My Photo
Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Monday, October 08, 2007


Mistress of the Besciamella

Columbus Day dinner
Originally uploaded by marytsao
Happy Columbus Day! In honor of that auspicious Italian who landed on our shores in 1492, I made two recipes out of Silver Spoon, Italy's classic cookbook. Mike got me this book for my birthday two years ago and today was the first day I felt brave enough to cook something from it.

After slaving over a hot stove and oven for two hours, whisking Béchamel sauce while simultaneously mincing a chicken breast I had just sauteed in butter and olive oil, I remembered why I was once very afraid of this book. Cooking is work!

Nevertheless, I pulled it all off, including the Béchamel (Besciamella) sauce, and produced two very delicious dishes: Curried Chicken Puffs (Sfogliatine al Pollo e Curry) and Rigatoni with Meatballs (Rigatoni con Polpettine). Mike liked the curried chicken puffs the best. Next time I make them I'll serve them with baked salmon and a salad of butter leaf lettuce, tomato, and cucumber. Yum.

Here's the recipe. Buon appetito!

Curried Chicken Puffs (Sfogliatine al Pollo e Curry)

* 9 ounces puff pastry dough, thawed if frozen

* all-purpose flour, for dusting

* 7 ounces cooked chicken meat, coarsely chopped

* curry powder, to taste

* 1 cup Béchamel Sauce (here's a recipe)

* 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten

* salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and stamp out 12 rounds with a cookie cutter or a glass. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until puffed up and golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Place the chicken meat in a processor and process until very finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and season to taste with curry powder. Stir in the béchamel sauce and egg yolks and season with salt and pepper to taste. When ready to serve, sandwich the chicken mixture between pairs of pastry rounds. Place on a cookie sheet and heat through in a preheated oven, 350 degrees F. for ten minutes.