In my last column I spoke of the influence my mother, Rose, had on my cooking philosophy. There were others, namely Joe Carcione, “The Green Grocer“. I still remember the times I visited Mr. Carcione at the produce market in South San Francisco. During tours of the market, he would stop and explain how to choose fruits and vegetables.
We would smell the herbs and talk of recipes as we made our way through the stands, and his advice was always the same. If not, the food is not the same. I will always remember those days, the smells of the fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs, and the explanations of how to use them properly in my recipes. Thank you, Mr. Carcione, for touching my life and giving me further proof that fresh is best.
8 Chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
3 Eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 lb. Prosciutto
1/2 lb. Fontina cheese
1 bunch Fresh basil
1 bunch Fresh parsley
3 cloves Garlic
1 TBS Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Homemade Seasoned Bread Crumbs
6 cloves Garlic
1/2 cup Fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup Grated parmesan and asiago cheese
1/2 loaf French bread (leftover or fresh), sourdough bread or a mixture of both
chopped 10 Mushrooms
sliced 2 cans Stewed Tomatoes (15 oz. cans)
* To prepare bread crumbs, put all ingredients except the parsley in food processor. Using a pulsating action, mix ingredients until finely chopped. Add chopped parsley to other ingredients and mix well. Set bread crumbs aside.
* To prepare filling, chop prosciutto and cheese and place in a mixing bowl. Finely chop basil, parsley and garlic and add to bowl. Add oil and pepper and mix ingredients well..
* Cut a large pocket in the chicken breast and stuff with filling mixture. Season with salt & pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Coat each stuffed chicken breast with egg then dredge in homemade breadcrumbs, pressing crumbs together and into the chicken. Place the stuffed, breaded chicken in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours (this helps the breadcrumbs stick to the chicken while cooking).
* Sauté the chicken over medium heat until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and finish cooking the chicken in the oven for approx. 20 minutes @ 350 degrees. This dish may be served warm or at room temperature. Great accompaniments are steamed broccolini with lemon pepper, salt and thyme, or roasted white or red potato wedges.