I love having so many creative people in my life. And when it comes to creativity with food, even better. I had the chance to try a couple of delicious treats that my dear friend who happens to be amazingly creative with food – Luis Escamilla had made in the past. I often get to try his lunch at work but this one time, he had a couple of friends and I over for a blind dining experience. Yes, you heard right, a blind dining experience – one where he made us tape our eyes down first before using his ties as blindfolds to ensure we didn’t cheat. He clearly is very thorough.
I asked him if he would grace She Said with his immense culinary expertise for which he was very excited. I mean, I even got phone calls the night before the festivities with changes in menu because he wanted to keep it relatively healthy. The final product was so great that I had to share. I insisted that I wanted to be part of the entire process (chef’s assistant, grocery shopping assistant, plating assistant) and he agreed on the terms that we first go to the gym for a good work out prior to stuffing our faces. It was a deal!
After much back and forth – we decided to make Quinoa-crusted chicken with vegetables and red wine rice.
What you will need: (Serves 4 people)
For the chicken:
3 cloves of garlic – minced
¼ an onion – finely chopped
2 tomatoes – semi-finely chopped
1 dozen mushrooms – roughly chopped
4 peppers – roughly chopped (we used 4 different color peppers to make it look pretty – you can use whatever is available)
4 Chicken Breasts – cut open butterfly style
Few sprigs of spring onion – chopped
Salt to taste
For the rice:
1/2 L of chicken broth (or any broth that you prefer)
Knob of butter
250g wild rice
1 bottle of red wine
Any strong green aromatic herb
Step by step:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Put milk, eggs, spring onions and salt in a bowl and whisk together.
In a pot, add one tbs oil and sauté garlic until fragrant. Add chopped onion followed by chopped tomatoes. Mix all the rest of the veggies and keep stirring. Add salt. Cook for a few minutes and take them off the stove (you want to be careful not to over-cook the vegetables. They will need to go into the oven as well).
Cover with foil and put it into the oven.
After 10 minutes turn the chicken. Repeat this last step twice. (We recommend this step at least twice to ensure the quinoa cooks well with the juices from the veggies.) Remove from the oven after 25-30 minutes and let it sit for a couple of minutes.
Add Knob of butter to heated saucepan.
Add 250g wild rice and fry in the butter for a few seconds and then add a bottle of wine to the saucepan.
As wine evaporates add a ladle of chicken broth at a time.
Add any strong green aromatic herb you like.
Towards the end of the process, put the lid on for the last few minutes.
When rice starts to boil, take lid off.
Once all the wine is evaporated, add the rest of the chicken broth.
To plate, add any veggies on the side – we went with sliced avocado, grapes, pomegranate seeds and few sprigs of spring onion
About Luis Escamilla: Luis aka Prof. Escamilla is Full-Time Faculty at Hult International Business School, teaching in Dubai and Shanghai, and holding global responsibilities for the Quantitative Discipline. A huge fan of broadway shows, he is known to have used long weekends to fly to London to watch three musicals in three days. He is also a not-so-closeted “mixologist” and can make some of the most creative drinks you might have had! Also, in his spare time, he may be up to trying to convince you that math is awesome!
You can find Luis on Twitter: @LuisGuiEsca