My Grilled Chicken Pasta with Roasted Tomato Pepper Sauce recipe is an easy dinner that you can shop for and prepare on the fly.
I don’t know about you, but I find grocery shopping a tad more difficult with my children home for the summer. There is all the grabbing, begging, sampling, and complaining, and that is only after the fight to get in the car and do something that is not “fun.” So, in an attempt to just purchase things as quickly as possible yesterday, I grabbed some boneless chicken breast. Nothing else.
This recipe is the result of what I had in the fridge and pantry, and it was pretty darn good for a Wednesday night with nothing on hand. Yes, it is peculiar that I had piquillo peppers and goat cheese, but no onions. I know.
So, first I took a small can of fire roasted diced tomatoes (one of my favorite canned items in the world) and drained a bit of the liquid. Then I threw the tomatoes and about 4 piquillo peppers (that I had left over) in the blender. If you have not had piquillo peppers, they come in a can and taste a lot like roasted red peppers, only they are already roasted and peeled for you (and inexpensive!). Easy peasy. Throw in a clove of garlic and a little salt and pepper. Blitz it in the blender until very smooth. Pour into a small saucepan over low heat. I chopped one more pepper for texture and a little basil and oregano from my herb garden. I threw in a pinch of red pepper flakes, but if you don’t like a spicy sauce, don’t! I also added some goat cheese to cut the acidity of the tomatoes and add a creamy richness.
Let that simmer away. I ended up adding a pinch of sugar and some more salt, to taste.
I butterflied my chicken breasts for quicker cooking (you could also pound it out or buy the thin slices of chicken). I just seasoned it with salt and pepper and drizzled with a bit of olive oil. I threw the chicken onto a piping hot cast-iron grill pan, my other favorite thing in the world. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, I cooked the pasta. Now, this had to have been the funniest part of my random dinner. I had 4 boxes of different kinds of pasta, each only 1/4 full. So, I threw them into the salted boiling water at various times based on the box directions. It all worked out in the end!
My impromptu dinner was pretty much complete. Just a little chop of the chicken, some noodles, sauce, a little fresh mozzarella (leftover), and some more basil and voila!
Yum! Perfect for a quick dinner on a weeknight. This is more of a method than a recipe, though. You could add whatever veggies or protein you had around, or just make it as a sauce for roasted vegetables. It would be fantastic with roasted mushrooms, artichokes, and zucchini…
I have been wracking my brain, trying to invent a reason to share my Ultimate Dairy Kugel recipe with you, and this week I actually have a pretty good one. It is Shavuot, a Jewish holiday that is lesser known to some people(we have a lot of those). I don’t really understand why we don’t talk more about it, because it definitely tops my list of favorite holidays due to the custom of consuming delicious dairy-laden foods such as Blintzes, cheesecakes, and such. The holiday actually commemorates the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai and the counting of weeks from Passover until that event. Shavuot means “Weeks”, and there are some interesting ideas about why we eat dairy, but let’s just say it is “Tradition, tradition!” And sing it in your loudest ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ voice while baking my favorite food in the world.
Seriously, this would be a side dish to my last meal on Earth if possible. It is kind of like an upside down cheesecake but with buttered noodles in it. There are non-dairy versions, savory versions, matzah versions for Passover, but none hold a candle to the dairy kind (in my humble opinion). This is the best one I have ever made. I have tweaked a few other recipes to create this one. It is very forgiving- you can take out the raisins, you can take out the pineapple, you can do a cornflake crust on top if you wish, but please don’t go fat free dairy on me! It is a special treat, especially cold for breakfast the next day! Enjoy.
Lauren’s Shavuot Ultimate Dairy Kugel
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
First, boil the noodles according to the package directions. Drain and coat with 1/2 stick of butter. Pour it all into a 9×13 inch baking dish.
This is optional, but I like to soak my raisins a bit in hot liquid (water, rum, bourbon, or in this case I used the pineapple juice that I drained from the crushed pineapple).
Next, in a blender, combine the cottage cheese and the cream cheese (room temperature, please). If you have a vitamix or a large blender, feel free to add the sour cream, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. If you have a small blender, add the rest by hand, whisking or blending to get a smooth texture.
Then mix the drained pineapple, drained soaked raisins, and the cream cheese mixture into the noodles, straight into the pan. Stir everything around gently to evenly distribute the good stuff.
To make the crumb topping, just mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter until it resembles sand.
Then, just sprinkle the goodness on top of the kugel. This is a large amount of crumb topping, because I like it that way. You can cut the amount in half if you wish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 35-45 minutes or until golden brown on top and firm to the touch.
Let cool for at least 30 minutes. I love this slightly warm, at room temperature or cold in the morning for breakfast- Don’t judge.