Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Old Biscuit Mill and Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Last weekend we flew down to Cape Town for a wedding - it was a whirlwind of a weekend catching up with long lost friends - but there was one thing I absolutely had to do and that was visit the infamous "Old Biscuit Mill." I have heard so much about this culinary hot spot - it seems to be the only words spoken on everyone's lips and boy was there good reason for this. I'd move to Cape Town, just for the Saturday Market (and even put up with the awful wind)!

I only had half an hour before the wedding - I felt like Alice in Wonderland - running in circles, looking in wonderment at all the delectable goodies, while dodging the never ending stream of people. I could have spent all day there, just walking around and looking at all the gorgeous things on offer; from beautifully decorated cupcakes and scrummy looking pastries to giant sized pans of paella and other interesting concoctions. There were even fresh fish and meat stands, gluten free pizzas, wine tastings, ciders and beers, limoncello - which I just couldn't resist buying (and sampling - hee hee) stalls with spices, vinegars, oils, chocolates, freshly squeezed juices and fresh cut flowers - the list goes on and on... If you haven't visited this slice of foodie Heaven yet - please do yourself a favour and get to Cape Town asap!  The address is 373-375 Albert Road, Woodstock.

Another stand that caught my eye was called CookMe - this is an innovative range of products such as couscous, pasta sauce and risotto with no preservatives or additives. The natural ingredients have been dehydrated to remove the water and all you need to do is add it back. I bought a packet of risotto to try.

Armed with my goodies from the market, I invited my friends Kerry and Kirsty over for dinner.

Ever since Marisa from the Creative Pot blogged about her Chicken with Pecan Cream and Mushrooms, I have been frothing at the mouth to try this pecan cream for myself - it sounded perfect, a cream made from nuts, with no dairy in sight!

This is my invention with Marisa's pecan cream:

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Zesty Pecan Cream, Baby Spinach and Tomatoes:
(Serves 4)


Zesty Pecan Cream:

1 Cup Pecan Nuts
1/2 - 3/4 Cup Water
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Zest of Half a Lemon
Squeeze Lemon Juice
Sprinkle of Dried Oregano
A Drizzle of Sesame Oil

Other Ingredients:

4 Chicken Breasts
A Handful of Baby Spinach
A Handful of Baby Tomatoes, Cut in Half
Tin Foil
Sesame Oil
Dried Oregano
Herbal Salt and Black Pepper


Heat Oven to 180 Degrees Celsius
Start off by adding the pecan nuts to a blender and blending until the pecan nuts are finely ground
Slowly ddd some of the water and whizz again
Add the zest of half a lemon (or less if you don't want the lemon flavour too overpowering)
Add the lemon juice, sesame oil, salt, pepper and oregano and whizz again
Add more water until the consistency resembles a thick cream
Tear four squares of tin foil, each big enough to house one chicken breast
Drizzle a little sesame oil, paprika, and herbal salt over the tin foil
Open up the chicken breasts (there should already be a flap, which can serve as the top layer of the pocket, in which to stuff the chicken)
Spread a layer of pecan cream on the bottom inside layer of the chicken breast, top with a few baby spinach leaves and a few baby tomato halves
Sprinkle with pepper, herbal salt and oregano before pulling over the chicken flap to cover the stuffing
Make a parcel from the tin foil by folding the sides together, above the chicken breast and scrunching it around the chicken - ensuring that it is entirely covered
Place on a baking tray and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the chicken has turned from pink to white, but is still moist
Drizzle the liquid created in the tin foil over the chicken for extra flavour
Cook the risotto as directed on the packaging - if you are allergic to yeast - leave out the wine.

The risotto was very simple to make and packed full of flavour - my friends and I loved it!
P.S The risotto does contain garlic

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