No A-list celebrities here in Mexico but the Ex Patriot community partied & celebrated as the United States had the 44th President sworn into office. Anytime, in any country there is a peaceful transition of power it should be cause for celebration & joy. Politics & cultural differences aside there were 5 nations represented at the fun event hosted at Tresa Arami's home. The food, beverages & company was truly outstanding. I took a Lemon Dried Cherry Cake as well as some Star Sugar Cookies decorated with blue royal frosting & blue sugar crystals. **late night cookie decorating is horrible on Mexican tiled floors, those sugar crystals seem to have multiplied!
The official Inaugural menu was published this week & the 2009 Presidential Inauguration Luncheon Menu included a recipe for Herb Roasted Pheasant with Wild Rice Stuffing. To see the menu, china & related items go here~http://inaugural.senate.gov/While most of us don't have Pheasant close at hand chicken breast is a suitable substitute. Not wanting to stuff the breast with the pulverized tenderloin mixture (on the official menu)I made an adjustment in that area. The size of a Pheasant breast would warrant a modest addition of protein but chicken breast is much more substantial & held very well with the rice mixture minus the extra tenderloin. I'll admit my version is more of an "average Joe" recipe. I've also included the cake recipe I baked in the "American Star" Bundt cake pan. Buen Provecho!
I leave you with these words from Inauguration Day poet, Elizabeth Alexander. "I need to see what's on the other side; I know there's something better down the road."
Tomorrow morning in Washington D.C. the real work begins~
Herb Roasted Chicken with Wild Rice Stuffing (*No pheasant here)
Yield: 4 portions
5 Chicken breast, boneless, skinless, cut small pocket in side of breast for stuffing
½ cup Olive oil with chopped rosemary, thyme and sage *1 round Tbsp each herb
1 cup Wild rice, long grain mixture
2 cups Chicken stock or canned chicken broth
2 Carrots, diced
½ Onion, diced
½ cup Dried apricot, small diced
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 Tablespoon Salt and pepper mix
2 Tablespoons Garlic, roasted
1. Boil the rice with the chicken stock, cook until soft and most of the liquid is gone.
2. Add the onion, carrot, garlic and apricot. Cook until the vegetables are soft and all liquid has been absorbed. Refrigerate rice mixture until cool.
3. When rice is cool, add bread crumbs & 1 egg to the rice until well mixed. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and return to refrigerator until ready to stuff.
4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
5. Make 5 small football shaped patties of the rice mix, stuff inside the chicken breast, being careful not to over stuff. Rub herb/oil mixture on top & season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in a roasting pan and then in a preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes. (test chicken to make certain juices run clear & chicken is done) Remove from oven and cover with lid or foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Lemon Dried Cherry Cake
3 sticks butter, softened
3 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice*
3/4 cup chopped, dried cherries
heat oven 325* Grease & flour bundt cake pan, set aside. In lg. bowl beat eggs & sugar until light & fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. In medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder & salt. Add flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning & ending with flour mixture. Stir in vanilla & lemon juice, fold in cherries. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 325* for 1 hour 10 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pan. Remove from pan & cool, glaze or sprinkle with powdered sugar. *In Mexico real lemon juice is hard to locate so I used lime juice. This was still very nice. This recipe came with the Nordic Ware American Star Bundt Pan.