Saturday, February 13, 2010

Recipe: Poulet en Croute Pommes de Terre, Tabouleh au Genmai, Ume, Shiso, Kyuuri, Sauce ume

I do a little cooking here at home, and if I might say so myself, I'm not too bad with a knife and frypan.

Today's dish:

Paillard de Poulet en Croute Pommes de Terre sur (? something) Tabouleh au Genmai, Ume, Shiso, Kyuuri, Sauce ume

(Potato 'gill' encrusted chicken paillard, over a tabouleh of genmai rice, ume, shiso, and cucumber, with an ume sauce)

To be honest, this recipe would be best with a fish filet of your choice, but since I don't like cooking fish, I made this with chicken, knowing full well how much better it'd be as a fish dish, ie Poisson en Croute Pommes de Terre.
The potato 'gills' are a Paul Bocuse nouvelle cuisine thing, so not really my typical steez, but eh. This dish would make a great dish to cook for a date if you can tourne a potato quickly and well (alternatively, you could cop out and just get a cookie cutter type thing or an apple corer and use the center batons that come out), and the rice can be made ahead of time, so it could be a 10-minute dish if you planned it correctly.
The rice tabouleh came about because I like ume-kyu (umeboshi and cucumber - umeboshi-kyuuri) when I eat sushi, for cleansing the palate. Japanese shiso has a really distinct flavor as well, so these ingredients are not to be substituted or omitted if you want the full flavor range. The ume acts as an astringent here, the shiso is the herbal, peppery green that livens it up.

The basics: a little French, a little Japanese-y fusion here, nothing too hard to palate or get your head around. Chicken, a little potato, and some rice.

The chicken (or fish) portion: tourne some potato (it looks a little better if you can tourne them to 14 sides, rather than seven) into batons, slice paper thin, arrange on the meat as scales. As I did this with chicken, I butterflied my chicken breast into a paillard and pounded it out to a uniform thickness, but you wouldn't need to do that to a fish filet, obviously. You want to arrange those potato scales on the meat pretty quickly, and right after cutting, so that the starches remain and they stick to themselves and to the meat. It's not too hard to do.
Anyway, grease a pan lightly with a light oil, pat the scales down on the meat and flip it into the pan scale side down first, let it turn a little golden on the edges, and then cook the other side of the meat. That's all there is to it.

The genmai ume-kyu tabouleh portion: boil some genmai brown rice as directed, and then ice it down to cool. I rinsed my cooked rice in cold water because I wanted it to stay pretty light and less starchy. To the rice I added a few umeboshi, pitted and chopped chunkily but small, and then some shredded shiso leaves. Also, dice your cucumber finely and some red onion, and there you have it, pretty simple. A little S+P and you can lay it down on the plate, cold, ready for the filet on top.

The sauce I did was minced umeboshi and some balsamic vinegar, mixed til it made a jelly'ish sauce.

Plate it all up nicely and there you have it.

The best part - this isn't too expensive to make. Granted, it's just a course and not a meal, but it's a nice presentation for mundane basic ingredients. A couple chicken breasts, a couple potatoes, a cup of brown rice, a cucumber and an onion, and then the two Japanese items - yellow honey-cured umeboshi and shiso leaves - can be bought many places, for not too much. It's not like having to buy 30,000W worth of stuff to put together a sandwich, like many other home cooking endeavors in Korea.

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