10am: No kids tonight so having friends over for dinner, a couple we have known for years. I am already stressing out and wondering why we are just not going out to a nice restaurant instead. Here is what we are having:
Pan Fried Scallops with a Warm Vinaigrette, Garnished with Mixed Salad Leaves
Chicken Breast Stuffed with Home-Made Pesto in a Proscuitto Wrapper, Served with Slow-Roast Tomatoes and Home Made Chunky Chips
Home-Made Bitter Chocolate Mousse
The menu looks more complex than it actually is, I reckon total prep time is about 1 hour (I have just made the chocolate mousse, took 20 mins and it’s chilling in the fridge, tomatoes have been in the oven since 8am, am a bit concerned about the mousse though as it is not looking quite as I thought it would). The pesto is “one I made earlier” and so is coming out the freezer, so hand-cutting chips is the biggest time-consumer.
Recipe: Chicken Stuffed with Pesto and Wrapped in Parma Ham
The main dish is simple, and you could use ether fresh or jar pesto from the supermarket quite easily–there is no need to make your own. I don’t do that making a pocket thingy on the front of the breast, most chicken breasts that I am sold in supermarkets have a natural pocket at the back and if you cut through from the smooth, front side you are likely to go right through the chicken and end up with a great big hole. So, I deepen the natural trough at the back if necessary and put in a spoonful of pesto and roll and wrap up in a couple of overlapping sheets of parma ham/prosciutto. My fillets were a little large, so I would either try to use smaller ones next time or cut them in half. I folded in the tail end, and twisted the parma ham in a bow to hold it, but this was fiddly as my ham was very thin and very fragile. It’s not that easy to do, but it does not have to be perfect and just rolling it up like a blanket is far simpler. The only perfect pix of wrapping up bow-like I have seen use longer strips of thicker cut parma ham and I can’t buy those in Sainsbury!
Either bake for 25-30 mins in a medium-hot oven, 190-200 degrees Celsius or pan fry on both sides first, and then bake for about 15-20 minutes.
12:15 Oh Dear God Almighty, I just looked in the fridge and the mousse is a disaster. Not just a bit heavy or a little bit grainy, it is an utter, unmitigated fecking disaster. I have managed to make the world’s worst chocolate mousse, my husband is crying with laughter, he wants to serve it up anyway as a joke. I checked the recipe I used with 4 different sources and it seemed in tune with other ones, but clearly something went HORRIBLY HORRIBLY WRONG:
So now I have to go and buy a cake, which is what I bloody well should have done in the first place. Who am I kidding, making an entire dinner pary from scratch? Who am I kidding that cooking can be stress-free and relaxed if following simple instructions? Who is the anonymous bloody blogger person that said, and I quote, “this is the easiest most delicious chocolate mousse recipe ever“? Feckwit. Numpty. Espece d’Idiot & Bon fecking Appetit as they say in fecking French.
Note to self: do not trust recipe sites that do not have any pix of anyone actually making the dishes. Seems to be a helluva lot of re-cycling, and missing out steps and fiddling with quantities, maybe just to make sure the rip-off is not so obvious. Or, one bad recipe just does the rounds over and over. Devils and Charlatans, a pox on all your houses.