"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Asian Chicken and Water Chestnut Patties

Although I've got plenty of turkey, duck and rabbit recipes left in the Poultry chapter (and I know rabbit isn't a bird, ok?) I don't have very many chicken ones left. In fact, now that I've cooked Asian Chicken and Water Chestnut Patties, I only have two left! I know it's not a whole chapter completed, but it feels like an accomplishment anyway.

I was apprehensive about this recipe because of the unsatisfying experience I had with the salmon burgers
, which is to say that they wouldn't hold together. I was expecting more of the same with these chicken patties.

But right away I could see the difference in cook-friendliness--this recipe lets you use a food processor for both the chicken and the water chestnuts/scallions/jalapenos, and then you just mix them all together with chopped cilantro and salt.

It must be noted here that I either forgot to get a jalapeno at the store or couldn't find one (both scenarios are equally likely) but fortunately I DID have:

which eased my authenticity pangs.

The one part of the recipe I was SURE wouldn't work was the threading-of-patties-onto-a-bamboo-skewer part (three to a skewer), "to facilitate turning". No way, I thought, would those patties adhere enough to hold together during transfer, or turning during cooking.

I was absolutely delighted to be proven wrong. I was careful when I put them in the pan, but the turning proved to be a snap:

Let's hear it for protein shrinkage! One of the only things I remember from Shirley Corriher's magnificent book Cookwise is her explanation of how proteins de-nature during cooking, which is somehow linked to shrinkage, at least in chicken and fish. OK, obviously I don't remember much, just enough to throw around the word "de-nature" which is useful at cocktail parties with biochemists, and yes I've actually been to some of those.

Anyway, my apprehensions were all for naught, and the Asian Chicken Patties were an unqualified success. Dieters take note: this recipe is extremely lean, so if you're trying to think of something imaginative to do with that chicken breast, try this one out.


Katie said...

OMG - WHERE did you get that poblano sauce?? My parents used to get that when I was a kid and then we stopped being able to find it. My dad's birthday is coming up and it would be such a great surprise if I could find some for him!

I've been lurking for quite a while now and have been inspired to pull out the big yellow book from time to time from your posts. This is another one I'm looking forward to trying!

Melissa Bach Palladino said...

Hi Katie! My husband tells me it was a gift from a friend who ordered it online--let me know if you can't find it and I'll ask the friend where he got it from. Glad you de-lurked to comment! :-)

Georgia said...

I wonder if those biochemists can figure out a way to shrink ppl protein...

Also, layering cake fyi http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/03/layer-cake-tips-the-biggest-birthday-cake-yet/#more-2345

Katie said...

Thanks, Melissa. I did find it and ordered a case for my dad's birthday. I may just steal a bottle or two before giving it to him...

I'll try to comment more often, particularly when I try things. I've really enjoyed following your journey!