Friday, August 29, 2008

Food Friday - Chicken Scampi*

3 Chicken Breasts (thawed or fresh)
2 C Chicken Broth
2-3 Sliced Bell Peppers (I used red, yellow and orange because they were on sale - they are also sweeter)
1/2 C Diced Yellow Onion
3 Crushed Cloves of Garlic (or 1 T of the jarred stuff)
3/4 C Sliced Mushrooms (fresh or canned)
1/3 C Milk (or cream)
1/3 C Flour
1 T Olive Oil
Dash of Red Pepper Flakes
1 t Oregano Flakes
1 t Basil Flakes
Angel Hair Pasta

Place 1 T Olive Oil in a medium frying pan with the heat on medium high. Saute onions and garlic until they turn clear. Add 1/3 C flour to make a thick paste. Add 1/3 C milk (or cream) to make a thick cream sauce. Add the chicken broth and stir well (with a whisk) until it is smooth. Add red pepper flakes, oregano flakes, and basil flakes. Add mushrooms and pepper slices.

Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to low and simmer. Cook for approximately 45 minutes, stirring every few minutes. The sauce should cook down to be moderately thick (saucey, you know). Salt and pepper to taste.

As far as the meat goes you have some choices here:

1. You could grill the breasts and serve on top of the pasta.
2. You could bread and fry the breasts (this is what Olive Garden does) and serve on top of the pasta.
3. You could be totally lazy (like moi) and cut the breast into cubes and throw it in the sauce at the beginning of the 45 minutes and let the sauce cook the chicken.

Cook the pasta according to directions. Mix the pasta into the sauce and serve as one (or if you are a rebel you can serve the sauce on top). Top with parmesan cheese (the real stuff is best but if you are like me you'll just grab the tall green vat of Kraft out of your fridge, wince a bit, but serve it anyway).

*Phil and I both loved this but the Bambino said it was "yucky." (Actually she only says "cky.") This word (or fraction of a word) has been reserved for dirty diapers and things found on the floor that really want to find their way to her mouth but that she knows shouldn't. It has never been applied to my cooking ... until now. She tried it, ate the bread and melon, and then handed her plate to Phil while saying "cky." And so it begins...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Food Friday - Lettuce Wraps

I have made these three or four times and each time I love them and so does Phil. As we were enjoying them tonight I thought, I should share them with the Sugar and Spice ladies. So here is my version of the recipe. If you want the PF Chang version go here. My version is just a bit less complicated - you could look at them both and come up with your own variation.

2-3 servings - 25 minute prep/cooking time

2 T Olive Oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts - thawed (tonight I used the pre-cooked grilled chicken strips and they worked great and were fast!)
1/2 C chopped Almonds
2/3 C Mushrooms
3 T chopped Onion (I used yellow)
2 t minced Garlic (I used the bottled kind)
5-6 leaves of Romaine Lettuce
1/2 Carrot
1/2 Cucumber
Stir Fry Sauce*
Kraft Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing

Mince mushrooms and onions about the size of peas.
Saute chicken breasts in Olive Oil for 4-5 minutes per side (or until done).
Remove chicken from pan and when cool chop it the same size as mushrooms.
Add mushrooms, garlic, onions, and almonds to the pan and saute.
Add the chicken back in.
Add the stir fry sauce and saute for a couple of minutes.

Wash the lettuce.
Shred the carrot and cucumber.

To serve, place a tablespoon of the chicken mixture on a piece of lettuce then top with the shredded carrot and cucumber. Dribble some Kraft Asian dressing on it. Wrap and eat (make sure you have napkins handy).

*Stir Fry Sauce:
In a small bowl mix 2 T Soy Sauce with 2 T brown Sugar and 1/2 t rice vinegar.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Food Friday - Alfredo Sauce

1 T Minced Garlic (I use the kind in a jar)
2 T Olive Oil
2 T Flour
4 C Cream (or half/half for less fat and calories)
1 t Onion Powder
1/2 C Parmesan Cheese (grated or powdered)

  • Saute the garlic in the olive oil (in a medium sauce pan over medium heat).
  • Add flour and stir well (it will be somewhat pastey).
  • Add cream and mix well.
  • Cook until smooth and nearly as thick as you want it (the cheese will cause it to thicken more).
  • Add onion powder and cheese and stir until smooth.

Serve over pasta or use as a pizza sauce (with spinach is good).
You can add grilled chicken on the side or cubed and placed right into the sauce.