Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Monday night meals

I went to Seattle on vacation in April and, as with every trip taken there, I had to stop at the famous Pike Place Market. During this trip my aunt and I noticed a new booth that carried a wide variety of flavored, dried pastas; high-end balsamic vinegar; and various dipping sauces and marinades. We both purchased Lemon Ginger fettuccine and my aunt also bought a tri-colored, fruit-flavored macaroni.

When I returned to San Diego I was still intrigued by this company, Pappadrelle’s, and wondered if they sold any where other than Pike Place. Sure enough, their Web site (pappardellesonline.com) listed a new booth at the Sunday Hillcrest farmer’s market – which just happened to be right down the street from my house. A shot time ago I went to the market and sure enough, there was the pasta booth. This time I bought the Mild Spice Red Pepper fettuccine.

One of the most exciting aspects of purchasing Pappardelle’s pasta is that each one comes with a recipe card specific for each flavor. As I learned while making the lemon-ginger fettuccine, the items they list on the recipe aren’t always easy to find, so there is some adlibbing necessary.

Here is how it went
The Pappardelle’s recipe asks for chicken breasts marinated in soy sauce and liquid smoke. Although some food Web sites suggested looking in the marinade isle or near the bbq sauce, after three stores I came up empty handed on the Liquid Smoke Seasoning. My substitute – rotisserie chicken. Since I bought an entire pound of the pasta and was just cooking for myself, I had to halve the recipe. I used three bell peppers and one medium-size jalapeno (CAUTION: if you don’t like spicy food, use maybe half of a jalapeno, or a REALLY small one). I made the first half of the pasta a week prior and thought it was lacking in the vegetable department, so decided to also add a small zucchini, cut in half moons. All in all this go-round on the pasta was good, even if it was a little spicy. I even have enough leftovers to last for a few lunches this week at work.

Oh yeah, and this meal was eaten in front of the TV while watching, and don't laugh, What a Girl Wants with Amanda Bynes -- major guilty pleasure, don't judge.

Recipe: **
Leftover stability: ***

On TV: **

Smoked Chicken & Roasted Red Pepper With Mild Spice Red Pepper Pasta
1 lb. Pappardelle’s Mild Spice Red Pepper Pasta
2 tablespoons Liquid Smoke Seasoning
¼ cup soy sauce
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5 red bell peppers*
1 jalapeno pepper for mildly spicy*, 2 for hot
2 cloves garlic*, minced
1 cup chicken stock
½ cup cilantro, chopped
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Mix Liquid Smoke and soy sauce for marinade. Place chicken in marinade and refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours. Grill, broil or sauté chicken until medium rare. Slice into thin, bite-sized strips and reserve.
2. Roast red bell peppers and jalapeno until skins char. Sweat charred peppers in large bowl tightly sealed with plastic wrap. Peel off and discard skins when peppers are cool enough to handle. Slice open peppers and remove seeds. Make sure to reserve juices.
3. Puree roasted peppers and juices with garlic and chicken stock in blender. Pour this sauce in large skillet or wok. Add reserved chicken and simmer. Keep warm on lowest possible heat for 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
4. Meanwhile, cook pasta in 6-8 quarts of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente (about 8-10 minutes). Drain and add directly to sauce. Toss gently, add cilantro. Allow to heat through. Serve immediately. If desired, sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan on top.

Serves 6

-Or-Skip step 2, use Pappardelle’s Fire Roasted Red Pepper Pesto for “*” items.

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