Potatoes!!! (and prosciutto-wrapped chicken)July 31, 2006
Yes, the prosciutto-wrapped (and grilled) chicken was very good. But the Po…ta…toes… were delicious. Hence, their heroic treatment in the photograph. Their superpowers stem from cheese, of course.
Notice the reappearance of those photogenic beans. We love ’em. I should say, my husband and I love them. One of our diners, let’s call her “Tessie,” shuns them from her plate. (Her name is made up, but her loathing of greens is real.) We’re working hard to convince her they’re tasty and delicious, but she, ever polite, will not be swayed. Will our powers of persuasion win out over years of non-green eating? Stay tuned.
This was an experimental dinner on the husband’s part. It was largely a success. Of course, his diners, growing ever-more fat and self-satisfied on a diet of gourmet dinners, ventured to make a few suggestions to improve it in the next go round. (Except for the potatoes, of course. Near perfection is hard to improve upon.) But I’ll get to that later.
Now before I dive into the recipe, readers should note: He has actually written this down himself. My diabolical plan to influence him to write things down by creating this blog is working. (MUA-HA-HA-HA-HA — that’s a demonic laugh).
Au Gratin Potatoes in Ramekins
(Variation 1 done 7/26/2006)
Makes four servings
This recipe describes making four servings of potatoes au gratin, my style. It is a developing recipe, so of course, feel free to add your own flavors (and tell me about it in the comments section!). This is a base style that I am sure to monkey with over the coming months. (Wife interjects: Yes. Please. Continue to make it for your “experiments.”)
The ramekins are easily available, 4-inch models that you can get at many stores, from Target to Sur La Table. One change that would improve what I’ve included below would be to increase the herbage and the savory factor by adding rosemary, thyme, marjoram — or all three. Let me know if you try this.
Yukon gold potatoes were used for their creaminess.
Hardware: Mandolin, Four 4-inch ramekins
3 medium-sized Yukon Golds
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 medium red onion
4 oz. sharp cheddar (I prefer white for presentation reasons, and sharper and older, the better.)
1/4 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese
About 1/4 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
The dish is most simple with a mandolin. However, you can do this with a knife — it just takes more thought and work. Slice thin the potatoes (about 1/8 of an inch), and then thinly slice the onion. Now create layers in your ramekins: A thin layer of potato, then a slice of onion, a bit of cheese, a tiny bit of garlic, a sprinkle of salt, a sprinkle of white pepper. Repeat. You should be able to do about three complete layers, and then a lid of potatoes on top. I then pour a teaspoon of cream over the top of each ramekin, and cover the whole thing with grated Parmesan. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, and let cool for about 15 minutes. Serve.
Now onto the prosciutto-wrapped chicken. We had some suggestions for alterations the next time my husband makes this recipe. A white-meat lover voted against chicken thighs (perhaps better for stews, where people don’t realize they’re eating dark meat?) And we always want more RED PEPPER FLAKES. Who doesn’t? And we thought, why grill? Maybe they’d get juicier in the oven? But what do we know? After all, this blog is called “My Husband Cooks.”
Here’s his recipe:
Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped, Stuffed Chicken Thighs
(Variation 1 done 7/26/2006)
This recipe describes the making of each thigh. Repeat, based on the number of diners. This time I served two thighs per diner. It seemed to be more than enough. I used thighs because dark meat holds up well over the heat and has what I think is a richer flavor. Plus, boned thighs beg to be rolled up when I look at them.
Grill, two soaked wooden toothpicks
1 skinless, boneless chicken thigh
2 leafs fresh basil, chopped
1 oz. Ricotta (a tablespoon)
2 strips of prosciutto, about five inches long and 2 inches wide. (Or whatever will fit around your — chicken — thigh)
Take the two strips of prosciutto and lay them on the cutting board. Lay the thigh with the outside (where the skin would have been) facing down against the prosciutto. Salt and pepper the chicken. Don’t salt the prosciutto-side — it will be salty enough from the prosciutto. There tends to be a nice place to lay the cheese against, right around the larger portion of thigh muscle. Next, sprinkle the basil. Roll the entire packageup, holding the prosciutto against it. Use the two picks to poke through and hold the package together.
Cook over a grill at medium high heat for about six minutes a side. Let rest for five minutes after cooking. Remove toothpicks and serve.