Here is a quick and easy idea for a twist on the usual standard dinner fare. I’m not a big fan of skinless boneless chicken breasts, but utilize them occasionally in cooking. I always have some puff pastry in the freezer left over from catering. This particular evening I had some frozen béchamel sauce I had leftover from making lasagna. As a chef I save as much I can in the freezer to repurpose later in another dish. “Waste not , want not” especially with food costs soaring. Some frozen broccoli, béchamel, chicken breasts, Dijon mustard, and Gouda make for an easy elegant stunning meal. I called these galettes which we normally associate with a free from sweet pastry. Why not savory? The chicken breast stays tender as it cooks up in the creamy sauce and puff pastry. Be sure to use a thermometer to check chickens doneness without compromising the presentation before serving. Poultry should reach an internal temperature of 165-175 F . Here is quick link for Béchamel , a mother sauce that should be in your repertoire.
Thawed frozen Puff pastry sheets to equal amount of chicken pieces
2 cups Béchamel sauce ( see link in post)
1 cup grated Gouda
2 tbsp. Dijon Mustard
1 cup frozen broccoli
¼ cup chicken broth
1 egg beaten for pastry wash
salt and pepper to taste
Prepare you béchamel. Add grated gouda and broccoli. Let sit for 20 min until a little thickened and cooler before assembly.
Preheat oven to 375 F
Line a sheet pan with a silpat or parchment paper .
Place a chicken breast atop a piece of puff pastry on the sheet pan.
Add a few tablespoons of thickened cooled sauce and quickly wrap to seal. Brush with egg yolk.
Reheat Béchamel with chicken stock.
One galetttes are browned and chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165-175 F , remove from oven.
Serve hot with more sauce ladled over the pastry.
In other news this has been an amazing week as I go through some career transformations and validations. An illustration I did a while ago and forgot about for my former employers contest, was picked up and reposted on the Cosmetic Brands IG page! For me this is a huge validation of my creative talents and skills .
Certain Someone and I love Oysters Rockefeller. It’s one our favorite steakhouse appetizers. I love the elegance and refinement of bubbly oysters baked in their shells on a salt bed with spinach, a splash of Pernod, butter, cheese and garlic. The origins of the original dish are clouded in a veil of secrecy. It was created at the famous Antoine’s in New Orleans and named in honor of the richest man in land, John D Rockefeller because the secret ingredients were so rich. Many have tried to replicate it, but no one has, as the original recipe is a secret. Some say there is no spinach, while others say watercress and spinach. All we do know is the sauce is a blend of green produce and the chefs at Antoine’s insist there is no spinach. Most versions I have sampled have spinach and it works all right for me and is easily attainable for the average home cook. One day I hope to have the real deal.`An anise flavored spirit like Pernod is optional, but I would highly urge you to use , as it pairs wonderfully with shellfish.
Oysters Rockefeller has always been a special treat when dining out, or for a special occasion, like the holidays. Here I take a classic variation of Oysters Rockefeller and take out the fuss of shucking and shells, by using Pillsbury Crescent Rolls as a bed for luscious oysters and tasty stuffing. This will make a wonderful addition to holiday table.
¼ cup shredded Parmesan plus an additional ¼ for topping
¼ cup Panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon Pernod
1 small approximately 8 oz jar of fresh shucked pasteurized oysters
Non stick spray
Preheat oven to 400 F.
In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the minced shallots, garlic and soften for 1 minute.
Add the chopped parsley, spinach, kosher salt, pepper, fennel seed, and celery seed. Cook and stir until spinach and parsley have just wilted. This will take only about 2-3 minutes. Do not overcook.
Remove from heat.
In a glass bowl, add the spinach mixture, ¼ of the parmesan cheese, Pernod, and the Panko bread crumbs.
Pulse until smooth with an immersion blender. You may also use a food processor with this process.
Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
On a clean surface, unroll crescent rolls.
Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with non stick spray.
Using two serving spoons take a triangle of dough and fold to fit into spoon curve. Add some parmesan on both sides and press spoons together to form.
With each dough shell pressed and molded, lay at an angel in the muffin tin. You can continue to press edges together with fingers. This is your crescent dough shell.
Add a oyster to each “crescent dough shell”.
Add a generous spoonful of spinach mixture to each oyster on crescent dough shell.
Top with more shredded parmesan cheese.
Place in oven and reduce heat to 375 F after 2 minutes.
Bake for 8 minutes until the dough is very golden and the oysters start to bubble.
Remove from oven.
Carefully remove each Crescent Rockefeller from muffin tin and place on a baking sheet with lined with parchment or a silpat.
Place back in oven for an additional few minutes to crisp up the edges and underside of the dough base.
Serve with lemon wedges immediately.
There may be some additional filling or oysters. The recipe can be easily increased Pernod is traditional is Oysters Rockefeller and works well with oysters. It can be omitted, but will alter the traditional taste. Other anise flavored spirits can used as an substitution.
*I have a received compensation from General Mills and my opinions are my own.
I think this meal of Miso Glazed Sea Bass Wrapped in Seaweed and Rice Paper & Filet with Wasabi Butter from Certified Steak and Seafood, would be awesome for a special New Years Eve Dinner or Réveillon. Certified Steak and Seafood, via my partnership with Foodie Blogroll, were kind enough to send me two Prime Certified Angus Beef Fillets and two Chilean Sea Bass pieces, to create with. Knowing me, I decided to get creative. For a few weeks in the Restaurant Depot, while shopping for clients, I’ve been seeing these curious sea vegetables from Asia called Salty Fingers. They are crunchy, salty, and slightly bitter. I knew they would pair well with my sea bass.
Taking even further cues from the diversity of Asia, I started piecing together more ingredients that are staples in my pantry. Miso , Seaweed, Sesame Oil, etc. I know it’s a cliche, but who doesn’t like some sort of surf and turf? I pan roasted my Sea Bass with a Miso Glaze, and then wrapped in super thin rice paper with a strip of Seaweed. The Fillet I just seared for a few minutes on each side and topped with salted butter blended with wasabi powder.Fresh grated Wasabi would be even better if you can find it. The salad is lightly sauteed oyster mushrooms tossed with Pea Shots, salty fingers, diced pickled garlic, shaved shallots, and dressing of Sesame Oil, Rice Vinegar, Ponzu Soy Sauce ,minced garlic ,salt and pepper. This served as a nice medium with steamed white rice between the fish and beef. This meal may seem complicated , but it’s not . If you set it all up, it should be ready in approximately thirty minutes cooking/ grilling time.
Miso Glazed Sea Bass Wrapped in Seaweed and Rice Paper & Fillet with Wasabi Butter and Pea Shot and Salty Finger Salad
Recipe type: Entree
2 Chilean Sea Bass Steaks
2 Angus Beef Filet Mignon
3 tablespoons White Miso
2 Tablespoons Ponzu Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
3 Tablespoons Mirin
1 Tablespoons vegetable oil ( any light neutral tasting oil)
Super Thin Rice Paper
1 sheet seaweed
1 teaspoon Wasabi Powder
2 tablespoons softened Salted Butter
Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt
Coarse Black Pepper
Pea Shot Salad
3 cups Washed Pea Shots
½ cup Salty Fingers ( Specialty Produce Stores)
Several Cloves Pickled garlic ( Available in Korean Stores)
1 shallot shaved thin
⅓ cup sesame oil
3 tablespoons olive or pomace oil
⅓ cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon Ponzu Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 cups Oyster Mushrooms
In a small bowl whisk together, Miso,brown sugar, Ponzu soy, oil, and Mirin.
Add Sea Bass to Miso Glaze and let marinate.
Line a roasting pan with parchment and preheat oven to 525.
In a skillet lightly saute the oyster mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Wash and Prep your pea shots and salty fingers.Add pickled garlic and shallots to mix.
Mix your dressing of sesame oil, ponzu soy, rice vinegar, oil, , garlic,etc and whisk until emulsified.
Mix Wasabi powder and softened butter and keep cool.
Heat your grill pan or indoor grilling device to searing temp ( over 425 F).
Place Sea Bass on pan lined with parchment with Miso Glaze and roast for 10 -15 minutes until glaze starts to caramelize. Check temp and lower if necessary so glaze doesn't burn.
Once done, carefully remove sea bass and place on a sheet of dampened rice paper with a seaweed strip. Roll sea bass and tuck in ends of paper so fish is encased.
Season Beef Fillets with salt and pepper and grill for a minutes on each side to desired doneness. Approximately 5 minuted each side for rare to med rare.
Remove from grill and top with a pat of Wasbi Butter.
Toss Pea Shot Salad with dressing and sauteed warm mushrooms and serve with steamed white rice and the sea bass and fillet.
After a rough week for Certain Someone and I , this was a great dinner for the end of the work week. He was both impressed with the quality of meat and fish , in addition to my creative spin. I wont mention where he orders his frozen fillets from, but I definitely think this was a more superior product from Certified Steak and Seafood.
I wish all of you safe , happy , and warm holidays filled with warmth and cheer. Thanks for following me on my journey with Coco Cooks.
This is a sponsored post , but the opinions remain my own. This sponsorship is brought to you by Certified Steak & Seafood Company who we have partnered with for this promotion.
Our commitment to our customers is simple: Offer the highest quality products at the best price and back it with a 100% guarantee. We source directly with no ‘middle man’ making our supply chain the shortest in the industry. This allows us to maintain the highest quality standards all the way to your plate. On top of this, we sample all products at the moment of final packaging and have a world-renowned laboratory test for various types of adulteration or contamination. This ensures that the food you purchase from us is pure and safe.
Certified Steak and Seafood Company was formed by the three Frisch boys, Mark, Adam, and Steven; all of whom thought that everyone should be able to buy the highest quality steaks and seafood direct. The brothers experience comes from a three generation family owned wholesale company that is one of the largest seafood importers in America.
They have vast experience in sourcing and selling high quality seafood and meat products to the commercial trade — and bring you the same grade of products fine restaurants, resorts, hotels, and high-end retail stores demand – and at a direct price that gives you tremendous value for every purchase.
A few weeks back, I was invited to a fun local event hosted by Green and Black’s to launch their latest bar, Spiced Chili. What I took away from the evening was lots of creative ideas and inspiration to incorporate chocolate into intriguing savory dishes. Not only were delicious desserts on hand, and information on pairing chocolates with alcohol, but Chef Jill Houk challenged and inspired us to think out of the box when cooking.
Believe it or not with the holidays approaching, I’m not really feeling tons of desserts now. I’m coming down off a very hectic two months of catering and work commitments, and all I seek is savory comfort in my kitchen. So what did I decide to do? I took my inspiration from Mexico and used a grated bar of Green and Black’s Spiced Chili , which is seasoned with star anise,pink peppercorn, cloves,juniper and ginger , to make a mole like braise for an inexpensive cut of beef. All you need is a good grater or micro plane, a cast iron pan or dutch oven, and time to make this fantastic meal, which will leave you saying Holy Mole ( pardon the pun).
In Chicago right now, you can feel the crispness in the air as fall arrives. It teases with some sharp rays of sun, but it’s undeniable Autumn is here.With the turn of season, energy may lag, and colds are common. Soups are craved more to cure what ails us. One of favorite soups in the world is a Leberknödel (liver dumpling )soup. I first had Leberknödel soup in Vienna, Austria and always order it at any German type of restaurant we go to. I love the comfort of a rich dumpling swimming in a crystal clear flavorful soup. There really is nothing more perfect. While many people don’t like liver, I have never met anyone who doesn’t love Leberknödel , when given a try. To make the flavor milder, soak the liver in milk before prep, and it may be more agreeable to you. Regardless liver ( chicken , pork, or beef) is chock full or nutrition and iron, not to mention inexpensive. Because the liver is ground, is the reason I think many people love this soup as opposed to a big chunk of liver . Texture, as well as presentation is paramount in food.
Dumplings can be tricky, so patience is required. There are many techniques for them and the German people ,especially the Bavarians, have quite a repertoire of them. Traditionally Leberknödelsuppe is served in a clear beef consomme. Or the dumpling can be served on the side with sauerkraut. Certain Someone likes to take leftover potato dumplings, slice and fry them, which would be amazing with these Leberknödel as well. I researched several variations for Leberknödel , and added my own twist. The mixture is very loose, and rather than fortify them with more bread crumbs , I used the more durable semolina to add texture along with the egg, ground liver,fried onions, and soaked bread rolls. I keep a bag of chicken carcass and odd and ends in the freezer which I decided to use for my soup base along with root vegetables. A rich broth was formed. I added my favorite dried Polish Mushrooms to the soup with the soaking water. All to simmer some more, strain, degrease, and then clarify with a raft of egg whites and shells ( another method is to use the egg whites shells, lean ground meat , mirepoix, and tomatoes) to remove any impurities and render a beautiful crystal clear broth. The color is deepened because of the woodsy forest mushrooms.
Leberknödel (Liver Dumplings) with Chicken and Forest Mushroom Soup
Author: Coco Cooks
Recipe type: soup
Liver dumpling soup
Assorted chicken pieces of your choice ( or leftover carcass, and other parts of chicken )
1 red onion
a few stalks of celery
4 carrots chopped
Approx 12 cups of water
3-4 egg whites and shell
salt and pepper
1 2oz pack of dried Polish Forest mushrooms
4-5 stale kaiser rolls or other type of old bread
1 cup of milk
1 red onion minced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons parsley chopped
1 egg beaten
grate of fresh nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 piece of raw liver (3/4 to ½ lb)( and milk for soaking optional)
1 cup or more of semolina as needed depending on moisture of dumpling mixture.
salt and pepper to taste
To make the soup /consomme...
Roast the chicken and root vegetables at 375 F until golden.Use a pan that can transfer to the range for additional cooking.
Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water and let sit covered while chicken is roasting.
Add water , salt and pepper,mushrooms and soaking liquid,and continue to simmer for approximate 2 hours. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
Strain off solids and reserve to cool. You may pour in the refrigerator to allow the grease to congeal and later skim off.
Add the strained broth to a stock pan.
Mix in egg whites and shells. Bring to a boil and reduce to a low simmer. The egg whites and shells form a raft that will form at the top and capture all the impurities and solids that were not strained out .Do not disturb or stir the raft , but continue to simmer for about 30 minutes more.
Carefully strain the soup, raft and shells into a fine sieve lined double with cheesecloth. You should have a very clear broth. Set aside.
To make the dumplings...
Soak liver in milk if desired for at least 30 minutes if desired to make taste milder.
Soak the torn apart bread rolls in the milk.
In a separate bowl grind the raw beef liver in grinder, food processor, or with an immersion blender. Remove any connective tissue.
Wring out any excess milk from the soaked bread .
Add the ground liver, beaten egg, baking powder, grate of nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
At this point determine of the mixture needs more bulk and gradually add semolina to form a consistency that can loosely hold its shape in a ball once formed with with or oiled hands. You don't want the mixture too dry, but wet enough to hold its shape.
Carefully shape dumpling , no larger than a walnut as they will expand in the water.
Drop the dumpling carefully into salted boiling water. You may want to test one to see if they hold its shape while cooking.
Add to clear hot soup and serve.
Makes approximately 25-28 dumplings.
Soup quantity varies according to how much broth you yield from ingredients used.