Tag Archives: pasta

A Facsimile of Boston’s Creamy Chicken Curry Pasta for Niall

  • 3 cups dry penne
  • 2 Tablespoons or so of butter, or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 red pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons hot madras curry powder
  • pinch of dried chili flakes
  •  2 to 2 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces*
  • ¼ cup to ½ cup pineapple, cut into bite-sized pieces (fresh or canned, drained)

Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a rolling boil.  Add dry penne, stirring to prevent it from sticking together.  Cook according to package directions, approximately 7 or 8 minutes.  Drain well, but do not rinse!

Meanwhile, melt the butter or heat the oil, and add the red onion.  Stir and cook until it begins to sweat, and then add garlic and red pepper.  When they are softened, but still have a bit of a “fresh bite”, add the curry powder and chili flakes.  Stir and cook for a minute or two.

Stir in the heavy cream, bring to a very gentle boil and cook until it begins to thicken to the consistency you like for your alfedo-ish sauce.  Gently stir in the cooked chicken pieces and the pineapple, and cook till they’re heated through.

* to cook the chicken, one can bake in the oven or cut into bite-sized pieces and sauté with the vegetables until no longer pink.  To bake ahead, put two boneless, skinless chicken breasts onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Turn twice, two coat the entire breast.  Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, then bake for 40 minutes or so in a preheated 350F oven.

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Filed under food, Main Course, Protein

Niall’s Summer Pasta Salad

Really an “anything goes” kind of salad, adapted from LLL’s “Whole Foods for the Whole Family

The Salad Ingredients:

  • ½ lb pasta, cooked and drained
  • ½ cup celery, chopped small
  • ¼ cup red or Vidalia onion, finely diced (use spring onions if you don’t have)
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • ½ red or green pepper, diced
  • 2 tins water-packed tuna –no hydrolyzed plant protein – flaked
  • ½ cup cottage cheese
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded, a handful
  • ½ cup cucumber, seeded and chopped

The Dressing/dip Ingredients:

This makes way more than the above recipe requires!

  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 cup real mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Whisk all dressing ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Gently combine all of the salad ingredients.  Add dressing, tossing, until the salad is coated to your preference; it’s likely that you’ll have about 2/3 to ½ of the dressing left over.  Refrigerate until flavours mingle.

The left over dressing makes a great raw veggie dip.


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Filed under food, Grains, Main Course, Protein, Salad Dressing, Salads, Vegetables

The Kids’ Favourite Mac and Cheese

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  • 2 cups uncooked whole wheat (or regular in a pinch) macaroni noodles
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 cups skim milk (or other)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2+3/4 sharp (extra old) cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese for topping
  • OPTIONAL:  2 green onions, sliced, and 4 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled

Boil a large pot of water, add a teaspoon or so of salt.  Add macaroni noodles and cook until tender but firm, about 8 minutes.  Drain, and return to pot.

Meanwhile, in saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat; coon onion in the butter for about 5 minutes or until softened.  Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Gradually whisk in the milk, and cook, whisking, for about 8 minutes, or until sauce is thickened enough to coat back of a spoon.

Add mustard, salt and pepper.  Stir in cheese just until melted.  Pour over macaroni.

If using green onions and bacon, add now, and stir just until combined.

Spread into an 8″ square baking dish.  Top with the 1/2 cup shredded cheese.  Bake, uncovered, in a 350F oven for about 30 minutes, or until bubbly.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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Filed under food, Grains, Main Course, Protein, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Bolognese Style Meat Sauce (I even like it)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and minced
  • 1 celery stalk, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced bacon
  • 1/2 pound lean ground pork
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef (you can use all beef)
  • 3/4 cup dry wine (red or white will do)
  • 1 28-ounce can of plum tomatoes, drained, then scrunched with your fingers
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cream, half-and-half, or milk

Put the olive oil in a large, deep saucepan.  Turn the heat to medium-low and, a minute later, add the onion, carrot, celery and bacon.  Cook, stirring occasionally until the veggies are tender, about ten minutes.

Add the meat and cook, stirring and breaking up any lumps, untill all pinkness is gone, about 5 minutes.  Add the wine, raise the heat a bit, and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes to the pot, stir, and add the stock.  Turn the heat to low and cook at a slow simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up the tomatoes and any clumps of meat that remain.  After an hour or so, add salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for at leaast another hour, until much of the liquid has evaporatd and the sauce is very thick.

Add the cream, and cook for another 15 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.

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Filed under food, Main Course, Protein, Sauce