Creamy Chicken Tetrazzini

CreamyChickenTetrazinni

Every cookbook has its own version of this dish.  Our own favorite through the years was a recipe given to us by Jean McGuire, who was our back door neighbor when we lived near San Antonio in Kirby, Texas, in 1966. This version is also a keeper.  This is a great dish to make when you have leftover rotisserie chicken and pasta.

Creamy Chicken Tetrazzini

3 large chicken breast halves, cooked

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

about 4 cups cooked spaghetti (half a pound  uncooked)

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (may use canned, sliced)

1/2 large green pepper, chopped

1/2 large red pepper, chopped

1 onion, choppped

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup flour

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup half and half

1 can cream of mushroom with roasted garlic soup

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup sherry

3/4 cup sliced almonds

paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook chicken and pasta and drain. (I use rotisserie chicken and leftover spaghetti noodles when possible, but if you are using raw chicken and uncooked pasta, you can cook those while you assemble and prep the other ingredients.

Spray a large baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.  Shred chicken.  Saute mushrooms, pepper, garlic, and onion in butter in a large sautee pan.  Stir in flour, salt and pepper, stirring constantly.  Cook for one minute, stirring gently. Add shredded chicken, half and half, mushroom soup, cheese, and sherry.  Mix well.  Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish and bake 25 minutes.  Scatter almonds on top and continue baking for 5-10 minutes longerl

 

 

Pasta Caprese

IMG_2752A combination of two of our favorite summer salads, Pasta Caprese is perfect for Sunday lunch after church, for taking to a potluck, or as a side to serve with grilled meats or fish. We make a wide variety of pasta salads using ingredients that are in the pantry or frig. An all time favorite is Caprese made with fresh garden tomatoes, basil, and a slice of whole milk Mozarella. For this bowl of combined flavors, I use canned tomatoes and grated Mozarella, but you could also chop fresh tomatoes and/or use little Mozarella balls to make it even better. This recipe makes a large amount. Can be made ahead.

Caprese Pasta Salad

1 pound tube pasta such as penne or gemelli

1 28 ounce can or box of diced tomatoes, drained (reserve liquid for later use)

2 cups shredded mozarella

fresh basil leaves , shredded (I used a large bunch, but add this to taste)

sea salt and pepper,

1 cup balsamic vinaigrette

Cook pasta to package directions, al dente. Drain past, add to large bowl, and add drained tomatoes, shredded basil, grated cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Toss and add balsamic vinaigrette

Sauteed Mushrooms in Red Wine

022

Mushrooms are a delicious topping for any grilled meat or as a topping for buttered pasta.  I used lemon juice from our Meyer lemon harvest that I froze into mini muffin cups.  Each lemon “muffin” is exactly 2 tablespoons, and very convenient for adding to sauces. I picked a handful of fresh parsley from the garden to toss on top.   Note:  if you happen to have any leftovers, this is a wonderful addition to the next night’s spaghetti sauce!

Sautéed Mushrooms in Red Wine

1 lb mushroom, sliced

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup red wine

salt and pepper

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried French thyme

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Melt butter in  sauté  pan. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté over high heat until they are nicely browned. Add salt, pepper and red wine. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and parsley. Serve immediately.

Linguini with Shrimp and Arugula

001

 

I love tangy bitter greens in salads, but the added flavor arugula brings to this sauce for linguini is amazing.  Preparation is simple even though a few steps are necessary for the sauce to come out right.  A fresh bunch of arugula from our CSA share this past week paired well with these ingredients.  We will make this again soon! Recipe is adapted from one found at http://www.epicurious.com, printed in a 1993 issue of Epicurious.

 

Shrimp and Arugula with Linguini.

yield:Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound shrimp (about 12), shelled and deveined
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried hot pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup canned chopped plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 bunch of arugula, the stems discarded and the leaves washed wel
  • 3 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced sweet basil
  • 1/2 pound linguini

In a heavy skillet heat oil until it is hot but not smoking,and sauté shrimp,  garlic, and  pepper flakes, stirring until the shrimp are pink and almost cooked through. Take out shrimp with a slotted spoon and reserve.

In the same skille,  add onion, tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables are tender. Add whitee wine and simmer until the wine is reduced by half. Add broth, simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, and stir in the cream. Simmer the sauce until it is thickened slightly, then stir in arugula and shrimp, and simmeruntil the shrimp are cooked through. Stir in the parsley, basil, salt and pepper and keep the sauce warm, covered. In a kettle of boiling salted water cook linguini until al dente.  Drain pasta, then combine with sauce in large bowl.  serve with shaved parmesan on top and add a slice of crusty French bread.

Pasta and Peas in Lemon Cream Sauce

redbirdsetal 007

Pasta and Peas in Lemon Cream Sauce

adapted from a recipe found in Bon Appetit magazine, 2003

3 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter

3-4  large shallots, minced

1 cup  chicken broth

1 1/4  cups whipping cream

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste

2 cups fresh or  frozen green peas, thawed

2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint leaves

2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice (I used frozen Meyer juice from last year’s crop of lemons. If using regular lemons, reduce to 1 tablespoon and add 1 Tablespoon orange juice)

16 ounces farfalle or penne pasta

12 thin slices prosciutto, may substitute with crumbled bacon

Shaved Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in large skillet, add shallots and sauté about 2 minutes. Add broth. Simmer over medium heat until mixture is reduced to 1/4 cup, 2-3 minutes. Add cream, lemon zest , and cayenne. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Add peas; simmer t until heated through, stir in mint and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

While preparing sauce, cook pasta al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain; return to pot and toss with sauce.

Divide pasta among serving plates. Drape prosciutto slices on top and sprinkle with shaved Parmesan.  This is a wonderful Spring or Summer supper served with crusty French bread and  fresh slices of melon or tomato quarters.

Squash Blossom Sauce over Butternut Ravioli

For these months leading up to and including holidays which are important family celebrations, Kitchen Keepers is celebrating the Art of Cooking, or beauty in the kitchen if you prefer!  One of the most stunning ways of feeling like an artist while working with food is the use of edible flowers!  Not just as a garnish, which is always lovely, not just for a ladies luncheon, but as a wonderful taste and tell addition to your menu.  Squash blossoms are so much fun, especially if you happen to grow your own. Since  the male squash flower has done its work when it has provided pollen for the female flowers (yep, there’s a difference – they have a longer stem and no small bulb at the end next to the vine), it is perfectly alright to pick them for using in the some fanciful and fantastic recipes. If there are no squash vines in your garden, you may find the blossoms sold at farmer’s markets or specialty stores.  There are great recipes that use the whole flower by stuffing it or dipping it in a batter to fry.  For this sauce, the flowers need to be fine chopped.

Simply trim off the stem end, spread the flower flat to brush off any tiny bug or debris, rinse and pat dry.  You can stack the flat blossoms to shred for this recipe.  I like to use purchased butternut ravioli which I cook and drain before plating with the sauce.

Adapted from Molly Wizenberg

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 cup parsley leaves, chopped
12 squash blossoms, quartered lengthwise and chopped fine

pinch of saffron

2 cups  chicken broth
1 egg yolk

1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Bring a large pot of water to boil for cooking pasta while starting sauce.

Add butter and oil to a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, and parsley; cook, stirring occasionally for  3 minutes. Add the squash blossoms, a pinch of salt, and the saffron. Stir gently. Add 3/4 cup of the broth, stir gently, and raise the heat to medium. As the broth starts to reduce, continue adding more broth gradually until it has reduced significantly and only a small film of broth coats the vegetables. This should take about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk.

Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook according to package directions.. While it cooks, place the sauce back on medium heat. Measure  3 Tablespoons of pasta water and, whisking constantly with a fork, gradually add the hot water to the egg yolk to temper it.  Pour the yolk mixture into the saute pan, and stir continuously to combine. The yolk will thicken the sauce.

When the pasta is  al dente. (about 2 1/2 minutes.),  scoop the pasta from its cooking water into the sauce, and use tongs toput it into the sauce. Cook the two together for about 30 seconds, then serve in shallow bowls or on plates, topped with grated Pecorino Romano and garnish with fruit and a sprig of basil.

Indian Summer Spinach and Pasta Salad with Curry Vinaigrette

I have been declared the winner of Dreamfield Pasta’s PastaPalooza Recipe contest! My prize is a case of my favorite pasta! The basic recipe (without pasta added) appeared a long time ago, so I thought an update was in order. Besides, I need to practice to get ready to use all that pasta! I honestly do love cooking with Dreamfield’s products. 65% lower glycemic index, only 5 net digestible carbs, and the pastas are delicious.

Assembling these ingredients, I thought this would make a good basket for the TV cooking show Chopped!  What could you make that would impress the judges if you opened the basket and found pasta, spinach, sweet curry, Granny Smith apples, mango chutney, and peanuts?  How about …

INDIAN SUMMER PENNE & SPINACH WITH CURRY VINAiGRETTE

1 box Dreamfields Penne Rigate (Rotini works great, too.)

3 -4  cups fresh baby spinach

1/2 cup dried cranberries or golden raisins

1/3 cup roasted peanuts

6 green onions, thinly sliced

1 large Granny Smith apple, unpeeled, chopped

1 to 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Dressing:

2/3 cup olive oil

2 to 3 tablespoons mango chutney

2 to 3 teaspoons sweet curry powder, or to taste (I use Penzey’s)

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or to taste
Cook pasta, then drain and rinse with cold water until completely cooled. Prepare dressing by putting all ingredients in jar with lid. Cover and shake to mix. Place cooled pasta in large bowl. Toss with spinach. Top with cranberries, peanuts, onions, apple and sesame seeds; drizzle with dressing. Toss gently and serve. Leftover salad is good the next day if covered and refrigerated.