Wednesday, November 17, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Cara: Some recipes

Here's a new old and an new one I made this week....

Mushroom & Parmesan Chicken with Orzo

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup yellow onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
sea salt and cracked pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 pound of orzo, cooked per instructions
(I actually used closer to a 1/2 pound)
2-3 chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped; optional

Cook the orzo according to the box directions. Add the chicken bouillon cubes to the water while cooking. Drain the orzo thoroughly. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chopped onion and mushrooms. Sauté for 5 minutes or until the onion is tender. Add the chicken, sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Sauté 7-8 minutes or until chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove skillet from the heat then add the cooked orzo, Parmesan and parsley to the chicken mixture and toss. Can be served with a garnish of freshly grated Parmesan and additional parsley.

Pasta alla Puttanesca with Almond Breadcrumbs

¼ cup sliced almonds
6 TBL olive oil divided
½ cup breadcrumbs
6 anchovy filets
1 fresh red hot pepper (I used a very small hot Italian cherry pepper)
4 cloves garlic chopped
1 28 oz can of Italian, whole, peeled tomatoes sliced with juices
A few teaspoons of capers; drained
½ cup oil-cured olives, pitted, chopped
A few leaves of fresh basil; torn
1 pound spaghetti

Toast the almonds in a small pan over medium heat. Let cool then chop very fine or chop in food processor. Heat half the olive oil in the same pan, add breadcrumbs and toast until fragrant. Combine with almonds and set aside.

Bring a pot or water to boil for pasta.

Meanwhile heat remaining olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Melt the anchovies into the oil (the will just dissolve), then add the pepper and garlic, stir another minute or two. Add tomatoes, capers and olives, and cook until tomatoes break down, 8-10 minutes. Wilt in a few leaves of torn fresh basil the last few minutes the sauce is on stove.

While sauce cooks, salt water and cook pasta until al dente. Reserve a cup of pasta water before draining. Drain pasta and add to sauce. Use pasta water to incorporate pasta a little at a time. Use only as much as you need to combine.

Transfer pasta to a large shallow serving platter or individual shallow bowls. Top each serving with the almond breadcrumbs.


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