Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tonight's dinner

Hello Again,

This afternoon I visited my sister and my two nieces, age three, and I fixed supper for their family. We decided to help Mommy by making a quick supper of Shrimp Lo Mein before they had to zip off to dance practice. Those little girls helped me take the tails off a pound of shrimp! They've been cooking with me since they were eighteen months old. They love it! But not nearly as much as I do.

Tonight we made Chicken Pasta Salad in Creamy Curry Dressing for supper. There were about six of us and everyone loved it. It can be served hot or cold. I modified a recipe I had found on the Internet, using penne rather than rotini, etc., and quadrupling it but not to exact specifications.

Chicken Pasta Salad in Creamy Curry Dressing

I use Watkins curry powder. Make sure you use a good one; some curry powders detract more than enhance. Epicurious.com is such a great go-to site for recipes, which I where I found this one.

Also, did you know Allrecipes.com has a search feature in which you can input the ingredients you have and it'll find recipes you can use?

Chicken Pasta Salad with Creamy Curry Dressing
1/4 pound rotelle
1 whole skinless boneless chicken breast (about 3/4 pound), poached and cut into bite-size pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
5 cherry tomatoes, quartered (I used regular tomatoes.)
2 scallions (green onions), sliced thin
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil leaves

For the dressing:
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger root (I keep jarred pulverized ginger in the fridge, which is so handy. Do not use powdered ginger, it's completely different.)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar (I keep this on hand, it's less harsh than regular white vinegar.)
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
dried hot red pepper flakes to taste
1 tablespoon finely chopped drained bottled mango chutney, or to taste (Because I quadrupled the recipe, I used an entire small bottle of Major Grey's, and I didn't chop it or drain it.)


In a large kettle of boiling salted water cook the pasta for 10 minutes, or until it is tender, refresh it in a colander under cold water, and drain it well. In a large bowl combine the pasta, the chicken, the tomatoes, the scallions (green onions), and the basil. (I didn't use the green onions because my husband is allergic to raw onions.)
Make the dressing:
In a skillet cook the garlic and the gingerroot in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until the garlic is softened, add the cream, and cook the mixture, whisking, until it is thickened slightly. Whisk in the vinegar, the curry powder, the red pepper flakes, and the chutney.
Add the dressing to the pasta mixture, tossing the salad to combine it well, and season the salad with salt and pepper.

If you don't have cooked chicken breast, just heat a large skillet, add a T or two of olive oil and fry up the chicken breasts until perfectly done. I cover with a splatter guard. Take them out, cool them slightly and chop, and make the dressing in the same skillet. Pasta can be served hot, cold, or room temperature. If serving hot or warm, don't rinse it under cold water, just dump it into a large bowl. Enjoy!

For fun, my dear daughter-in-law and I made a pan of homemade brownies. For many years I have used the One-Bowl-Brownies recipe on the back of the Baker's chocolate (unsweetened) package. Tonight we modified it, adding walnuts, mini marshmallows and chocolate chunks. I snapped a photo in the nick of time!

Thanks for reading!

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