Sunday, November 1, 2009

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken & Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Creme Fraiche (from Joy of Baking)


1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon buttermilk
Note: If possible, use pasteurized heavy whipping cream, as ultra pasteurized will take longer to thicken. (Mine must hve been ultra-pasturized, because it definitely took it's time!)

In a medium saucepan over low heat, warm the cream to 105 degrees F (40 degrees C).
Remove from heat and stir in the buttermilk.
Transfer the cream to a large bowl and allow this mixture to stand in a warm place, loosely covered with plastic wrap, until thickened but still of pouring consistency.
Stir and taste every 6 - 8 hours.
This process takes anywhere from 24 to 36 hours, depending on your room temperature.
The creme fraiche is ready when it is thick with a slightly nutty sour taste.
Chill cream, in the refrigerator, for several hours before using.
Creme fraiche may be made and stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Roasted Garlic and Herb Creme Fraiche (from What We're Eating, as are the following recipes)

4 large cloves roasted garlic
1/4 cup creme fraiche
1 tsp fresh tarragon (optional)
1 fresh sage leaf
1/2 cup fresh chives
juice from 1 small lemon
kosher salt
fresh finely ground white pepper (optional)

Add all ingredients except kosher salt into the bowl of a blender. Blend at a high speed until sauce is completely pulverized to for a silky smooth puree.
Strain herbed creme fraiche through a fine mesh sieve to remove any leftover larger chunks.
Adjust the seasoning of the sauce to taste with kosher salt and, if desired, freshly ground white pepper. Enjoy!

Whipped Sweet Potatoes

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled & chopped in 1" cubes
3 tbsp butter
1/3 cup whole milk, plus extra if necessary (amount will vary as size of the potatoes vary) (I used cream instead... because I had that or skim milk)
kosher salt
freshly cracked black pepper
juice from 1/2 a lemon (I thought this was what made this dish perfect)
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat.
Once the water has reached a boil, add the sweet potato cubes.
Boil potatoes until tender, about 10 minutes.
To test the done-ness, stab a potato with a butter knife - if the potato is easily pierced and slides right off, the potatoes are done.
While the potatoes are boiling, add the milk and butter to a bowl of a stand mixer or to a large mixing bowl.
Drain the potatoes than add them to the bowl with the milk and butter. If using a stand mixer or hand-beater, whip the potatoes at a medium-low speed until smooth and fluffy, adding more milk if necessary to achieve a smooth but moist texture. If using a potato masher, mash until smooth, adding more milk as necessary.
Add lemon juice and a small pinch of salt and pepper to the potatoes.
Stir to combine.
Taste the potatoes. Adjust the seasoning as desired with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Serve immediately.

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Breasts

1/3 lb thinly sliced proscuitto ham
4 small chicken breasts
3 tbsp canola oil (or other flavorless oil)
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees with a rack placed in the middle of the oven.
Liberally season all areas of the chicken breasts with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Wrap thin slices of proscuitto around the seasoned breasts, covering nearly all surface area with the ham.
Heat a large oven-safe saute pan over medium high heat.
Add canola oil to the pan.
Let the oil heat for about 2 minutes or until there are small ripples in the oil but before it begins to smoke.
Place the chicken breasts into the pan with the proscuitto seam-side-up.
Allow the chicken to cook, undisturbed, for approximately 3-4 minutes or until the proscuitto has released itself from the pan and is evenly browned.
Flip the chicken and place the pan onto the rack positioned in the middle of the oven.
Bake the breasts for approximately 15 minutes or until breast are just cooked through.
Remove from oven and allow breasts to rest for at least 7 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

I added fried okra (I just bought the frozen stuff, already breaded and ready to go) and biscuits (again, I went with the canned stuff, because there were some great coupons last week). Then there were madelines from The Gourmet Cookbook for dessert. As I'm headed out of town for a few days and leaving Mr. L to fend for himself, I thought I should end on a good note. ;)