Monday, October 26, 2009

October 26, 2009 - More food

Photo by Linda Long

I made a really delicious meal last night and had to share the information. Oprah strikes again with "The Conscious Cook" by vegetarian Chef Tal Ronnen. I decided to try his Gardein "Chicken" Scaloppini last night and it is one of the best meals I've had in a long time. Unfortunately, I was unable to do it "vegetarian" as I couldn't find the Gardein brand of chicken breasts at my local Whole Foods. I think everyone who watched the show wanted to try to the same recipe. The bottom line is that this is a good recipe, vegetarian or not.

Here's a few tips and comments. The Gardein brand is considered to be an excellent replacement for chicken but it may be hard to find. I was also confused because their web site has Tuscan Chicken Breasts but I didn't see plain ones except perhaps in the frozen line. Also, I couldn't find precooked Udon Noodles. So I bought a package of uncooked round udon noodles, probably a lot cheaper. You boil it like any pasta and it comes in single serving bunches. I found that one bunch is plenty for two servings. I created the noodle cakes by packing the cooled noodles into 3" plastic lined ceramic ramekins and compressing them with a small bowl on top. I put them in the fridge on hour before I started the rest of the meal and they came out great. They stick together nicely and the plastic wrap makes it easy to remove them from the ramekins. When you fry them don't put the heat too high as mine started to burn fairly quickly. Keep a watch on them.

I did use real chicken breasts but I found that one breast per serving is too much. You could get 4 servings out of two breasts pretty easily. It wouldn't hurt to pound down the breasts so they're thinner as it would cook quicker. I kept mine thick but they were delicious. They just took longer to cook.

The pea shoots are a little tough when they're done and therefore hard to cut with a fork when eating. The next time I do it I'll cut them in half at the very least. That makes them a little more fork-friendly and probably easier to cook. From this point I followed the recipe closely. The sauce is amazing, it's what makes the dish so good. And I even forgot to add the chives but it was still excellent. I did use the Earth Balance butter and it worked great. It's a great tasting butter substitute but not low in fat. It's not too time consuming for something this good. Give it a try. I'm now tempted to buy his book and next time I will definitely try the Gardein breasts. m

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