Sunday, February 24, 2008

Spoil'em rotten

I went to see my parents this weekend (well technically I just saw my mom for most of the time, as my dad had gone off to do another skiing-marathon (yes, that's like 50 - 70 km on skis).

So I decided to spoil my mom rotten with food and whipped up a three-course meal:
- mussels in Rose sauce
- poached chicken-roulade with pine-nuts and feta
- a chocolate-fudge brownie with vanilla ice-cream

Mussels in creamy Rose sauce (for two):

- 350 gr fresh mussels (cooled, not frozen)
- 1/2 sliced leek
- 1 chopped shallot
- chopped lime-peel (not the inside and the juice)
- Rose wine (150 ml)
- chicken stock (200 ml)
- sea-salt
- 2 bay-eaves
- 1 big knob of butter
- 150 ml double-cream
- curry
- tiny pinch of saffron (not powder, the dried petals)

Melt the butter in a large pot; add the leek, shallots, bay-leaves, chopped lime-peel. Shake the pot to cover everything in butter and heat through for 2 minutes. Add the scrubbed mussels (only the closed ones). Shake the pot now and then and keep on the heat for 2 more minutes. Add the wine and the chicken-stock, the curry and the salt. Let it simmer for 2 - 3 minutes. Add the double-cream and the saffron. Pick out the mussels and strain the broth through a sieve. Serve the mussels with a generous amount of broth.

Poached chicken roulade with pine-nuts, sun-dried tomatoes and feta-cheese, served with mashed potatoes and fresh-salad:

- chicken thies (500 gr)
- feta cheese 2 tbsp
- chopped sun-dried tomatoes (5-6)
- pine seeds (2 handfuls)
- black-olive paste (1 tbsp)
- potatoes
- butter
- milk
- Chinese cabbage
- sliced red bell pepper
- cucumber (sliced into sticks)
- sun-flower oil
- chopped fresh parsley

Beat the chicken thies with a meat-hammer on a chopping board. Cover with food-plastic and flip over (the meat should end up on plastic in a big thin square layer). Cover with black-olive paste, sprinkle on the pine-nuts, the chopped sun-dried tomatoes and the broken up feta cheese. Roll up (like you make a sushi-roll using the plastic like you would use the bamboo mat). Wrap the plastic tightly around the meat and tie the ends. Poach for 15 - 20 minutes.

Prepare the mashed potatoes and the salad - toss the sliced Chinese cabbage, cucumbers, fresh chopped parsley, bell peppers, season the salad with just olive-oil and salt).

Unwrap the chicken from the plastic, fry on a hot pan real quick (it will brown very quickly as it is already hot). Slice the chicken-roulade into thick slices and serve over the mashed potatoes.

And the brownies - alas - I made from a box. I would be ashamed, but to be quite honest, most of the "from-scratch" brownie recipes end up with dry, bland, unconvincing light-brown stuff, that doesn't come near the American box-version. But I'm happy to be proven wrong :).

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