Posted in Chicken, Quick Dinners, Recipes

Post-Workout Pasta

I feel like alfredo always gets a bad rap because it can be super fatty—like when you order it at a chain restaurant and it is probably made mostly of some kind of fake dairy product or weird by-product fat that did not come from an animal. Animal fat is not bad for you—in moderation. Especially those animal fats which melt at a high temperature, like duck fat. Which is how I typically justify duck fat fries, though I don’t eat them often enough where I should have to justify them, but still.

I like to make pasta alfredo from scratch because it’s just so easy. And please keep in mind that this recipe is not a “traditional” pasta alfredo. It does not call for any eggs and literally will take less time to cook than the pasta will, so pay attention and try not to be too impatient (like me). Since I don’t like to have any meals that exclude vegetables, I almost always add broccoli to my alfredo and most times I add chicken, which is optional here.

The other night, after a nice strength-building workout at the gym, I whipped this together for Mike and I in enough time that I almost didn’t realize I was famished from my workout. It is super important to me that I’m able to put something together quickly after I exercise—even though I always snack beforehand—because I have no patience when it comes to my hunger. And yes, I get hangry and it’s not pretty.

This recipe does not need much introduction or explanation, so I will let it speak for itself. Here she is:

Pasta with Homemade Alfredo Sauce and Broccoli

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10-15 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Servings: 2

Ingredients:

½ lb. pasta of choice, (penne and gemelli are my personal favorites)

¼ cup heavy whipping cream (they sell it in this size at the market)

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (or Romano, or cheddar, or whatever flavor you are feeling)

3-4 crowns of broccoli, chopped into florets

1 clove garlic, minced

1 ½ Tbsp. olive oil

1 ½ Tbsp. butter

Salt & pepper to taste

Methodology & Instructions:

For broccoli:

  1. Steam in a small sauce pot, with the olive oil, garlic and salt & pepper, over medium heat.
  2. Depending on how mushy you like your broccoli, this should only take 5-8 minutes. Avoid raising the heat so that the garlic cooks but doesn’t burn.

For pasta:

  1. Start your water boiling for your pasta. If you’re unsure of how much water, etc., read the instructions on the pasta box. 🙂 Once the water is boiling and the pasta is in the pot, move to step 2.
  2. Over medium-low heat, melt butter in a large saucepan.
  3. Once it’s nice and melty, add the heavy cream and increase to medium heat. The cream will eventually begin bubbling and thickening. This is good. Stir often to avoid sticking and lower the heat if it begins thickening too quickly.
  4. Once the pasta is fairly al dente (not fully cooked by any manner), strain and add to alfredo sauce. Keep the heat on the pan, letting the pasta cook in the sauce and marry a little bit. (That’s what my mom likes to call it.)
  5. Add the cheese after 3-4 minutes, but be careful because you need to serve almost immediately. Make sure the pasta is cooked to your desired chewiness before adding the cheese.
  6. Lastly, toss the broccoli in with the pasta and toss to coat. The garlic will add a little extra flavor to the alfredo, too.
  7. Kill the heat, plate this deliciousness and enjoy.

Until next time,

Food Snob

Posted in Chicken, Emotions, Hangover, Recipes

Good morning, America: My latest hangover.

“The opposite of war isn’t peace, it’s creation.” – Jonathan Larson, Rent

My head and stomach are in an extreme battle for who can make my entire physical being feel worse today. Things took a bad turn when Campaign 2016 commandeered all of the judgement left within my sound(ish) mind and forced my hand toward that last beer. It was the kicker, yet I’ll survive.

It’s not that I’ve never felt a hangover, a headache so overpowering I fear it may never leave, but this morning was different. This morning I recognized the opportunity to be a hopeful creative in a place that has turned not only against creativity throughout this presidential campaign (Though some of my fellow writers have gotten slightly more humorous of late and for that, I thank you.), but has given up hope entirely based on some ill-intended comments meant to incite a terrible nightmare. The gig is up and the trick only worked on half of us.

In my achy, fragile grey morning–though I swear I saw fire on the horizon!–I am able to only stomach some toast and a cup of English Breakfast tea. However, this feeling of mixed up confusion and slight hope that hope is still alive has lead me back here. Back to a platform I had created to incite my own destiny, to pump my life with my two favorite things whenever I so choose: food and snarky blog writing. And today I promise myself to force this practice into my routine and to give the Internet the Rhode Island Food Snob it deserves. If you’d like to be a part of the journey, please subscribe. Please comment or like and share anything you might like to add, see, learn, explore, laugh at, cry about. I’m game for all of it and I’m here to join a community of individuals I feel strongly about–those who use platforms like these to share what they love and look to connect, to heal. This is what we will need, now.

Please end the destruction, please stop tearing at a scrap that is already nothing, was already nothing before we began to divide it. Please, I urge you, go back to a place of creativity. Create anything: anger, humor, fear, animosity, excitement, light, hope–express what needs to be expressed in a constructive way. There are outlets all around us, please choose one and show us what you cannot live without.

In the meanwhile, for those of you seeking comfort, I have chosen an appropriate recipe for this post that I hope you’ll enjoy. Wake up with me and give the day enough time to ease your headaches.


Crustless Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken, cleaned and quartered

6 stalks of celery, halved

6 carrots, peeled and halved

2 small white or sweet onions, quartered

2 c. potatoes

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 sprigs fresh thyme

3/4 c. flour

1 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. heavy cream

salt & pepper (additionally peppercorns, optional)

 

Methodology & Instructions:

For this particular recipe, I pulled from some strong sources. One being my mother’s experimental style of knowing how food should taste and messing around a little bit to create deep flavors and comforting feelings in my food. Additionally, as it was my first time making pot pie, I referenced some basic online recipes–specifically one from the Pioneer Woman because she offers multiple suggestions throughout the recipe. Thus, the below steps should be followed somewhat strictly by a beginner, referencing additional tips for certain prep work as needed, and loosely but with attention to detail for a pro.

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine garlic, thyme (remove from sprigs–Tip: There are tools for herb stripping.), 2 tbsp. olive oil or canola oil, 3 tbsp. salt, 2 tbsp. pepper. Toss chicken, half of the celery, half of the carrots, half of 1 onion in mixture to coat.
  3. Place in a deep roasting pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is just cooked through, celery and carrots become tender.
  4. Remove all ingredients from the roasting pan including any accumulated fat or juices and place in a bowl to cool. Once cooled, pull chicken meat from bones (Tip: Use two forks to shred the meat most easily.) and dice carrots, celery and onion. Toss together and let sit.
  5. Broth: Place chicken bones with remaining carrots, celery and onion in a large pot. Add 4 tbsp. salt, 3 tbsp. pepper or a pinch of black peppercorns. Fill pot with cold water before placing on stove to bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
  6. In the meanwhile, place potatoes in a small pot, cover with cold water, add 2 tbsp. salt and bring to a boil on stove top. Boil 5-8 minutes or until just tender. (Tip: Poke with a fork to test for tenderness.) Once cooked, dice and mix with roasted chicken and vegetable mixture.
  7. After broth has simmered to full flavor, drain and discard bones and vegetables. Set aside broth and make the rue/pot pie filling.
  8. Rue: Place 2 1/2 cups chicken broth in a medium sauce pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add butter and cream, mix together until smooth. Begin to slowly add flour while whisking constantly. Once rue runs smooth, begin to stir in roasted chicken and vegetable mixture, coating with rue. Add additional salt and pepper to taste and chicken broth for desired consistency.
  9. Serving options: Serve in bowls, or over toast or with buttered biscuits for dipping in place of crust.

 

Until next time,

Food Snob