With Valentines Day Tuesday, I thought I would get a jump on the holiday and make a special dinner for Sunday night. I went to a different Wegmans yesterday on my way back from my chiropractor, (yes I’m lucky enough to have two, well actually three within driving distance) and at first when I entered their produce department I thought this is the Wegmanss that I should be shopping at, they had White Asparagus, I hadn’t seen that at my store since they opened! Well, let me tell you it was all down hill from there! It’s hard to imagine that a store like that can be so different at another location, they had opened a liquor store inside this Wegmans (mine has a free standing liquor store) and in the process of adding it into the store they seemed to have really screwed the store up…….hey guys, was it worth it? I mean, not to knock shop rite, but that’s what it felt like, only at premium prices…sigh
So I guess next time I go shopping I need to find the store manager and thank them for keeping our store in much better shape. You know I wonder about myself sometimes, I talk way too much about shopping for food, and the layout of supermarkets…..sigh The truth is I really enjoy shopping and not just for food, its the time spent browsing that seems to soothe me, its me time and I do enjoy it. But I did pick up some white asparagus , some Tuscan Kale and of course some Virginia Crab meat, which is almost the same as Maryland. A quick not about crabmeat, if you do buy pasteurized and this time of year that’s pretty much all your going to find, just be careful of where it comes from. Check the source, and quite frankly I won’t buy and crabmeat that’s from any other country, first of all its not the same crab and just doesn’t taste as good, and you have no idea how badly polluted the waters they came from were. I know I’ve mentioned the same thing about shrimp, you need to be careful of the source of origin.
I knew right away what I wanted to make, in the old days we did Veal Oscar, but veal has long gone out of fashion, we might be barbarians but we don’t eat baby animals. So Chicken Oscar it was! Lisa had just gotten back from her Doctor with a report to eat more veggies, I know I need them too, so I thought I would forgo the starch and serve to veggies. The white asparagus would be a treat, something different, and to add some colour to the plate I thought the Tuscan Kale would be a nice change from Broccoli Rabe. The Tuscan Kale was fairly tasty, definitely a stronger flavor, but not at all bitter, now the white asparagus didn’t fair so well, they really lacked any flavor and even with peeling them and cutting them down fairly short they were very tough and stringy….next time we stick with green asparagus! These were from Peru which could have been the problem, years ago we only got them from European countries and it was also very tender and had much better flavor. I guess that proves a point about the source of products!
I will say that the crabmeat made up for any lack of flavor in the asparagus it was really delicious, with a lot of great crab flavor. In the old days I would have made a hollandaise to top off this dish, but since I am making an effort to eat just a little more healthy I decided to do with out the hollandaise and use the calories all the butter and eggs would have added in my dessert instead…..but that’s a post for another day!
- 4 boneless skinless Chicken Breast (pounded thin)
- 8 oz Jumbo lump crabmeat
- 10 oz mushrooms-sliced
- 8 pcs asparagus white or green, peeled
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup olive oil
- 4 tbsp butter
- splash of white wine (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Trim off about 2 inches off the asparagus and using a peeler, clean off the outer layer of the fibrous skin.
- Cook asparagus in a saute pan with water on simmer until tender, then set aside
- Trim excess fat off of chicken breast and place them inside a gallon size ziplock bag and with the flat side of a meat hammer, pound them thin.
- coat chicken breasts with flour that has been seasoned with salt and pepper and then place into a hot saute pan with olive oil
- Saute on both sides about 3 minutes per side or until you have good color.
- Place cooked chicken breasts with a little stock in a baking dish in 325 degree oven to finish cooking for about 15 minutes, place the asparagus in the same dish to finish cooking.
- in another saute pan saute mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter until tender.
- add a splash of wine to de-glaze the pan, or just use the chicken stock.
- Add in chicken stock and get contents of pan hot, then add in crabmeat, stir gently and remove from heat.
- When your ready to put the dish together heat the crabmeat / mushroom combo and as it heats take the remaining two tablespoons of butter and coat them in flour, pushing the flour into the butter, add this to the heating crabmeat mixture and it will help thicken the sauce. (the butter flour mixture is called a Beurre Manie)
- Place the chicken breasts on plates and divide the crabmeat mixture, spooning it with some of the juices over top of the chicken breast.
- add two spears of asparagus and serve with sides of your choice.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine’s Day, being in the middle of the week we can’t celebrate too much, but I’m sure we’ll have a nice dinner together, and I know I don’t tell Lisa enough, but she has truly made my life better, and I couldn’t think of any other Valentine’s Day present I would want than just to be able to spend the day with her! (Now I also get to see if she actually reads my entire post and honey if you got me the Porsche forget what I just said about the present!)
I would like to mention that I will be doing some Ask Chef Dennis sessions as my classes on ChefHangout.com, so if you have a chance check out the days and times (once I post them) and come hang out with me on Google+ and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have. Unfortunately we are not set up to make the classes free, but I will be offering these classes at $1.00 for the next few weeks, it also give me time to work the bugs out of the system, I’ve never used a web cam before and this is all new to me. It certainly would be nice to have some friendly faces in the first few classes!
Have a great week and please make sure you stop by for my Ask Chef Dennis post, because I have a surprise!