Friday, March 23, 2012

Pasta Rosa

This is a dish that both children and adults will love. It is hearty and creamy and yummy, and the prosciutto complements the dish perfectly.  This has been a family favorite in Claire's house for many years.  Serve with a big salad and a side of stir-fried broccoli.

1 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2 cans tomato sauce, 15 oz each
1 tsp chicken soup base or 1 boullion cube
2 T dried basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 chicken breasts, sliced
4-8 mushrooms, finely diced
1 carrot, microplaned (leave out if you don't have a microplane)
10 oz. cooking cream cheese
1/2 c half and half
1 x 16 oz. box cavatappi pasta (large and twisty)
handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
8-12 small broccoli florets, chopped
prosciutto, diced (the more the better!)

Saute garlic in olive oil in a large stockpot, 1-2 minutes, being careful not to burn.  Add tomatoes, chicken soup base, basil, oregano, and pepper flakes.  Bring to a simmer and add finely diced chicken. Add mushrooms and carrots and simmer for 15 minutes.  Once the chicken is cooked all the way through, turn off the heat and add cooking cream cheese, half and half, and fresh basil.

In the meantime, boil water for pasta and cook pasta according to instructions.  When there are about 3 minutes left, add the broccoli florets to the boiling water. Cook until pasta is al dente, and strain.  Toast or broil prosciutto in a single layer on a cookie sheet until crispy. In a large mixing bowl, toss the pasta with the sauce.  Once mixed well, pour into a serving dish and sprinkle prosciutto and parmesan cheese over the top.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

I'm bringing this back up to the top, with a few changes (nothing major).  It was one of our soups from my original post, when there were about 12 recipes per post. We made it again for lunch after both having had some extremely stressful days and nights at work. It hit the spot in a nourishing, comforting, and palate-entertaining way. If you're feeling sick, consider this instead of the usual homemade chicken soup.  So easy to make, and it makes the kitchen wonderfully fragrant.  My husband declared it restaurant quality. 
This is adapted from Arthur Schwartz' Soup Suppers.   
1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks
1 can straw mushrooms (or one cup fresh mushrooms cut into chunks)
1/2 sweet red pepper, sliced thinly
2 stalks lemongrass, cut on the diagonal into 2 inch pieces
1/2 inch piece of ginger root, sliced
6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
2-3 squirts of Sriracha (rooster) sauce or red pepper flakes to taste
3 T Thai fish sauce
3 T lime juice
1 14 oz. can light unsweetened coconut milk
2 green onions, chopped
4-5 sprigs of cilantro, chopped

Put about 2 1/2 quarts of water in a soup pan.  (This is an estimate.) Add the chicken, lemongrass, ginger root, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and mushrooms. Let it simmer until the chicken is tender. Add the sweet red peppers and basil leaves. Stir in the coconut milk, and let it simmer about 5-10 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and fish sauce. Stir in the green onions and cilantro just before serving.
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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tuna Scallion Cakes

This recipe is super quick but slightly fancy at the same time- think of them as poor man's crab cakes.  My son loves them, and took some to school for a snack. They would be great warm, on top of a salad with a little extra dressing over the top, or on half of an English muffin with a sliced of melted havarti cheese as a snack. Or, just plain! They take less than 10 minutes to prep, and just a few minutes to cook, and they go down even faster than that.

Tuna Scallion Cakes

2 cans tuna, drained
1/4 onion, chopped
1T flour
2 eggs
1/4 c bread crumbs
1/2 c chopped spinach
1 scallion, chopped (use the whole thing)
salt to taste

Mix all the ingredients together and form into small 2-3 inch diameter patties.  Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a frying pan and brown on both sides.

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