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FOOD : On a Roll : A California Twist on a Traditional French Roulade

October 11, 1987|ROSE DOSTI | Rose Dosti is a Times staff writer.

ROULADE, THE FRENCH word for rolled-up food or meat roll, will never be the same. Just take a look at what's happened to the traditional roulade, originally invented to camouflage inferior meats with tasty stuffings. This roulade has gone Californian, and there's nothing inferior about it.

Patrick Terrail, formerly with the Hollywood Diner, who shares the recipe, incorporates both Mexican and Japanese ideas with the traditional French roulade by wrapping the vegetable-stuffed chicken breast with a tortilla and a layer of dry seaweed, which is available in most supermarkets. The seaweed not only helps contain the roll, but it also enhances the flavor and mystery of the dish.

Adding yet another ethnic fillip to a basic French recipe, Terrail serves the rolls with Mexican salsa made with tomato, avocado and jalapeno. This salsa is made smooth in a blender rather than chopped, as is done in Mexican cuisines. However, those who prefer a coarse-textured salsa may chop the ingredients by hand.

The boiled new potatoes bring the dish back home to France, but you may omit the potatoes if you're serving the roulade as an appetizer.

PATRICK TERRAIL'S CHICKEN ROULADE 4whole chicken breasts, skin removed3tablespoons melted butter410-inch flour tortillas4sheets dried seaweed (8x8-inch square)2carrots, peeled and cut into -inch sticks1bunch cilantro, trimmed and washed1cucumberSalt, pepper4teaspoons virgin olive oil4sheets plastic wrapSalsaBoiled new potatoes Flatten each whole chicken breast between two sheets of waxed paper into a large, thin cutlet. Brush with melted butter. Grill over coals, on griddle or under broiler until done, about 5 minutes under broiler or 10 to 15 minutes on griddle, turning once.

Place a whole chicken breast on each sheet of seaweed to cover entire sheet. Arrange 2 slices each of carrots and cucumbers on lower 1/3 of chicken. Sprinkle with cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil.

Roll in a tight roll as for a jellyroll, aligning the stuffing evenly. Place a seaweed roll on flour tortilla. Cut off ends to match length of roll. Roll tightly.

Secure each roulade by rolling it in plastic wrap and tying a knot on each end. Place roulades on steamer rack over, but not touching, hot water. Cover and steam 15 minutes or until heated through.

To serve, remove plastic wrap. Slice roulades into 1/2-inch slices. Arrange slices in overlapping fashion and serve with Salsa and boiled new potatoes. Makes 8 servings.

Salsa 1large tomato, peeled, seeded and squeezed 1/2jalapeno pepper, mincedonion, dicedavocado, diced1tablespoon minced cilantro1ounce white wine vinegar2tablespoons virgin olive oilcup tomato juiceSalt, pepper In blender container combine tomato, jalapeno pepper, onion, avocado, cilantro, wine vinegar, olive oil and tomato juice. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill before serving. Makes 1 cups. NOTE: Salsa ingredients may be chopped by hand for a coarse texture.

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