Monday, 14 May 2012

chicken and ham cannelloni

My obsession for cooking started fairly early in life, from watching my parents hold dinner parties and entertain, to entering the school fete with my highly skilled effort at the woman's day pool cake out of the Birthday book (see my Birthday cake obsession started way back then also) or just having fun in home economics hiding down the back of the class and giggling away at my partner for the class who was trying in vein to pipe all the whipped cream we had just whipped for our brandy snaps down her throat without the teacher catching her!!
I loved home economics.....probably a little more than I should of! I'm guessing my mother would be saying "If only she would pay this much attention in Maths and English"......well I only learnt from the best being my parents, well Mum first as our Father developed his cooking skills thanks to Mum also! I hope one day at least one of my three will have a similar flair in the kitchen and be able to at least make their own dinner without burning the house down. Mr M is considered to be in the category of "I can't cook"......known for his tinned peaches in a beef stir fry and managing to boil water till there is no more water to boil. Some days I wonder if he is just pulling the wool over my eyes so he doesn't have to cook but other days I just shake my head and say to myself  "should I risk my life and eat this".
This particular recipe is actually from a friend at school, we were all invited to her place for a "dinner party" as you do when your in grade 11....I enjoyed it so much that I asked her for the recipe that same night and have since made it on a regular basis over the years. I don't have the piece of paper that it was beautifully hand written on for me anymore as I just make it from my head now so the exact measurements may not be totally correct but it works for me. Thank you Ms know who you are and I hope this brings back some memories for you! X

You will need: (this makes quite a large cannelloni)
1 cooked BBQ chicken (all the meat from the chicken)
350g ham (I just buy any ham from your local deli)
1/2 bunch celery, chopped roughly
6 shallots, chopped roughly
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
salt and pepper
cannelloni tubes (I use nearly two boxes)
1 large bottle of the Paul Newman tomato pasta sauce

Cheese sauce:
60g butter
1/3 cup (50g) plain flour
2 cups (500ml) milk
1 cup (125g) grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Process chicken, ham, celery, shallots and parsley in a food processor.

In a bowl add all your processed ingredients and season with salt and pepper and add your egg (this just helps bind the mixture together) with clean hands mix everything together.

Start adding your mixture to your cannelloni tubes, I did this with my hands as I found it faster than using a spoon. Once you have all your tubes filled, add about a 1/4 of your sauce to a large baking dish (lasagne size) so your tubes don't stick to the base. Line your dish with your cannelloni.

Add the rest of your Paul Newman tomato sauce on top of the tubes.

For the white cheesy sauce melt butter in a small saucepan on a high heat, add flour and stir until smooth, keep stirring for 1 minute , gradually add milk (I use my whisk at this stage as it takes care of any unwanted lumps) Stir until sauce boils and thickens, reduce heat. Cook 1 minute, remove from heat. Stir in half of your  cheese, stir until melted.

 Add your cheese sauce to the top of your cannelloni and sprinkle with remaining grated cheese.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until your cannelloni tubes are soft (just use a fork to test your tubes).

YUM! Enjoy x

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