Central Vermont, dead of winter, no snow. What to do when the normal winter activities of ice skating, sledding, and snowshoeing are removed from the list? Dinner and bowling of course!
Since this was Stan’s party, he took care of the invitations, sending out the amazing:
S A T U R D A Y N I G H T B O W L ‘ O ‘ R A M A
BOWLING AND DINNER EVENT OF THE YEAR
Stan asked me to fix dinner, and of course, being the Rachael Ray fan that I am, found a recipe from one of her many cookbooks that I own. The reviews that you read where people claim they cannot prepare anything of hers within 30 minutes must not know how to multitask. I have never had a problem preparing one of her meals in under 30 minutes unless I walk out of the kitchen to tend to other business!
Southwestern Pasta Bake
1 lb penne
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size pieces (6 oz. each)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons chili powder coarse black pepper
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
3/4 lb sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Of course, I did make some substitutions! I don’t really like onions, so I substituted two shallots for the onion, and cilantro tastes like soap to me, so I just used some extra parsley!
Get a big pot of water on to boil, when boiling, add some salt, and pasta, cook till the pasta is almost done. Preheat the oven to 350 f.
While water boils, cut up chicken, season with a little salt and pepper, the cumin, curry, and chili powder, add to fry pan with a little bit of oil. I have a pump bottle that you put oil into to just coat a pan, and that is what I used instead of two tablespoons of oil. As the chicken cooks, chop up the onion (shallot), garlic, and jalapeno, adding to the pan of chicken when chicken is cooked.
In another pan (or, do as I did and wait until the chicken is done cooking and set it aside in a bowl). Add the butter and flour, allowing the butter to melt, absorbing the flour and let cook for a minute. Season with salt and pepper and slowly whisk in milk. When whisked and warm, start to whisk in shredded cheese.
When cheese sauce is complete, mix with chicken mixture and pasta. Place in oven safe dish and bake for 15-20 minutes till hot and bubbly.
Home Style Salad Dressing
1 large shallot
3 garlic cloves
handful of parsley
several tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
several tablespoons of olive oil
Place everything into food processor or mini chop-chop and blend. Then add olive oil and blend again, placing is dish to serve! Enjoy!
Dinner was excellent, and bowling was even better! For the first time ever, I was not the only loser! Granted, I was a loser, I just had someone tie with me.