Monday, July 14, 2008

Dinner on Saturday, Blue Whale, Friendship Bread

Saturday night's dinner was Asparagus Phyllo Bundles (these friends hadn't tried them) unfortunately we had to buy Mexican asparagus which isn't nearly as good as Tim Barrie's. Nevertheless, our guests enjoyed them. Following that we served Saltinbocca with Chicken which is similar to Saltinbocca ala Romana only that is veal. The chicken dish has rice cooked with it, so the only other thing we served with it was the Italian Beans which were in my Saturday's blog. For the dessert, I cheated, I bought Crème Caramels from our local supermarket, Zehrs, they are very good and I certainly can't make better. Because one of our visitors is nuts about raspberries, I garnished with a few of those. Matt and I had wine, Pinot Grigio, our friends don't drink. I am not sure of the spelling, I have seen Saltinbocca and Saltimbocca used equally. I should check with an Italian friend. Yesterday I was reading (with a little difficulty, my French is rusty) about a beached Blue Whale off the Finistèrre coast in France. They didn't manage to save it unfortunately. This is the article if you can read French Blue Whale The article was brought to my attention by Gynie who's blog is Once Upon a Time in France (see this page). We were watching a programme about whales and dolphins the other day. Apparently they have now discovered that all the noise we humans make in the water with our engines, our sonars and so forth, is causing havoc with these sea mammals. Sonar in particular is very bad for them and causes panic amongst other problems which is why they are ending up beached, they basically go nuts. I believe this also causes them to be unable to feed themselves properly as they are confused and cannot hunt. We just don't think enough about the damage we cause. I have heard, but don't know if its true, that navies have been banned from using sonar in areas where whales are known to congregate or breed. This helps, but we are still polluting the seas with waste products and we still make a lot of noise. A comment on the programme was "Cousteau called it (the ocean) the silent world, it is anything but silent". I had an unusual present given to me on Saturday, by our guests, it was Amish Cinnamon Friendship Bread. It was a little jar of starter and instructions on what to do each day. I have to look after it for about 10 days, stirring it, adding flour sugar and milk periodically, and then I have to take two 1/3 cup helpings out to pass on to friends before I add more things like eggs and sugar etc. and cook two loaves of bread for us. Today I stirred. The picture is called Amish Friendship Bread, Day 6. Those are the ingredients we have to add twice, milk, sugar, flour. Of course you didn't guess I was going to give you the Saltinbocca recipe did you? Saltinbocca with Chicken Serves: 4 Source: The Record (local paper) 2 large cloves garlic peeled 1 tsp salt 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 4 - 8 long slices of prosciutto ham 4- 12 fresh sage leaves (do use fresh sage, dried isn't the same at all) 4 tbs butter 4 C chicken stock 2 C long grain rice (if you use flavoured rice use water instead of stock) With the tip of a blunt knife scrape the peeled garlic cloves with the salt until you have a thick paste. Spread this over the chicken breasts. If the breasts have a pocket or cavity inside, stuff a little prosciutto and sage inside. Wrap the chicken breast with the prosciutto, tucking the sage leaves between the ham and the chicken and secure with a toothpick. Heat butter on med. high and carefully brown chicken bundles on all sides. When done, turn the chicken sage side up and gently pour in the stock and rice. Cover the pan, (make sure you don't submerge the chicken) and lower the heat to a simmer. Forget about it for 20 mins or so while you do something else. When rice has absorbed all the broth, (test for doneness remove the lid and serve. Have a great day.


  1. I always get hungry reading your blog, Jo! I reckon it's saltiMbanca but heck, as long as it tastes good...

  2. Jo - I cheat with dessert every day. France has such delicious cakes, so I never bake puddings or make things like creme caramel.

  3. When I have friends over for dinner, I normally like to make sure everything we give them was made by us. It is very rare I cheat, I always feel guilty when I do so. One thing I do cheat on regularly is profiteroles, I have made them once, but Costco (a wholesale store) sells such excellent ones it saves a heck of a lot of work. Mostly, I like to know what is in the foods I eat which is why I rarely buy prepared foods. Except for Lean Cuisine which is diet food and something which is carefully controlled.

    Happy 14 Juillet Marilyn.

    Satima, have a cookie/biscuit beside you when you read.

  4. didn't realize it was so noisy down the sea, to that point !

    Marilyn: c'est trés mal d'acheter tout préparé ! ( joking)

  5. I remember someone gave us a friendship cake many years ago - similar idea to the friendship bread, but it didn't have cinnamon in it and we didn't much like it (it was rather stodgy). We also kept a yogurt culture going in the airing cupboard for a while, which was fun.

  6. I don't much like the yoghurt we can buy these days. I used to love the stuff we got in Greece which was much better in my opinion. Most of the store stuff is too purified, smoothed, messed around with, etc.

    We don't have airing cupboards over here by the way.