Monday, 28 April 2008

Homekeeper Challenge #4

This week I challenged myself in the area of cooking. I have done fairly well up to this point in reproducing recipes from a cookbook. I'm not the type to necessarily measure everything exactly, and sometimes vary it up a little. But I have decided that I'm ready to venture out a little further.

So, en route to creating my own recipes, this week I decided to see if I could replicate something I had in a restaurant. It was a fantastic dish called Balsamic Chicken Penne that I had at Kelsey's. I loved it so much I packaged the leftovers up and brought it home for a chef's dissection.

The result was, I can humbly admit, a delicious success. And so, as a record of my challenge this week, and for all you food epicures out there, here is the recipe:

Creamy Balsamic Chicken Penne
Serves 4

-2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
-2 red peppers, cut into 1 1/2" strips
-2 cups spinach
-1/2 red onion, cut into 1" strips
-Balsamic cream sauce (recipe at end)
-Shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Place chicken and 1 tbsp of basil in a pan of water. Bring to a boil, boil for 2 minutes, then remove from heat, cover and let sit for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, cook 4 servings of penne or other large pasta (ie: rigatoni).
3. Make the Balsamic cream sauce (recipe at end)
4. When chicken is ready, cut it into 3" strips. Sautee the chicken, red pepper, onion and basil to taste, for 2-3 minutes or until pepper and onion are softened.
5. Boil the spinach for 2 minutes.
6. Top noodles with mixture, spinach, desired amount of sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese.

Balsamic Cream Sauce:
-1 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing (or make your own with: 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp dijon mustard, 1 clove garlic and 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil)
-1/2 cup mayonnaise
-3 tbsp parmesan cheese
-4 tsp basil
-1/4 tsp pepper

Whisk dressing and mayonnaise. Stir in cheese, basil and pepper.


Anonymous said...

Just to let you know... I made this for dinner tonight and it was fabulous! The kids called it "pizza pasta" because it reminded them of one of their favorite kinds of pizza.

I'm so impressed that you could figure it out!

Thanks again.

Terri-Ann said...

I'm so glad you liked it! It's great that it worked out for you - you never really know if a recipe works until someone else gives it a go.

Anonymous said...

Love the sauce, however my chicken came out incredibly dry. Not sure what went wrong