New Recipe Tuesday, TV week – Arugula Pesto Farfalle with Chicken

Welcome to another week of New Recipe Tuesday. Alas, we are here for another new culinary creation, but I have no new theme. So I am going to call this my TV week.

I like to watch cooking shows and often catch The Chew while home eating lunch. Sometimes I think they work these shows like ‘cooking for dummies’ and it is incredible to think there are people out there that don’t know to salt their pasta water or cook their mushrooms without salt. Am I being some kind of cooking snob? I mean, seriously, some of these shows have been on for years and they are still giving the same ‘tips’! Most of the time they become background noise and I rarely find anything interesting enough to consider.

So I was surprised today to watch Clinton Kelly make a really simple pasta dish that sounded good enough for me to try. It was logical. It didn’t contain anything weird. It was simple and contained ingredients that made sense. The dish is Arugula Pesto Farfalle with Chicken. The whole dish comes together in about 30 minutes.

Arugula Pesto Farfalle with Chicken

The TV recipe can be found on The Chew website, but I did make some changes to it so I will give you my version. I am a big fan of pine nuts so I used them instead of the walnuts in the original. I also baked my chicken like I always do instead of broiling it.

The overall result was very good. I liked the addition of raisins to give a surprise sweetness. I personally am not a fan of raw garlic and even as I write this I have the aftertaste in my mouth. If I made this again I might roast the garlic or even just use garlic powder instead of the cloves of fresh garlic.

So for all my disdain about TV cooking shows, I actually found a good recipe and encourage you to give it a try. Maybe I will see what’s on the Cooking Channel for next week!

Thanks for stopping by. Not sure where we will go next week. Stay tuned, or better yet, offer up a suggestion!

Arugula Pesto Farfalle with Chicken

Ingredients

ARUGULA PESTO :

  • ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • 3 cloves garlic (peeled), personally I would roast it
  • 1 container baby arugula (5 ounces)
  • ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano (finely grated)
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt (to taste)

PASTA :

  • 1 pound farfalle
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins (plumped in hot water)
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese (to garnish)
  • red pepper flakes (to garnish)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)


Directions

  1. In the bowl of a food processor add the garlic and pulse until finely chopped. Add the arugula and parmesan and pulse until finely chopped. While the machine is running, slowly stream in the olive oil. Pulse in the pine nuts. Remove to a bowl, season with salt and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the chicken thighs on the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven on the middle rack and bake until cooked through, about 7 minutes per side, flipping halfway through. Remove from the oven and thinly slice.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente.
  4. Once the pasta is al dente, drain and toss with the arugula pesto. Add the raisins and toss to combine. Divide between bowls, top with sliced chicken, dollops of ricotta and red pepper flakes.

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Ten Canadian Provinces of New Recipe Tuesday – Week Ten – New Brunswick – Acadian Fish Cakes

Welcome to Week Ten of the Ten Canadian Provinces of New Recipe Tuesday! This is the final week for our friends to the north and I am actually glad to be done with this. As challenging as the US was, at least we are many and varied and spread out, which gave me the opportunity to explore some stuff about our great nation that was interesting and (at times) very different. Canada was kind of odd, in that it was more regional than province-centric, with lots of seafood on the coasts and grains and such in the middle. And although I did this in alphabetical order, I actually skipped New Brunswick. Not because it was special or unique in any way. In truth, I made the recipe and just never did the blog post. I know, totally lame. But I am back to make it right and finish Canada (because I am no quitter!).

New Brunswick is one of the three Maritime provinces (along with Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island), again showing you how Canada is regional in nature (remember the prairie provinces?). Surprisingly, it is the only province that is constitutionally bilingual; both English and French are spoken and accepted. More than a  third of the population is French speaking, which is a direct tie to the Acadian population; those people who descend from the earliest French settlers.

Some fun facts. New Brunswick has the highest tides in the world at the Bay of Fundy. They also have the world’s longest covered bridge. The Hartland Covered Bridge in Hartland NB is 1282 feet long and was considered an engineering marvel when it was built in 1901. New Brunswick also boasts that it is the creator of the ice cream cone. Legend has it that baker Walter Donnelly of Sussex Corner had created a bad batch of pastry that was too hard and crunchy. He took it next door to the local ice cream shop to see if they could use it, and the rest is history.

When I went looking for a recipe, I found that the Acadian people, the original French settlers are still very influence in the food of New Brunswick. One dish that I found along my journey, having ties to all the maritime provinces was for a dish called Acadian Fish Cakes. They are quite simple to make, and are basically a latke with some white fish added. They are served with applesauce.

acadian-fish-cake
New Brunswick Acadian Fish Cakes

I liked them, but no one else did. My son said they were ‘meh’ in flavor, which I expected since he is neither a potato nor a fish eater. I seriously wonder if any of my Irish blood runs through his veins! I did find that they lacked a whole lot of flavor, and that after cooking, they must be salted or they just taste bland. The applesauce is actually the perfect accompaniment as it adds a gentle sweetness and cuts through the heaviness of the potato. I can’t say that I would make them again, mostly because no one else would eat them, but I did think they were interesting and give the recipe an A for overall tastiness.

Thanks for stopping by. I will admit I am a little battle weary from the demands of a specific theme dish. I may go back to my random new recipes for a while and then float back to a theme. Either way, I will continue the journey and I hope you stick with me.

See you next time! Enjoy.

Acadian Fish Cakes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh or frozen fish fillets (something white and flaky like sole or tilapia)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups raw potatoes, finely grated
  • 1/8 cup flour
  • 1/8 cup onion, grated
  • 1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ tbsp. salt
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of pepper
  • Cooking oil
  • Applesauce

Directions

  1. Thaw fillets if necessary. Chop very finely.
  2. Combine all ingredients except oil and applesauce. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Heat ½” cooking oil in a large fry pan until very hot but not smoking. Drop 1/3 cup of mixture into pan and pat down with spatula. Fry 3 – 4 minutes or until golden brown. Turn carefully and fry another 3 – 4 minutes.
  4. Place on absorbent paper. Sprinkle with salt. Keep warm. Continue with remaining patties, adding more oil if needed.
  5. Serve with applesauce.

acadian-fish-cake2
New Bruswick Acadian Fish Cakes with Applesauce

Ten Canadian Provinces of New Recipe Tuesday – Week Nine – Saskatchewan – Cabbage Roll (Golumpki) Casserole

Welcome to Week Nine of the Ten Canadian Provinces of New Recipe Tuesday! This week we explore the province of Saskatchewan, the final prairie province. I will admit that this week was a hard one. Saskatchewan is one of those places that does not necessarily have its own uniqueness in the culinary world, but it is known for something, and that is the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The history of this now famous Canadian law enforcement group dates back to the late 1800s, when parliament saw a need for a national police force to enforce the law in Canada’s newly acquired western territories. They were originally called the North West Mounted Police, and their role grew in importance as settlers moved into aboriginal territories. They were eventually renamed with the “Royal” title in 1904 by King Edward VII. Their headquarters and today’s training facilities are located in Regina, and their role within Canada includes organized crime, terrorism, illegal drugs, economic crimes and anything that threatens Canada’s national borders.

When I went looking for a recipe, I found that one area of culinary focus is the large Ukrainian population within the province. I am actually quite familiar with many of the dishes, including pierogies and golumpkis.  So this was a hard one, because I have made many of these dishes before. So difficult that I finally gave up! Yep. I got nothing.

But alas, I did make a dish that I love and perhaps it will be new to you. It takes the traditional cabbage roll, aka golumpki, and makes it into a weekday dish by eliminating the long effort to roll the cabbage and instead makes it into a casserole. All the ingredients are still there; you just combine everything together and bake it in a casserole dish. It is super simple and really delicious. I will give full credit of this recipe to my mother in law. Although she is French Canadian, she married a Polish man and learned how to make the dishes he liked. She made this for me many years ago and I got the recipe from her. Thanks mom.

cabbage-roll-casserole
Cabbage Roll (Golumpki) Casserole

I really hope you give this a try, and don’t think poorly of me that I did not make something new in my kitchen. Sometimes, there just isn’t enough to work with and you have to go to the family book for inspiration.

Thanks for stopping by. I am going to wrap up Canada with my missed week in New Brunswick, then on to something new. Thoughts on what to do next? Please share!

Cabbage Roll Casserole

Ingredients

  • 8 cups chopped cabbage
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 ½ lbs ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2-11 oz cans tomato soup
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the cabbage and par cook it for 5 minutes. Drain and return to the pot.
  3. In a large skillet, brown the meat and onion, draining off any excess fat when finished.
  4. Add the meat mixture, rice and soup to the cabbage and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Pour the casserole mixture into a 9×13 pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

golumpki-casserole
Cabbage Roll Casserole