In the words of the great Julia Child, “People who love to eat are the best people“. Being an ardent foodie myself, I have been blessed with a number of friends who are food lovers; with blogging, that wonderful circle has only increased. Some of whom have moved from being friends in the virtual world to friends in the real world. Each one is so unique in his or her own way. Be it cooking style, writing, or demeanor. I had mentioned in my post on the Kitchen Ninjas Challenge about a Whatsapp group created by food bloggers. A few of us meet offline. Needless to say, when foodies meet there is lots of food and even more fun. Here is what happened when Shanti Padukone from Riot of Flavours, Renita Mascarenhas from Culinary Zeal and I decided to meet over a potluck lunch (at Shanti’s place) last week.
The three of us planned a potluck, but unlike a regular potluck, we thought it would be more fun to cook together rather that carry the food across. Renita being the dessert expert decided to (with some insistence from me 😉 ) make a Mango and Mint Pavlova and Shanti took over the main course with Pasta in Mushroom Cream Sauce and I would be making the starters. So now you see how the Cheesy Chicken rolls came to being 🙂 .
When the big day arrived, the usually confident me was a bit nervous. You know those slight niggles in the tummy just before the first date. Renita took first strike, her pavlova needed to be baked for an hour, so we gave it the TLC it needed. In the process,I learnt a bit about beating egg whites and about taking the proverbial over the head test. When I will try beating them? may be time will tell. I decided to go next, mine was a long drawn recipe. I got help to cut the chicken and with the remaining steps. We talked, joked and poked puns at each other. As we worked on the chicken, Shanti worked on the pasta. It got done much like a Rahul Dravid hundred, robust and substantial; bursting at the seams with flavour. Meanwhile, I too got the rolls done. The girls tasted the rolls and thankfully it passed the muster. My heart thanked the heavens. Lunch was good fun too. I must confess I am not too much of a Mango lover, but i gobbled up a huge chunk of the pavlova. It was that sinfully delicious.
All in all, it was a super Sunday afternoon. I loved each moment. As rightly said, that when someone gives you their food, they also give you their heart. That sunday afternoon, i realised why.. 🙂
Picture Courtesy: Isaaq Petiwala
Cheesy Chicken Rolls
Ingredients (for the Chicken)
- 500 grams boneless chicken- refer instructions below on how to cut.
- Juice of 2 limes
- 50 ml oil
- 2 teaspoons red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- salt to
- Oil- for frying
- Sufficient number of tooth picks.
For the stuffing
- 200 grams regular processed cheese
- 2 green chillies, finely chopped (use more if you like it a bit spicy)
- 150 ml green chilli sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste (pepper goes well with cheese and cheese is salty so use judiciously)
- When you buy the chicken, ask the butcher to give you one whole piece. Preferably, the breast piece. Wash and pat dry the piece. Then using a sharp knife (at a 45 degree angle) cut chunks of the breast with gentle but decisive strokes to chunks, roughly about the size of a scallop. Then, using either a meat hammer or a pestle gently flatten each chunk. This will give the chunks a roughly circular shape. Even if all the chunks are not of the same size, dont worry. Once done, keep aside.
- To make the filling, grate the cheese in a bowl and add the chillies, salt and pepper and give it a good mix. Keep aside.
- Before proceeding to fill in the stuffing, make sure each chunk is dry. Take one chunk, evenly spread some chilli sauce on it. Then stuff it with the cheese mixture and roll the chunk. Once rolled, secure it with a tooth pick. Repeat for all the chunks.
- Heat oil for frying in a pan. Till the oil is heating, prepare an emulsion by adding the remaining oil, red chilli powder, turmeric and the lime juice in a bowl.
- Roll each chicken chunk in this emulsion and add to the frying pan which would be hot by now.
- Fry each side till it turns nice and golden brown.
- Serve hot.
- If you want to prepare a vegetarian version, replace the chicken with thin slices of brinjals or zucchini.