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Friday, March 25, 2011
Recipes of the Week: Chicken Saltimbocca and Roasted Veggie Risotto
Last week I missed my recipe of the week since I was busily planning my trip to Prague. I believe I more than made up for missing the posting by making two amazing dishes on Saturday night. Seriously, this could easily have been the best meal I have ever created. One of the reasons I think this dish turned out so deliciously was because of the fresh ingredients. Although I use fresh produce almost daily, most of my other ingredients tend to come pre-packaged. This includes meats, cheeses, and spices. Although I like to cook, I also like convenience and quick meal preparation; hence the pre-packaged groceries in my cabinets.

I figured that since I was trying out "fancy" recipes for a special dinner, I wanted to buy the best of the best. I had remembered reading about Sorriso Italian Salumeria years ago on a food blog about Astoria, NY... then I forgot about it. All I have to say is that I will never EVER forget this place again. This little slice of heaven is less than five blocks from my apartment and in the six years I have been living there, I have never been! What was I thinking?! From the hottt!! and helpful counter guy, to the amusing banter in both Italian and English, to the freshest mozzarella I have had since my trip to Italy I have seriously been missing out big time by not shopping here! The Sorriso cases were filled with amazing looking sausages, cheeses, prepared salads, and more. Although probably 50% of the case was gluten-filled foods (chicken parm, rice balls, etc.), the rest of the fresh meats and cheeses were all calling my name. I purchased mozzarella cheese and melt-in-your-mouth prosciutto for my recipes. I also picked up my first ever package of Aborio rice for risotto and I was ready to go.

I never made risotto so I was a bit intimidated by the recipe I chose. I actually got my recipe off the back of the Geisha brand gluten-free vegetable broth I picked up for a dollar a few weeks ago. I remember reading that you want to take your time with a risotto dish... this was not the 5-minute brown rice that I am used to. Patience isn't always my strong suit, but I wanted to prepare the dish correctly so I took my time. First, I roasted the veggies and then started the risotto about twenty minutes into the roasting. Timing is another thing I am not that great with when making big meals, but some how I managed to pull this off. I did have some liquid courage in the kitchen (ahem... wine) and a friend that was able to pull things off the burner when it was getting close to done and I wasn't paying attention.

Like I said, this dinner turned out wonderfully. Delicious flavors, perfect risotto, good wine, great company, and brownies with Nutella for dessert make for a vary successful Gluten-Free Fun recipe of the week.

Chicken Saltimbocca from Williams-Sonoma

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, each about 6 oz., lightly pounded to an even thickness
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/3 cup all-purpose flour***
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. chopped fresh sage or 1 tsp. dried sage, plus 4 sage leaves for garnish (optional)
2 large slices prosciutto, not paper-thin, trimmed to fit chicken breasts
1/4 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced and trimmed to fit chicken breasts
3/4 cup dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc

Directions:

  1. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Spread the flour on a plate and dredge each breast, coating evenly and shaking off the excess. Set aside.
  2. In a large fry pan or sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt 1 Tbs. of the butter with the olive oil until very hot. Add the chicken breasts and cook until the undersides are golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Turn the chicken breasts over and continue to cook until they feel firm when pressed in the centers, 4 to 6 minutes more.
  3. Reduce the heat to very low. Sprinkle the breasts evenly with the chopped or dried sage. Top each breast with a piece of prosciutto, then divide the cheese slices evenly among the breasts. Cover the pan tightly and cook until the cheese is melted, about 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and tent with aluminum foil, being careful not to allow the foil to touch the cheese.
  4. Increase the heat to high. When the pan is sizzling, add the wine and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up any browned bits stuck on the pan bottom. Boil until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining 1 Tbs. butter.
  5. Spoon an equal amount of the sauce over each breast, then garnish with a sage leaf. Serve immediately.
Modifications:

Roasted Spring Vegetable Risotto (not the exact recipe I followed, but this is pretty close)

Ingredients:
1 pound asparagus, cut into 2-inch lengths
2 cups whole baby carrots cut in lengthwise quarters
6 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 medium assorted peppers (yellow, red, green), cut into 1-inch strips
2 medium zucchini or yellow squash, cut into diagonal slices
1 cup halved fresh medium mushrooms
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
3 1/2 cups gluten-free vegetable broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/3 cups uncooked Arborio rice
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray 17x11-inch roasting pan with cooking spray.
  2. Mix asparagus, carrots, onions, peppers, squash, mushrooms, rosemary and 1/4 cup broth in prepared pan.
  3. Roast 20 minutes or until done, stirring once. Prepare risotto while the vegetables are roasting. 
  4. Heat oil in saucepot. Add rice. Cook and stir for 2 minutes Add 1/2 cup broth and cook until broth is absorbed. Add remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until all broth is absorbed before adding more. (Total cooking time: 25 minutes)
  5. Add vegetables and cheese. Heat through. Serve immediately.

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