Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Black Pepper Chicken Pasta

This one goes out to my newly-married work sidekick Lauren Soule. Maybe some day I'll get to be her sidekick instead. For now though, she's back from her honeymoon and to continue honouring her request for more things she can eat, here's a chicken pasta. That combines TWO requested things.

You might notice that I don't post absolutely everything I make. It's not all good, sometimes I forget to photograph stuff, or as is often the case I have leftovers. I'm not that keen to cover leftovers recipes here (and I don't count tacos!), but this one was too good.

Here I used a leftover piece of The Black Prince Chicken. Diced into quarter inch pieces, this fit perfectly in my small saucepan.

Heat over medium and add a cup of chicken broth. Simmer for ten minutes. 

Chop up half an onion and add to the simmering mixture. After a few minutes, add the frozen pearl onions. Trust me, this did not make it too oniony.

The damn pasta's always trying to escape. 

When the pasta's al dente (a real al dente, not that American al dente that's all flaccid), drain and put back in the pot with the chicken and onion mixture. Add about a teaspoon of fresh ground pepper, a half cup of grated parmesan, and top with dried parsley.

Yummo. This turns out to be a little on the dry side, which is absolutely fine with me. All the flavours of the chicken that weren't fine on their own in yesterday's recipe came together in this to make a perfect pasta. Somehow it reminded me of a white clam sauce.

Your soundtrack for this entry: MGMT - Pieces of What

The Black Prince Chicken

This week I have two somewhat ad hoc recipes for you. Last night I was tired after a long weekend doing nothing. Seriously. It was the first weekend in a long time upon which I had no plans. First was an ice cream social party with the fine folks of Reddit Astoria. Saturday I had the Thrifty Sifter, my friend GM, and a friend of his over for lamb burgers. Sorry folks, but I didn't photograph this meal. The reviews were great, though.

Sunday was spent lazily with Ms. Thrifty Sifter in the park. The bad Sifter hasn't updated in a while, but I'm probably distracting her with fun swinging in hammocks in the park. She left for her abode and it was time for me to make dinner. I still had pearl onions (frozen) from The Chicken Pot Pie and I still had waffle fries left over from the lamb burgers.

Of course I wanted to use my trusty iron skillet, so I settled on some inexpensive, bone-in chicken breasts at the grocery. That's the fine folks at Key Food. When you get a chance, take a look at their Recipe of the Day page.

You know what else I have laying around? The Black Prince peppers from my dried chilies entry. Enter my cheapo mortar and pestle from Key Food rival C-Town. They also have a recipe page, but I digress.

To prepare, add two dried chilies to the mortar.

You'll also want (from left to right on my recipe shelf) standard adobo (about a tablespoon), Coleman's dry mustard (about a teaspoon), and cumin (about a tablespoon). 

Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 450. I didn't use a baking sheet, just placed the waffle fries and a dozen and a half pearl onions (still frozen) in a stainless steel pan. I'll admit it: this was totally lazy and didn't work out all that well. The onions are great roasted and the waffle fries are, of course, just fine out of the over, but...they really didn't work all that well together.

Next time stuff a baked potato with roasted pearl onions. I bet that will do the trick.

 Back to our pestling already in progress. I think you can guess what to do with this...

I did not separate the skin from the chicken here like I normally do for roasting chicken. The mixture was simply rubbed over every available surface. 

Heat up about three tablespoons of oil in the skillet and then place the chicken in. I did about 20 minutes per side as these were fat breasts. To distract you from what I just said, make sure to watch this episode on cooking oils from Alton Brown's "Good Eats."

Even after a weekend of carousing I was famished. So before the main course I made a simple salad with leftover toppings from the lamb burger enterprise. Part of a beefsteak tomato, half a small onion, and some iceberg lettuce. Topped with olive oil, salt, fresh ground pepper, and cider vinegar, I was pleased. 

And here's the finished product. I'm going to have to try a Black Prince pepper fresh at some point as what I made here made it difficult to distinguish its flavour. The heat wasn't overpowering and I feel the spices mixed well. However, this isn't one of my best impromptu recipes (though it did lead to tomorrow's entry which was). 

Your soundtrack for this entry: Rotting Christ - Aealo (This whole album is quality, but the opener is a classic.)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Cup o' Noodles

According to the ubiquitous Wikipedia, there are an assortment of 20 or more different types of Cup Noodles. Most Americans would call these "Cup o' Noodles" (as I have) because Cup Noodles doesn't sound right. Normally I get the Maruchan packaged ramen noodles, but Nissin's Cup Noodles has a deeper history and was on sale in a family pack. If you want to try something fun, go to Maruchan's web site and try to visit the sales representatives section.

This recipe is relatively easy to follow. You'll want to start by opening the package. I tend to rip off the outer cardboard wrapper first, then peel off the cellophane.

Heat up your water on high in a standard tea pot. You can also use a pot or sauce pan to heat the water, but I find the pouring later on in the process to be slightly more difficult with those implements. 

I like to open the top of the cup as little as possible. It helps keep the heat of the water in more and, I believe, speeds up the noodlefication process which goes on inside. 

Keep the lid closed using a fork or chop sticks. After two minutes, open and eat. 

Your soundtrack for this entry: William Shatner - Common People