Friday, August 12, 2011

What will I make for Dinner?

                                                                                                                                                                 

As you all know, I went back to work today.  Several people mentioned that they had followed my blog this summer.  Thank you Jeanna Knott (you will be missed), Alma Botello, Amanda Uresti, Linda Anderson, and Andrea Siebert.  (We will miss you too, Rebecca Hannath).   I am glad you were entertained.  Amanda asked me what I was going to make for dinner.  Believe it or not I did not have a plan.  I knew it would be a pasta, but other than that I was going to wing it.

I took the ingredients I had in the house and made a white sauce tossed with fettuccine, chicken, tomato, asparagus, and mushroom.  There are things I would do different next time, but I'll get to that later.

White Sauce
3 TBSP unsalted butter (that's what I had, but any butter or margarine would do)
16 ounces half and half
pinch of nutmeg
3/4 Cup Parmesan cheese (yes, still using up the free green canister)
3 TBSP feta cheese (this was my oops)
1 egg yolk

I melted the butter in a skillet and stirred in the half and half.  When it was warm but not boiling I mixed in the Parmesan and nutmeg.   I beat an egg yolk and tempered it with some of the warm white sauce before adding it to the pan.  


I cooked this over medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring constantly until it thickened.  I tasted it and it was good, but I wanted more kick.  


I had some left over feta from the pizza last week in the fridge and added that to the sauce.  Big mistake.  Flavor wise it was wonderful!  However, feta does not melt well and left the sauce looking a bit grainy.   Next time I will add feta crumbles on top instead.

Now it was time to get my other mix-ins ready.

1 1/2 lbs. chicken tenders
1 TBSP olive oil
1 bunch of asperagus
1 tomato
1 small jar of mushrooms
1 ounce of homemade pesto (using it already)

I cut the chicken in bite sized pieces and began browning in the olive oil in a skillet.  While that was cooking I tried something new.  I wanted to skin my tomato but did not want to dirty a big pan or take that much time.  (see method in Italian Sausgae Soup).  I got my large glass measuring cup, filled with water and brought to a boil in the microwave .  After it was boiling I dropped my tomato in for 30 seconds, peeled, seeded, and diced.  Much faster this way since I was only doing 1 tomato.  When the chicken was cooked I added my pesto and asparagus cut into 2 inch pieces.  


I cooked covered with foil for about 8 minutes.  I then added the mushrooms and tomato and cooked another 2 minutes just to warm everything to the same temperature.  


I drained off the grease/water liquid and poured in the white sauce.  When this was warm I tossed with cooked fettuccine noodles, poured in a serving dish and crumbled the last of my feta on top.  


My men like it, but next time no feta in the sauce, and a little minced garlic added when I added the mushrooms and tomatoes.   Also, for aesthetics, I would toss the white sauce with the pasta and top with chicken and veggies.  Then lightly toss and top with feta.  

                                                                                                                                                                 

No more news on Crackers today.  Watching a movie tonight and plan on putting my feet up.  I'll get to it tomorrow.  I am so close now and ready to enjoy the finished product.  I did make my plan for my last border so I know what to do next.

It's a birthday weekend here so I see a birthday cake in my blog future.  Sure has been cooking heavy lately.