Not much of what I've been cooking lately has been blog-worthy.
When I'm trying out a new recipe, snapping pictures as I cook, I usually find myself wondering if the finished product will turn out to be a keeper, or will it end up in the scrap heap.
Take these potatoes, for example. They look pretty good, no? I apologize if you feel that I'm trying to tantalize you with a picture. The taste was somewhere between "eh" and "blah," so this recipe has been scrapped and the pictures I took while I was preparing them have all been deleted. Well, I deleted all the pictures except for this one.
And sometimes, the recipe works out! Like this recipe for Buffalo Chicken Pasta that I'm about to give you.
How did it come about? We've been doing the college search with Sean for the last year. He finally narrowed it down to two choices and last month paid one last visit to each of those schools. At one of the schools, the student tour guide was raving about the school's Buffalo Chicken Pasta. So when Sean and Mr. Terrific came home, they were trying to talk me into making some. And they've both mentioned it a few more times.........so I decided I needed to figure out how to make it!
"Calypso Italiano".......Lou Monte
"Why Do Fools Fall In Love".......Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers
"This Magic Moment"......Ben E. King
"Runaround Sue".......Dion & The Belmonts
"All Of Me"........John Stevens
"Almost Like Being In Love"........Dean Martin
"One Fine Day".........The Chiffons
Buffalo Chicken Pasta (serves 4-6)
- 12 oz. pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb chicken tenderloins
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup diced celery
- 8 oz neufchatel cheese
- 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup hot sauce (like Frank's Red Hot)
- 1/4 cup crumbled bleu cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
Gather your ingredients. I gathered my ingredients, really, I did! I arranged them ever-so-nicely on my counter and then forgot to take a picture.
Apparently, I took a picture of my list of ingredients instead. Here's how I came up with this recipe:
first, I listed chicken and pasta because those are the main ingredients
then, I decided what I wanted to use for a sauce
then , I decided what I extras I wanted to add to the sauce
then, I decided on what spices to use.
And I didn't list the "before & afters" i.e. olive oil for sauteing and herbs for garnishing.
Okay, now that you know the method to my madness, let's move on.
Put a large (6 to 8 quart) pot of salted water on the stove to boil for the pasta.
Prep your ingredients. Not a whole lot of prepping going on, here. All you have to do is dice your celery and chop your chives and cilantro.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Add the chicken. Sprinkle lightly with salt (I used about 1/4 teaspoon), then add the paprika and garlic powder. It needs to be cooked about 4 minutes per side, until lightly browned and cooked through.
Stir together your sauce ingredients. Heat the neufchatel on 50% power for one minute in your microwave.
I have never microwaved cream cheese before and I wasn't sure it would work. I was very happy when the cheese was soft and easy to stir after I microwaved it!
Add the yogurt and combine.
By now, your chicken is ready to flip over and cook on the other side. After I turned it over, I added the celery to the pan, just to soften it a bit.
Just let the celery sit there while the chicken continues to cook.
By now, your water is probably boiling. Add the pasta to the boiling water.
Stir the hot sauce into the cheese/yogurt mixture. I only used 1/4 cup of hot sauce, I figured I could always add more if I didn't think it was spicy enough. In my opinion, it was spicy enough.
Your pasta sauce is now done.
Remove the chicken from the pan onto a cutting board. Turn off the heat and let the celery continue to sit in the hot pan to soften a bit.
Take two forks and shred the chicken.
As soon as I started shredding the chicken, Gus came running into the kitchen.
What, was I releasing shredded-chicken molecules into the air as I pulled the chicken apart? How did he know the chicken was ready? Somehow, he just knows.
Drain the pasta and return it to the cooking pot.