Saturday, February 02, 2008

More Cooking

As I said in a prior post, I try making big meals that will last a few days. My evenings are so hectic that cooking every single night is not an option. With Dan now working for the Prudential Center doing the NJ Devils, MISL Ironmen (indoor soccer), and Seton Hall Basketball games, my evenings have become even more hectic. He still also works private parties at his uncle's lodge. So, I'm home alone quite often, which makes cooking not much of an option.

The other night I decided to make a pasta, which is a spin off of a great dish I tried at Umberto's Clam House with Sal. It is bowtie pasta with bacon and peas. The one served at the restaurant had onions, which I didn't add. First of all, I had run out of onions. Second of all, it didn't need it. However, I did add chicken to it. Anyway, I made a basic bechamel sauce. This I did by melting a half stick of butter and sauteing a good amount of minced garlic (five or six cloves) for a few minutes. Then, I added about three heaping tablespoons of flour, which I mixed together until it formed a nice thick paste. I added milk (about two to two and half cups). I then seasoned the sauce with salt, fresh cracked pepper, a bit of garlic powder (I love garlic), and nutmeg. I kept on stirring the sauce until it reduced and thickened.

The rest of the ingredients are pretty simple. With the chicken, I chopped it up into small medallions, which I seasoned with salt, pepper, thyme, garlic, red pepper flakes, and oregano. I sauteed the chicken with some olive oil. For the bacon, I used eight slices, which I had cut up and threw in a pan. There's not much to the bacon. The peas were thawed out, but not to the point that they were warm. I left them cold enough to have a crunch and threw them in with the pasta.

The end result was magnificent. Dan absolutely loved the pasta. I practically devoured it! I separated some for my mom, which she loved. The dish lasted for three days! Well, on the third day there was enough for one serving. Since Dan worked last night, it was all mine!!

This dish is very quick and simple. The only problem with it is that you will dirty several pots and pans, but the end result is worth it. Dan loved it so much that he wants me to write down exactly how I made it, which I guess I did now. I didn't use exact measurements on anything. I kind of went with my gut. My parents loved it so much that I promised them the next time I make it I will double the recipe for them.

Until my next recipe!

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