Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A new twist to an old classic

Tonight was my turn to cook.
I sure will miss living with my grandparents, no longer will I have a reason to cook a good meal, which means we will be reduced to Ramen and Kraft Mac until DH comes home. My kids will be begging him to come home by the end of this little rendezvous!
So it was my night. I am still "fasting" as I call it, so I have needed to get a little creative.
Tonight was a creative success!
I took an old classic, Balsamic and Thyme Feta Chicken and turned it upside down. The nice thing was, there was a break where I could merge the vegetarian and chicken version seamlessly!
So let me tell you about it!

First, what you need....(and if you know me I don't measure, it's more if it looks/tastes right sorta thing, so these are all loose measurements)
Balsamic Vinegar
EVOO olive oil for you non Rachel Ray watchers
(aren't these staples in most kitchens?)
chicken breasts I used about two pounds
extra firm tofu
salt and pepper to taste
frozen veggies if ya got em
feta cheese
cream cheese
juice of half a lemon
pasta....spaghetti or fettucine or linguine will work
So, this is where I broke the veggie, chicken part up (obviously) in a ziploc put about 2T EVOO and 2T balsamic in. Sprinkle thyme and rosemary in. Close the bag and mix it up. Then add your chicken or tofu. Stick in the fridge to marinate for a bit.
When your ready, heat a big skillet type pan to fairly hot, then add chicken (leave tofu in fridge) You want a nice crust, so don't turn it till it starts to turn white around the edges. Then flip over and cook for a few minutes more. Throw the chicken in a 250 oven to cook the rest of the way through.
Turn your burner to medium
Get your pasta going.
In the meantime, cook the liquids down a bit. Then sprinkle flour over and whisk together until you have a peanut butter consistency (why yes miss fancy pants I do believe this is a roux). Slowly whisk in milk. Keep an eye on this one...milk scorches and is not a good way to impress people! Any way keep stirring til you start to bubble and thicken. At that point add your veggies if you're using them. Turn heat down. If no veggies then on to our next step.
Take your pan off heat and put in feta (1/3 to 1/2c) and cream cheese (2oz) stir then put back on LOW heat.
Heat a small sauce pan add your tofu and get a nice crust on it kinda like you did with the chicken.
By this time Pasta should be ready, so drain it and toss with a bit of EVOO and some Salt and Pepper.
Check(not choke) your chicken make sure it's ready...juices run clear
Then assemble.
I put e/thing out on the table so everyone can dish up what they want. And your chicken and tofu don't have to touch. If your not picky, you could add the chicken to the sauce then just pick it out if your not eating it. Whatever works for you.
I served mine with my tried and true salad and an artisan spinach bread I found at the grocery store. IT was REALLY good!
So there you have it....a new (vegetarian) twist to an old family favorite. My family got to eat something they love and I didn't have to skimp for my dinner.
I think I will try this on some of my other dishes! I'll let you know how it goes!
Oh and for the record, tofu I've decided tastes like eggs. the nice thing is you can season it with anything and be fine. I used it in my thai peanut noodles this afternoon and seasoned it with s&p and chili powder!
Oh and I was FUUUUU-UUUUU-LLLLLL after half my bowl. SO that made me happy cuz I haven't felt that full content feeling for a while. I may have found a protein winner for me!

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Hmmm....well I have definitely done things in my life. My favorite of all is being mommy and wife. I am very content in the skin I am in but it took 30 years to get there!