Thursday, February 4, 2010

Three C Pasta

I flew solo tonight for dinner. It was one of those extremely rare nights where my Pootie Pie and I had conflicting evening schedules. I had UKULELE CLASS (have I mentioned that a few thousand times?) at 6:00, and he had a history lecture (far more dignified) to attend at 7:00.

You have to give me a break. This was the first day I got the thing. I'm TONS better now. (ahem) Dinky seriously digs my playing. He goes right to sleep.
Pootie Pie ate before, I ate after. I'm not quite sure what he ate, exactly, but whatever it was made the house a smoky, slightly burnt-smelling haze by the time I walked in the door at 7:20. I do gather it involved chicken breast, by the open package left behind. And the crumbs of the charred remains in the frying pan resembled black beans. So I'm guessing he worked some Skillet Magic on the leftover black beans from this weekend and the chicken breast. Seriously, people. I should so totally be a spy, shouldn't I?

So tonight, while lonely, because I do love my sweetie, I got to cook to please only myself. Thankfully a rare occurence. So I decided on some pasta in my ravenous state. And what did we have, but an awful lot of things starting with the letter C! Someone would be so proud!

So I had pasta with Cabbage, Cauliflower and Chicken!  (No, not Cookies) And while I was cooking, I drank Champagne! (Well, OK, not technically, but it was a sparkling wine, so it sort of Counts. muaah haa haa haaaaaaaa!)

And also, I was listening to Chinese music! I honestly have no idea why. It was playing when I walked in the door from my uke lesson. The canines weren't impressed. They like my uke playing better, I think. My husband bought this album of Chinese music. It's beautiful, but I think the main reason he got it was because of that Steely Dan song. And it got annoying kind of fast, so I switched to... well, The Weepies. Sorry. No C there. They might play some songs in the key of C, though, so that sort of counts. (Muaah haaa haaaaaaa!)

Sorry. Hey! One of their songs is called Old Coyote. So there you go.

Now, this was totally a "what I found in the fridge" dinner, so if you want to play along, feel free to modify it as you like. But here's what I did, while I was sipping Champagne(!). It was nothing like this picture, though. First of all, I was alone, except for the aforementioned canines. Second, I'm not into guys my dad's age or older. Third, I don't wear dead pheasants on my head or garters, or those ridiculous petticoats. Khakis and Chucks are way more comfortable than that getup she's about to not be wearing.
Anyway, here's the recipe for the leftover pasta dinner I created.

3 C Pasta
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 small shallot, chopped
1/2 chicken breast, sliced thin across the grain
1 Tbs. flour
1 Tbs. butter
kosher salt
cracked black pepper
1 cup thinly sliced savoy cabbage (slice crosswise into ribbons)
2 slices bacon or pancetta
1/4 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup milk
2 cups egg noodles
1 cup cauliflower, broken in to very small florets
a bunch of water 
kosher salt

Set a large pot with a lot of water and a decent pinch/handful of kosher salt on a burner on high to boil.
You know, I'm not sure The Weepies are helping me with my current mood. "This Is Not Your Year" isn't making me feel a lot better about the crap code I got from the developer today. Just a minor interruption. Back to our recipe.

Sautee the shallot in a medium frying pan over medium low heat. Toss in the chicken slices. Brown. Add the pancetta or bacon and the cabbage. Look how pretty and green the cabbage gets! ooo! I do love that about cabbage. Add 1 Tbs butter and 1 Tbs. flour and mix together. Add the milk and the cheese and stir over low heat until all melts and thickens. Remove from heat.
By now your water should be boiling. Throw in the pasta and the cauliflower. Boil until the pasta is done, about 10 minutes. Drain. Put back in the pasta pot (minus the water) and scrape the sauce on top. Toss together with the warm pasta. Serve with champagne. (Or sparkling wine, if you're picky about your nomenclature.)

Now I will leave you and go put clean sheets on the bed and crawl in there and snuggle down with the last chapter of Mark Kurlansky's Salt. That's been an excellent read, by the way, and any of you interested in food history should give it a whirl.

Cheers, peeps!


pjstephen said...

I have fleeting however positive memories of a cookbook from the public library called "Solo Suppers" I primarily remember the recipe for individual fruit crisps, but there were some other gems in there. May be worth a peek if you're ever flying alone again...

By the way, is Kent teaching the uke class?

Andie Reid said...

Yes he is, Paul! Love it! Thanks for the info.

Ben Trawick said...

You left out the crab, chocolate, and chipotle cottage cheese from your culinary creation.

Andie Reid said...

Oh, I was plenty crabby.

Ben Trawick said...

Good thing the meal wasn't brought to you by the letter "Q"