Curried chicken and chickpeas with couscous. Made from this recipe, which turned out quite well. Though it was a wee bit mild for my own tastes, I’d still make it again—only adding some onion, ginger, cumin, coriander, a bit of yogurt, and maybe double the curry powder—but other than that…
Decided to make this old Bittman recipe for risotto-style pasta, because I enjoy trying new things. Elected to use alphabet shaped pasta because I am fun and quirky. You should invite me to parties, is where I’m going with this.
Ever done that thing where your casserole sort of turns into a stew, or a stewsserole, because somehow there were no potatoes in the house even though you’d swear you just bought potatoes but whatever, and somehow the mystery dish tastes pretty great anyway? And then you’re all “hey, you’re pretty good at this cooking thing!”
“You look great tonight by the way. Did you do something with your hair?”
“This is getting kind of sad, I should stop now.”
“Have a glass of wine, sexy, you should relax. You deserve it.”
What do you get when you want to make a chicken pot pie but you’re too lazy to go buy a frozen pastry dough (and, of course, far too lazy to make pastry from scratch)? I’m pretty sure the people of the flyover states call it Hotdish. Brown chicken, soften veggies, make a roux, add stock and herbs, put in dish and—this is the important part—cover with tater tots, bake.
Fish tacos! Sometimes you just need a simple midnight snack, y’know? These’re best enjoyed while contemplating doing absolutely anything that involves getting out of the house so you don’t spend your whole day cooking and eating things, eventually becoming so obese you have to be airlifted to your appearance on the Jerry Springer show.
- For the crema:
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- For the fish:
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
It’s also pretty much mandatory to chop up some lettuce, tomato, and avocado for these. You’re already this far down the rabbit hole when you only set out to make a snack, you might as well go all out.
So I made a chicken mushroom casserole sort of thing, then I ate some of it, and now I need someone to explain to me why it is that I’m single. I mean, I’d marry me. I make delicious food and then do the dishes. What more do people want?
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, diced
- 2 strips turkey bacon, diced
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 3/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 10 oz package frozen spinach
- 3 cups cooked rice
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 sheets phyllo dough
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
Brown chicken and bacon over medium heat. Add celery, onion, and mushroom, sauté until softened. Add garlic, thyme, and spinach, then cover. When spinach is fully warmed through, remove from heat. Incorporate rice, cheeses, sour cream, and milk. Place in greased casserole dish. Layer top with phyllo dough, brushing each sheet with melted butter. Bake at 350ºF for 30-35 minutes.
If you’re the type of person who looks with great suspicion at anyone who claims to enjoy cooking, as it seems such an ordeal to you, I have a secret to tell you. The reason you don’t enjoy cooking is that you’re not lazy enough. At least ¾ths of the culinary learning process is sussing out ways to accomplish the transformation of ingredients to food with as little investment of time and effort as possible. In that spirit, I’m going to share another secret with you:
Jason’s foolproof guide to boiling potatoes:
Don’t. Don’t peel them either. Many of the nutrients are in the skin, and besides, ain’t nobody got time for that. Scrub them with a veggie brush, cube them, and put in a dish. Add salt and ¼ cup of water. Cover with plastic wrap, microwave for 5-7 minutes. Et voilà, boiled potatoes in ten minutes, start to finish. Go forth and be lazy.
What do you do when you want to make moo goo gai pan (without the gai) but you don’t have any water chestnuts? Do you:
- Go to the store and get water chestnuts, or
- Try to substitute with shredded carrots, leading to a substantially less crunchy and therefore ultimately unsatisfying dish?
Tune in next week for the answer to this and other important questions!
I’m happy to report that I finally used up the last of that bastard spinach. I hate throwing food away, so buying produce in large quantities usually leaves me scrambling to get rid of it. I continue to do it though, because OMG two pounds of spinach for $4? Sign me up!
This recipe was glanced at and then not consulted again, which is basically how I always cook. The quantities of spices were adjusted, and some diced chicken and fresh peppers were added. I did expect it to be a bit more colorful, what with the peppers and spinach, but it turned out kinda… brown. Brown and delicious.
Chicken Florentine Pasta Bake:
A good way to use leftover chicken, and/or a large quantity of spinach. It combines all the best parts of baked pasta, chicken florentine, and my favorite technique to “fake” alfredo sauce.
- Half a pound (8 ounce) rigatoni pasta
- 12 oz cooked chicken, chopped bite size (leftovers, or approx. 3 chicken breasts)
- 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 1 8oz package cream cheese, room temperature
- ¾ cup milk
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ large onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 5 portobello mushrooms (about 6 ounces), sliced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1 bunch fresh spinach, rinsed
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Cook pasta to package directions until al dente. Drain, and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook chopped onion, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add garlic, mushrooms, and fresh herbs, cook until mushrooms are tender. Mix in the chopped chicken and cook until warmed through. Add spinach, season with salt and pepper, and cover, removing from heat. The heat remaining in the pan will cook the spinach while you’re making the sauce.
- In a saucepan over low heat, mix milk, cream of mushroom soup, Parmesan cheese, cream cheese, and lemon juice. Stir frequently until it’s an even consistency, which should only take 5 minutes or so.
- Place enough cream sauce into a medium-sized casserole dish to lightly coat the bottom. Atop that, place half of the pasta in an even layer. Cover with 1 cup mozzarella, and about half of the chicken/spinach mixture. Top with 1/2 the cream sauce. Repeat the layers: pasta, mozzarella, chicken mixture, sauce.
- Cover dish with tin foil. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven. Remove foil, top with the remaining mozzarella, and continue baking until cheese is melted and lightly browned (approximately 10 minutes).