A couple of weeks ago we were at a marketing event, Foodportunity, held at the Palace Ballroom. It was a chance to get in front of bloggers, restaurant folks, distributors and foodies. We did our Dork meatballs and a crostini with goat cheese, date/ginger marmalade and prosciutto. Everyone at the event was gracious and complimented both dishes.
We were next to the folks from Hooting Owl Granola. Beth and John were super nice, gave us some samples and even some gluten-free stuff for me. I recently found out I may be gluten intolerant and trying to manage it as best I can. Not an easy feat for me. They complimented us on our samples even though John was the only taster. Beth had some dietary issues also so we could commiserate a bit on what we couldn't eat and missed. The event ended and we said our goodbyes.
A week or so later I received an email from Beth asking if we could do some food for them and listed her dietary limitations and apologized for them. I told her not to worry I would make it work. I played around with a few ideas, wrote a menu and sent it off. Being this was our first time cooking for them I tried to keep the flavor palate fairly broad to give them the largest variety in the number of dishes they wanted. I modified some classics to reflect their needs and was pretty happy with the results. I sent it off to them and Beth responded within the hour and was ecstatic.
We set a time for us to meet and do the cooking. I wrote a prep list, and headed to the market to shop the next day. I was able to quickly prepare all the food and cool it, package it and give them instructions on reheating. They were so happy and surprised with the end products and the price. Because of my pre-preparation I was able to get 6 different entrees and 3 different sides cooked, cooled and put away in about 2 hours. With our relationships with the vendors at the market and my 27 years of experience, we were able to keep the grocery costs down and time to a minimum.
Beth has since sent me emails and Facebook comments on how much they have enjoyed their meals. Below is one of the recipes they seemed to like best.
WILD MUSHROOM STUFFED CHICKEN
-1 whole chicken
-1/2 # boneless skinless chicken thighs or ground chicken
-1 cup cooked brown rice
-1/2 # wild mushroom
-1 whole egg
-1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme
-1 minced garlic clove
-1 teaspoon minced shallots
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-Salt and pepper to taste
Reverse bone the chicken or have butcher do it for you. You basically want to remove all the bones from the chicken by cutting it down the backbone. You should end up with a square piece of chicken with the skin intact. You can pound it a bit to make it an even thickness if you like. Place chicken in fridge until you are ready for it.
In large sauté pan over medium heat, add olive oil and mushrooms and sauté until golden brown, add garlic, shallot and fresh thyme. Sauté quickly for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Place on plate and cool completely. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. when mushrooms are cooled place mushrooms, rice and chicken thighs in the hopper of a kitchen aide mixer's meat grinding attachment. Grind through medium dye, season with salt and pepper. Add whole egg and mix completely. Spread mushroom mixture on flesh side of chicken coating 3/4 of flesh.
Roll tightly into cylinder, secure with butcher's twine or silicone bands. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in pre heated oven for 35-45 minutes until internal tempeture reaches 165 degrees. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice into rounds and serve immediately.