Spicy Chicken Pasta

Guess today is an unintentional 2-for, as I posted the Christmas Cake last night around 10, and it was already today on server time.  I am now convinced the server must be out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean somewhere, since I am so far behind server time!

It’s still cold.  Amazing in Texas to have the same kind of temperatures for 4 or 5 days, but the sun is back, so doubtless it will warm up soon.

Meanwhile, a bit of spice was in order to keep us warm, at least on the inside.  😛

Let’s hear it for the comfort food!

Slice boneless, skinless chicken breasts into thin, about 1 inch pieces, and brown with garlic, onion and celery.  Brown in a skillet with a bit of olive oil.  I used the Dutch oven, as I was planning to finish this off in the oven.

Wow!  Did I actually just say planning?  That’s a word that doesn’t see much use at our house!  😛

The cast of players tonight, include squash (of course), tomato, and chicken.

Thinly slice the chicken, and brown in olive oil with diced garlic, onion, and celery.  I used 3 cippolini onions I happened to have on hand for a sweeter flavor, but really couldn’t tell the difference when everything is smothered in tomato!

Salt and pepper to taste while browning.

Thinly slice some peppers.  I matchsticked these, a poblano and 2 jalapenos, just to be different.  🙂

Drop in the peppers when the chicken is almost finished browning, so they get a bit charred, too.

Then add 2 cans of diced tomoatoes.  I’m using the fire roasted with garlic variety.

Stir the whole mess together well, and add a cup or two of broth, veggie or chicken.

Stir together well, and pop the whole thing into the oven at 250F for a couple of hours.  I had planned to add red wine to this, but didn’t.  So I drank it instead!  😛

About 20 minutes before you want to serve, slice some squash, and add it to the sauce, making sure the squash is down in the liquid.  I used yellow squash and zucchini this time.  Stir in some tomato sauce, if you want thicker gravy.

 

Back into the oven for 20 minutes, while you make the pasta, and it’s ready to serve!  2 thumbs up from Rat Boy!  😀

Advertisements

Moroccan Stew

I’m going to briefly apologize to anyone and everyone who came by to see yumtastic food last week, and I wasn’t here.  My Mum’s dog passed on to the happy green fields of Doggie Heaven last week, so I’ve been over at The Parent’s house more than at my own.

Kitchen Kat has been lonely.  😦

Today, I was feeling spicy.  Not Baby Spice or even Posh Spice, but Moroccan Spice.  Which means smoked paprika and cinnamon as the theme for this dish.

There’s a lot going on in this dish, but the flavors meld beautifully, and again…one pot cooking for the win!

It seems that I always begin with sauteing onion and garlic. Celery also, lately.

But it smells so good!  Also, I watched a couple of tutorials the other day on how to dice and onion, and now I need to practice.

This dish is vegetarian, but Hubby and Rat Boy raise such Banshee Queen wailing a fuss when I try to feed them anything vegetarian.  So I added some sausage.

After a couple more minutes of browning, I added some veggie stock.

Then, cubes of butternut squash, sliced carrots, chopped plum tomatoes, and quartered new potatoes.

Here’s hoping the hand isn’t too scary.  🙂

I ended up using the rest of the carton of stock, to cover all the veggies.  It’s 32 oz, so that’s 4 cups.

Wow!  I just did math in my head.  Correctly!  😛

The interesting part of this stew, I think, is the spices.  Cinnamon, cumin, coriander, and smoked paprika.  Of course, salt and pepper, too.  Cook until the veggies are tender, about 30 minutes.

Then I added these groovy sweet peppers I found the other day at Whole foods, because they are pretty (and tiny).

Some coconut milk…about half a can. Plus a can of garbanzo beans, rinsed.  I always have some garbanzo beans hanging around, as I never know when I might get the burning urge to make some hummus!  😛

I let it simmer on low, no lid,  while I made some rice.  Naan would have been just awesome with this, but since I didn’t happen to have any on hand, I just went with rice.

Kitchen Kat was keeping an eye on me from his stealthy location inside the cupboard.

Please ignore how messy it is in there.  Kitchen Kat likes to rearrange things, not necessarily in the best order…

At least he is out of the dishwasher.  😛

Finally, I arrived at Moroccan stew with rice!


It was very savory, but not spicy at all from the paprika.  To give it a kick, you might use half smoked and half Hungarian paprika, as it’s a bit spicier.  Was great for a day like today, though…not hot, but not really cool, and cloudy like it couldn’t decide whether it would be worth the trouble of actually raining.

I think I would definitely make it spicier on a really cold day!  🙂

Meat Sauce for Any Pasta

Did I mention we eat a lot of pasta?  Rat Boy thinks this is the best thing I cook.  So I do it a lot…just because he’s the resident rodent.  🙂  Plus, it’s easy, and generally makes at least two meals!

Dice onion and finely chop garlic.  Saute on medium using a bit of olive oil until the onion is translucent and it starts to smell delicious.

I use a LOT of garlic.  We lurves the garlic!

Add about 1 pound of ground meat.  I’ve made this sauce with beef, grass fed beef, buffalo, and pork.  It all works!

Coarsely chop a tomato or two and throw them in as well.  This is a great end for the tomato that’s just a little too ripe to eat, but not so ripe that it’s headed for the dust bin.

Finding uses for overripe fruit makes me happy.  It’s not much, but I’ll take what I can get!  😛

When the meat is browned, pour in a jar of pasta sauce.  My favorite is Classico tomato and basil.  Yes, more basil.

I also add a couple of cans of fire roasted, diced tomatoes.  I like the variety that has olive oil and garlic.  Yes, more garlic.

I think this is the part that gives the sauce its special taste.

Pepper to taste, stir well, cover and simmer on low heat for at least 2 hours.  This really makes the sauce.  I do it on the stove, because I’m home, and because it only makes 2 pans for washing this way.  However, for the simmer you can use a crock pot as it will do the job just as well without burning down the house.

Give it an occasional stir.  Make sure it’s still simmering, but not cooking too hot, as it will burn if too much liquid evaporates.

And burned pasta sauce makes everyone a sad panda.

Serve over any pasta.  It’s equally good with any kind.  😀

I’ll garnish with coarse chopped fresh basil.  Yes, more 😛  And some lots of  Parmesan.

This is actually the Einkorn pasta that I mentioned to the Queen in a previous comment.  It’s whole grain, and quite tasty, lacking that cardboard character that some of the whole wheat pasta has.