Chicken Breast Stuffed with Cheese, Red Pepper and Kalettes:
Cactus Kitchens, home to Saturday Kitchen, also has a cookery school on the top floor. It’s a short hop from Kennington and so I am always pleased when I’m invited to an event there. I’d never heard of Kalettes though and I have to admit to a degree of trepidation about accepting an invitation for a Kalettes cooking event.
As it turns out, the Kalette is a cross between kale and Brussels sprouts – a cute little ‘frilly cabbage’ which is the result of traditional hybridization (not GMO). The concept was to produce something milder and sweeter than a Brussels sprout but with all the nutrients of both kale and sprouts themselves. They are available from October to March and can be served sauteed, roasted, grilled or raw.
We arrived to a welcome glass of wine and some Kalette canapes in the form of an intriguing ‘sushi’ made with nori, quinoa and shredded Kalette.
Then, it was off to work – to learn how to cook with Kalettes.
We made two recipes. The first was a stuffed chicken breast filled with layers of steamed Kalettes, roasted red peppers and Gruyere cheese. It was very simply fastened with cocktail sticks, but once it was taken out of the oven and sliced up it looked really professional.
The second recipe, perfect for the Christmas table was Kalettes with chestnuts, beetroot, goats’ cheese and hazelnut. This one was super quick (it took around 15 minutes from start to finish) and very tasty.
I was surprised by how quick and easy both these dishes were to make and I will definitely be trying them at home. If you’d like to do so too, I’m sharing the recipes below.
- 225 g Kalettes
- 25 g Butter
- 1 Shallot finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 200 g Cooked Beetroot cut into 3cm chunks
- 125 g Whole chestnuts vacuum packed
- 50 g Goats Cheese Crumbled
- 50 g Toasted Hazelnuts Roughly chopped
- Truffle oil
- Wash and drain the Kalettes. Slice any large ones in half lengthways.
- Heat the butter in a large frying pan, add the finely chopped shallot and cook for a minute or two till softened
- Add the Kalettes, season with salt and pepper, then cook for 2-3 minutes until wilted and tender
- Gently toss the Kalettes, roasted beetroot, chestnuts and hazelnuts together in the warm pan, off the heat.
- Put into a serving dish, crumble over the goat's cheese and drizzle with olive oil or truffle oil
And for the main dish…
- 125 g Kalettes
- 4 Chicken breasts skinless and boneless
- 160 g Roasted Red Peppers A medium jar
- 120 g Gruyere Cheese Cut into fingers
- 100 g Clarified Butter
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 200 ml Dry white wine
- Salt and pepper
- Steam the Kalettes for 2-3 minutes until tender, drain then slice thinly and place to one side
- Pre heat the oven to 200c
- Place each chicken breast between two pieces of cling film and beat out until about .5cm thick. Remove the cling film
- Place an even layer of Kalettes on each chicken breast, then slices of red pepper and then the Gruyere fingers
- Season with salt and pepper
- Roll each breast up and secure with string or cocktail sticks
- Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan and cook the chicken for 2-3 minutes, turning regularly till golden on the outside
- Place the chicken breasts on a deep baking tray and cook for 20 minutes
- Half way through add the white wine
- Serve sliced with the juices from the pan
Kalettes are available from all major supermarkets – and if you are looking for an alternative to the dreaded Brussels Sprout, they might just be worth a try.