Monday, September 16, 2013

Orecchiette Pasta with Chicken and Goat Cheese

For the last 2 months we’ve been having a particular chicken dish at least once a week and still love it, haven’t gotten tired of it at all.
Here’s what we’ve been making - Orecchiette Pasta  with Chicken and Goat Cheese.    It’s pretty simple to make and real tasty.  We first had this dish at the Nordstrom’s Bistro at Easton back in 2003 or so.  It was a simple, almost elegant dish with a lot of flavor, and was the first time we had had goat cheese.  A few years later, I saw goat cheese in the grocery store, remembered that dish and decided to recreate it at home.  It turned out to not be a difficult task at all.  Here’s how I do it:

Ingredients (for 3 servings):
Orecchiette Pasta , 8 oz.  (Reserve a ½ cup of the cooking water!)
Chicken broth, ½ cup
Goat cheese, 4 oz. (I’ve been using Kroger Private Select crumbles, < $3)
Mrs. Dash® Tomato Basil Garlic Seasoning Blend
2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 lb)
Garlic powder
Cayenne pepper

Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne and paprika.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  When done, reserve ½ cup of the pasta water.
While the pasta is cooking,:
Spray a non-stick 10 – 12 inch pan with an oil spray, heat over medium low heat.
Place the chicken breasts in the pan and cover, cook for 6 minutes.
Turn the chicken over and cook for 6 more minutes, covered.
Set the chicken aside to rest for a couple of minutes, then slice into about ½” thick slices, cut those slices in half to make bite sized pieces.  Reserve the juices.
Heat the chicken broth to boiling
Into each of the three pasta bowls, add a couple of tablespoons of the goat cheese, and sprinkle with some Mrs. Dash.
Spoon about 2 oz. of hot broth and a couple of tablespoons of the reserved pasta cooking water into each of 3 pasta bowls over the goat cheese. 
Top the cheese broth with a third of the pasta, the a third of the chicken.
Sprinkle with a bit more of the goat cheese and serve.

Mix it all up in the bowl and dig in!
 (pictures soon)


Friday, May 24, 2013

Shrimp Roll, Refreshing & Spicy

With warmer weather, I was looking for something lighter, and bursting with flavor.   Hmmm, saw that the grocery store had lobster on sale, but still too pricey.  I had shrimp, though, and had recently made a nice fresh how about a shrimp roll?  ok, how do I make that?  Quick, to the internet!

How I made them:
1 lb raw shrimp, peeled
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
the green tops of 3 green onions, sliced thin
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp sriracha
Old Bay seasoning
Salt to taste
4 good quality hot dog buns (Pepperidge Farm's New England style if you can find them!)

- Mix the celery, onion, green onion tops, mayo, lemon juice, hot sauce, and salt together in a bowl, stirring to carefully incorporate.  Refrigerate for at least a 1/2 hour.
- Once the mixture is chilled prepare the shrimp as follows below.
- Lightly toast the hot dog buns until the sides are nicely browned. 
- In a large pot, boil a couple of inches of water.  Add couple of teaspoons of Old Bay seasoning to the water
- Stir the raw shrimp into boiling water, remove from heat and let stand for just a couple of minutes to just cook through.
- Remove the shrimp from the water and place into the chilled mixture.
- Divide the shrimp mixture among the rolls. Garnish with a light sprinkle Old Bay and serve immediately.

This is the recipe I based mine on, not too much different, but just a bit!


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Stuffed Pepper Soup

We've made Classic Stuffed Peppers the Betty Crocker way for years, so I was a bit leery of this new thing going around - Stuffed Pepper Soup.  One of my co-workers brought me some that his SO had made (she's a great cook!), and it was pretty darn good, so I set out to make my own.  I used the basic recipe and ingredients from our standard stuffed pepper recipe and the end result was really tasty!

Here's what I did:

3 green peppers, quartered, seeded, cored, ribs trimmed
3 cloves garlic, minced
one medium yellow onion, chopped fine
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
15 oz can tomato sauce
1 can tomato soup
1 lb ground round
1/3 cup minute rice

Boil the peppers in a large pot of water for about 5 minutes.
**Save 2 cups of the water, discard the rest of the water. 
Remove the peppers, cool, slice and chop coarsely (1" x 1/2" chunks).
Put the pot back on the burner and brown the beef in it, breaking up the beef as you cook it. When the beef is about half way done, add the onion and garlic. Finish browning the beef and if there's a lot of grease, drain some off.
Add the basil, oregano, rice, tomato sauce and soup. Add the reserved water and stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce and slowly simmer ~20 minutes uncovered, stirring often (don't let anything stick to the bottom!).
Served topped with shredded mozzarella and with some crusty bread.
Yummy!  Thanks, Renee!