Cooking

Summertime

…and the living is easy, fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high…

Here in Syracuse, the past week has been up and down with the temperature. Just when I get used to being a hot and sweaty mess, it drops to 60 and I have to go and hunt down my blankets again.  I’m surprised I haven’t caught a cold yet, but I’m not going to complain. Where’s some wood? I need to knock on it.

About a week ago, I made this amazing recipe that I found over at Born To Entertain, I tweaked it a bit to what I had in the fridge/freezer and added an ingredient, it’s now quite possibly my favorite pasta dish.  Except for Mac and Cheese, that’s got a permanent spot in my heart. So, let’s get down to Business:


Our cast of deliciousness:

8 ounces Rotini (or other pasta)
2 cups steamed broccoli
2 chicken breasts, cubed
1 tablespoons butter (I used SmartBalance)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup vegetable broth (I used chicken because I had it)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/3 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

I used half and half instead of Heavy Cream.  I also used a different type of pasta, Garden Delight: Italian Trio, which really worked well for this dish!

Lightly grease a pan and brown the seasoned cubed chicken.  About 2-3 minutes over medium low heat until it’s cooked through.  Remove from heat and set aside in a bowl, covered. Also make sure that you have water boiling for your pasta, make it according to the package – please please please do not let it overcook.  This dish would be a mushy mess that not even my Sydney would want to eat.

Steam that broccoli! I had frozen because I was emptying my freezer.  Either way though, this steamer has easily become my best friend.  Season if you like, I didn’t but it never hurts to add more depth of flavor.

Melt the butter in the pan over medium heat, add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.

In a separate bowl whisk together the cornstarch and brother until combined.  Please ignore the rusty look my whisk has, it’s old and self conscious and I’ve been cooking with it since I was 5 and got my Mini Bakers kit from my mother.

Add the broth and cornstarch mixture to the garlic and admire the golden color that is going to make your mouth start to water.

So let’s take a side track here: this is the steamed pasta.  See the shells? Those are going to have little pocketfuls of the yummy sauce, and the penne is going to have hidden passageways of the stuff.  And who doesn’t love rotini? Nobody.  Back to our main event:

Lemons, you’re going to need about 3 tablespoons, might take 1-2 lemons.  Make sure you get the juices flowing by rolling the lemon on the counter with your palm, slice in half – get rid of those seeds and squeeze into your heavy cream – or half and half.  I also added salt and pepper to the mix, combine and get ready for taste bud magic.

The cornstarch and broth should only take 3-5 minutes to start to thicken.  Remove from heat and add the heavy cream and lemon juice.  Make sure it’s nice and combined.

Add the sauce, chicken and broccoli to the pasta and toss, making sure the sauce gets all over the pasta.

Spoon into a bowl and serve/eat immediately!

After Comments:

If you want to add more veggies to this, try baby sweet peas – they’re crisp and really add to a light fresh flavor.  My chicken was also cubed rather largely.  I’d  suggest shredding or dicing it instead.

Time to figure out what I’m going to be making tonight!  Leaning towards Broccoli and cheese pinwheels – or maybe something asian inspired…oh dear too many options.

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