Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pam's Picks in Your Kitchen: The Russ' in Maumelle

Chef Brian Ford Cherry of RBC Catering to the rescue again.  Although, I think he really got a kick out visiting the Russ household in Maumelle.

Susan Russ said her son and husband were gourmets, who despite having a well-stocked kitchen and pantry inside...and a herb garden outside, frequently send her to the grocery store to pick up some needed item to complete the meal.  She wanted a professional to show the amateur chefs in the family some creative ways to use what you already have in stock.

Cherry settled on chicken again this week but with a twist.  He would prepare a Mediterranean style dish with a southern flair:  Chicken garnished with scallops served with sesame seared asparagus/red pepper combo  and roasted sweet potato hash. 

Since the potatoes would take the longest, Cherry cooked them first.  The sweet potato hash consisted of diced yams, fresh thyme, rosemary, garlic and extra virgin olive oil... a little cracked pepper and a dash of kosher salt... which Cherry tossed in a pan before sprinkling grated parmesan cheese on top then placing in the oven at about 350 degrees.

The next task was preparing the chicken.  Breasts that Cherry cut in two and pounded with his mallet for easier cooking, The chicken was seasoned with cracked pepper and kosher salt before being seared in butter and olive oil and finished in the oven.   

More olive oil and butter for the olive/spinach/ feta cheese medley .  Cherry finely chopped the olives and added more fresh herbs, garlic and onion before sauteing them in the skillet. The scallops were then sauteed in butter.  The Mediterranean medley was plated first and the chicken placed on top of it... before Cherry placed the scallops on the chicken as a garnish. 

The vegetable side consisted of  asparagus and red pepper seared in sesame oil.  .

The finished plate was a beautiful display of color, texture and taste with Benjamin Russ describing it this way:
"I did take some notes and gonna try some new things out, definitely."

Chef Cherry can be found at RBC Catering, rbcentertainment.coma

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