I had the cooking bug today for some reason. Perhaps I was subconsciously trying to save money after my wallet was ravaged by the recent holiday. Then again, I might have just needed to occupy myself on another cold, rainy winter day. Regardless, I decided today would be the day I prepared this week’s challenge.
I took the kids with me to the store to get all of the missing ingredients. We were able to find all we needed very easily this time. I also realized, as I watched the children tussle over who got to scan the next item on the “scan it yourself” register, that this dish was quite inexpensive to prepare for.
When we got home, I decided to prepare dessert first. I had this fudge recipe in a cook book I had always wanted to try. It is one that requires the cook to melt down the sugar and heat to “soft ball” status with the aid of a candy thermometer. You add unsweetened chocolate, vanilla, salt, butter, a bit of light corn syrup, and half and half creamer to the sugary mix and bring it to the appropriate temperature before cooling, pouring, and scoring. I thought it to be an extra challenge to the usual marshmallow fudge most people make here, so I went ahead with it.
As the fudge cooled, I began with the pasta. I used the ingredients listed below:
8oz linguine pasta (dry)
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 yellow bell pepper
1 large pasilla chili pepper
1 large shallot
1/4 cup chicken broth (with 1/2 extra bouillon cube added)
1/4 cup wine (Yellowtail Chardonnay)
2 cans Italian style stewed tomatoes
shaved parmesan cheese to taste
First, I chopped the bell peppers, the pasilla chili, and the shallot and placed them into a bowl. I crushed the garlic cloves on top of all this and set it aside. Next, I chopped up the chicken into small pieces and cooked it in the olive oil. When the chicken was cooked, I removed the pieces with a slotted spatula, reserving the oil and juices in the pan.
At this point, I began to boil the water for the pasta. As it was heating, I threw the peppers, shallots, and garlic into the pan and cooked them until fairly tender (Usually I add red pepper flakes at this step, but I left them out this time to save the kids’ taste buds). I added the wine and chicken broth, cooking for a few more minutes (all I could find was some Yellowtail chardonnay, so I thought I would give it a go mate!). I added the stewed tomatoes, covered the pan and let the mixture simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes. After beginning this step, I threw the linguine into the boiling water, cooking it al dente. I strained the pasta, set it aside, and added the chicken to the sauce mixture to heat through. Finally, I added the chicken and sauce to the pasta in a large bowl and tossed it thoroughly. I found that if the pasta is allowed to cool somewhat after tossing, it absorbs some of the sauce and adds to the flavor. I served and topped it with the shredded parmesan and it had nice flavor. I always enjoy this recipe! The kids enjoyed the dish too, but I admit their minds were on the fudge. The fudge turned out good, but was a little too sweet for my taste (no more corn syrup in the fudge for this guy). My kids would argue vehemently with me on this though. Well, I hope you enjoy this one! Cheers and Happy New Year!