easy but firm, you want to make the chicken thin so you can roll it.

At this point the Peppers should be cool enough to handle. Pull the peppers out and place the hammered chicken slabs in the pan where the peppers were. Let them soak in the pepper oils.

Peel off the skin of the peppers. It should come easy if you've cooked them long enough. You'll end up with roasted pepper strips.

Roll up the chicken with some thinly sliced deli ham, two roasted pepper strips (one chili, one yellow bell), dried mango strips, and four asparagus tips. Set the rolls in a baking dish.

Drain the veggie matter from the stock pot, and add the shallot/asparagus stem bits. Add one can of garbonzo beans, and bring to a boil.

Crack and whip two eggs. Pour egg wash over chicken rolls, and quickly cover in bread crumbs. Place in oven at 400 degrees.

After the beans and asparagus have been boiling a bit and are tender, add fresh cheese ravioli. Cook about four minutes, or until raviolis float. Drain, saving the broth, and set aside.

To broth add one cup plain yogurt, one cup sour cream, and one small can of UN-sweetened condensed milk. Add more cumin, more fresh dill, and a simple rue of melted butter combined with flour to thicken broth into sauce. Stir, stir , stir.

Pull out chicken rolls. On a plate goes the ravioli with garbonzos and asparagus bits, a chicken roll, and sauce on top.

It is recommended to drink the rest of the beer, plus two more, and keep smoking throughout.

Enjoy, and chop careful.

You lost me on "last night I cooked."

Cooking is something I've never been able to enjoy. I don't know why - my parents are good cooks, and their parents were too. Homemade pizza, Swedish meatballs, it was all good.

I guess that gene got mutated in me. I can spend 5 hours EQ'ing a guitar solo but 5 minutes at a stove makes me exhausted. Preparing cereal or making a nice cup of tea is about as far as I go.

I hope you smoked up after the chopping (yeah right).
Don't sell yourself short Chris, preparing a bowl of cereal is a lost art. Any English/Irishman worth his weight in salt will tell you that making good tea is something lost on Americans. I'd add beer to that list, although we're gettin' the hang of that now that brewing is becoming less regulated.
It's art and choas theory. Your sense of smell may have something to do with it. You wouldn't tire if you got off on it in some way. You got extra ears at birth, and cut short on nose my friend.
Yeah, if smell held the same allure as sound for me it might be very different. I guess I've always smelled from my ears, if you know what I mean (I don't).
WOW. That sounds like a lot of fucking work. I'll make the tea - which I wholeheartedly agree is a lot more of an art than people think it is. When I go to a restaurant and they serve me a mug of hot water with a teabag on the side it makes me apoplectic.
I don't know how I missed this blog entry.

Sounds like you know your way around kitchen just fine. Sounds yummy, But it sounds more fun to hang in the kitchen while you cook.

Chris, what type of toast would you recommend as a good complement to a bowl of Frosted Flakes? and what cereal goes well with beer?

TA - send some of that homebrew up north.

and Clarkie great use of the word apoplectic... you win a hearty bowl of Poulet avec Asperge et des Poivres.
Indeed, the world needs to know what cereal goes best with beer!
Beerios! Of course. Miller High LIFE? Or something made my CHEX
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