Stepping away from the usual white wine with mussels, here’s a recipe for mussels in a red wine tomato sauce: Mussels Provençal with Mushrooms and Jerusalem Artichokes
- Skin the Jerusalem artichokes and set them away to boil till soft.
- Mash or puree with some single cream and a small bit of butter.
Mussels Provençal with Mushrooms
- After all the routine jazz of discarding lousy mussels, steam the mussels in a generous splash of red wine, with minced red onions, on an open skillet. Let the overpowering flavour of the alcohol evaporate before adding the rest of the ingredients, and putting the lid on.
- When the alcohol has more or less evaporated, toss in chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, quartered mushrooms. Also, add in some tomato juice or diluted tomato puree mixture, then turn down the heat and put the lid on.
- Once the mixture has reduced, add in a knob of butter to finish the sauce.
Garnish with a pinch of fennel leaves.
It’s evident that I’ve been watching way too many cooking shows: I’m addicted to the playing with my food now. All the minimalistic presentations, calling for finesse and vibrance, beckoning the appetite of the impatient diner. I just wanna eat good food without paying exorbitant prices.
Pan-seared chicken thigh on a bed of carrot mash, with peas, parsley and a white wine jus.
A beautiful celebration of crispy chicken skin and velvety sweet carrot, mingling with the succulent texture of the poultry, the playful burst of peas and the rowdiness of parsley. Then everything comes to a halt to welcome the zesty twang of lemon in the delightful reduction of white wine and chicken oil. In dishes like these, a delicious tune is heard with every bite.
A ballotine, which means ‘bundle’, is a French dish made of deboned meat fish or poultry (sometimes the whole animal) filled with stuffing and then rolled and tied into a bundle. It is roasted, poached or braised, and can be served hot or cold.
Overwhelmed by curiosity, I tried my hand at it. After removing the bone from a chicken thigh, I packed some wine-soaked dried fruits in it, and proceeded to roll it into tight bundle. I poached it for eight minutes before pan-roasting it in a mixture of foaming butter and dry white wine. Once done, cutting it into thick slices to expose its beauty became much of a moment of truth.
The fruits in the center were a little too sweet for the bird but nonetheless, was well-balanced with arugula and chilli. I should make a sauce next time. Preferably something slightly spicy and definitely something rich.
Endless possibility beckons.
I am a complete sucker for chicken. Using hands and getting dirty somehow adds to the flavour of the food. Fried chicken is what usually gets me going, but oven baked ones are awesome too. For this, it’s best you marinade it overnight, in a bag, in the fridge.
This is for 6 pieces of Honey Baked Chicken Thigh.
- 1 generous lug of white wine
- 1 tsp of dried rosemary
- 1 tbsp of honey, or 2 if you want
- 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp of dark soy sauce, for colour
- 1 tsp of olive oil
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 pinch of pepper
- Get your chicken into a ziplock bag.
- It doesn’t matter if the chicken portions are frozen or not, just make sure they’re not stuck to each other.
- Get all that stuff of marinade into the bag with the chicken.
- Take care to get every bit of meat covered in the marinade.
- Stick it in the fridge overnight.
- The chicken should have thawed through beautifully and at the same time, have absorbed all that sweet goodness of your marinade. Get your chicken on a tray, skin side up and cover with foil.
- In a pre-heated oven of 220°C, stick the tray in for 45 minutes.
- After the buzzer goes, remove the foil and turn the temperature down to 180°C. Leave the tray in there for another 15 minutes or so, or until the skin turns golden.
- TIP! Not sure if it’s cooked through? Poke in with a fork. If it’s cooked, the juices will run clear, not red.
- Let it rest for a couple of minutes.
- Serve, without cutlery.