I’ve gone umami-daft in the Recipe Shed just lately. As you foodies know, umami is the fifth taste sense (after salt, sweet, bitter and sour) that identifies savoury notes in dishes. Some foods are packed with it – steak, anchovies, tomatoes, Parmesan, balsamic vinegar, mushrooms, black pudding, haggis. The list goes on. I’ve become so addicted to the hit of flavour that bursts onto my tongue I’m starting to believe it must contain some addictive property. Walter White’s crystal meth, perhaps!
I’ve gone a stage further than just pure ingredients – by adding Laura Santtini #5 Taste to dishes. (Get it from www.laurasanttini.com). It’s packed with loads of umami-rich ingredients: ripe tomatoes, anchovies, Parmesan, porcini mushrooms, black olives, balsamic vinegar (plus sugar and salt, for the record) and here I’ve used it to add extra savouriness to Sous Vide Chicken Breast stuffed with haggis and black pudding, which I’ve then served on spaghetti with a cream, mushroom and #5 Taste Sauce.
Off. The. Scale.
2 chicken breasts, skin on
2 tbsp #5 Taste paste
1cm thick disc of haggis, cut into 1/2 cm slices
1 cm dish of black pudding, cut into 1/2 cm slices
For the spaghetti
Handful dried spaghetti
200ml double cream
Squirt #5 Taste paste
6 white mushrooms, finely chopped
Parmesan cheese, grated
1. Carefully lift the skin from the flesh of each chicken breast and spread the #5 paste over it. Pull the skin back over to seal.
2. Using a sharp knife, slice through the thickest part of each breast and open up like a book. Place 3-4 slices of black pudding and haggis on top and then fold the breasts over to completely enclose.
3. Wrap tightly in clingfilm, then seal in a Sous Vide vacuum pack.
4. Set a Sous Vide water bath to 65C and once it comes up to temperature, immerse the chicken parcels in the bath and cook for around 2 hours.
5. After the cooking time, snip open the vac packs and remove the breasts from the clingfilm.
6. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan and fry the breasts, skin-side down, to brown and crisp the skin.
7. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pan of salted walter for approx. 8-9 mins.
8. Meanwhile (again), heat the double cream in a small saucepan, add a squirt of #5 Taste paste, then add finely chopped mushrooms. Cook for 3-4 mins until the sauce is thick, then add the cooked spaghetti to the sauce.
9. Slice the chicken breasts into thick slices and serve on a bed of umami spaghetti. Grate over some Parmesan to finish – for an extra umami burst.