Lemon Garlic Pasta with Grilled Chicken

Lemon Garlic Pasta with Grilled Chicken

We’ve been watching a lot of Giada De Laurentiis lately, thanks to the giant flat screen TV my mother bought us for Christmas, along with the new DVR we’re paying way too much for. I’ve been a fan of my fellow five-foot foodie for a while, but she’s really been on a lemon kick lately. I recently bought a whole bag of lemons at Central Market (mainly with cocktails in mind), so all that sharp footage of lemon sauces, lemon parfaits, lemon chicken, and lemon cookies inspired me to create this simple recipe.

On Memorial Day, we made her Lemon-Cumin Chicken on the grill out by the pool, so we had some of that left over. You could use plain baked chicken breasts, pan-fried chicken, or shredded roast chicken for this recipe; whatever you prefer or have on hand. The added flavor of the grilled crust, marinated in cumin and lemon juice, really added something special to the final dish, though. Try it sometime.

This simple, bright recipe is a good pasta dish for summer; it’s creamy comfort food without being too heavy, and pairs well with chicken, shrimp, salmon, or grilled portobello mushrooms.

4 grilled chicken breasts, sliced
1 lb. capelli d’angelo pasta (angel hair)
olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
zest of two lemons
juice of two lemons
1 cup heavy cream (or sour cream)
1 heaping Tbsp flour
salt, to taste
1 tsp black pepper, or to taste
grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, to taste

1. Fill a large stock pot with water, salt liberally, and add a splash of olive oil (about 1 teaspoon). Bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook for approximately five minutes, or until al dente. Test a strand to see if it’s done; if not, boil for an additional minute.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter and add sliced chicken, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat for about five minutes, until chicken is warmed through and garlic is fragrant but not burned. Add the lemon zest and juice, and cook for about two additional minutes, stirring constantly. Drizzle in cream, stirring while doing so, then add flour. Mix in with a light hand until flour is well absorbed into the sauce, and a thicker consistency begins to form. Reduce heat to low. Taste and re-season as needed.

3. Drain pasta and return to pan. Lightly toss with a little olive oil (about 1 tablespoon). Using a slotted pasta fork, plate the pasta. Pour the chicken and lemon garlic sauce out over each helping, and serve immediately.
Lemon Garic Pasta with Grilled Chicken

These pictures don’t really do justice to this dish; it’s way tastier than they make it look! I also went a bit nuts with the pasta portions sizes. Anyway, try it, and let me know what you think! If you like lemon infused savory dishes, I bet you’ll love it, too!

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Pan-Fried Salmon and Sage Spaghetti

Pan-Fried Salmon and Sage Spaghetti

This one’s a bit late, but here’s another way to sneak in that weekly fish serving. As always, the beautiful, fresh Atlantic salmon you see above is from Wheatsville Co-op. Fresh sage courtesy the amazing gardener Eric.

I used to make something similar to this in the UK, but it took the form of a casserole and involved a lot more cheese. This is a lighter, tastier version that’s still perfect for cool, late autumn nights (or indeed, weekend brunch—it’s also great with a fried egg, over-easy!). And, of course, my secret ingredient is horseradish.

1/2 lb spaghetti or linguine
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 Tbsp butter, halved
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb fresh salmon, filleted and de-boned
~1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup fresh sage leaves
1 tsp horseradish sauce
1/3 cup grated Asiago cheese
extra salt and pepper, to taste

1. Bring about four cups salted water to a boil over high heat. Add spaghetti and cook for about eight minutes, or until al dente, stirring occasionally.

2. Meanwhile, is a large skillet (I suggest cast iron), melt 2 Tbsp butter and olive oil over medium high heat.

Butter

Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about two minutes. Add the salmon to the pan, flesh-side down (if skin is present).

Salmon

Fry for about three minutes, until the underside is somewhat browned, and flip over. Don’t worry if the salmon starts to fall apart.

Pan-fried salmon

Cook on the other side for about three minutes, then flip again. Now the skin will probably slide easily off or crumple; discard (or give to your cat as a snack!). Reduce heat to low and continue to cook until salmon is cooked through. Use your spatula (non-metal if using a cast iron skillet) to further break up the salmon into bite-sized chunks.

Salmon frying

Salmon frying

3. As salmon cooks, drain pasta and return to the pot. Add remainder of butter and stir thoroughly to prevent sticking.

Salmon and spaghetti

Stir in salt, pepper, horseradish sauce, and cheese. Cover and set aside.

Spaghetti

4. Using your spatula, create a small, empty area in your pan. Add sage leaves to the buttery salmon juices and fry for about one minute, until just crispy but not blackened.

Salmon and sage

Salmon and sage

Stir sage and salmon; scrape contents into pasta pot and stir thoroughly.

Salmonn and spaghetti

5. Spoon out into pasta bowls, adding additional cheese, salt, and/or pepper as desired. Serve immediately.

Pan-fried Salmon with Sage Spaghetti

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Serves 4.

You can actually reheat this the next day for an amazing brunch or lunch; and it paired well with a cheap moscato (pictured). Heh.

Farfalle with Chorizo and Cream

Here’s an easy, ridiculously satisfying dinner for any budget: a simple, quick pasta dish that’s creamy and comforting while delivering a little kick of spice.

Adding some diced cremini mushrooms, onions, or fresh chopped basil would also be great!

1 lb. dried farfalle (bowtie) pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil, halved
15 oz. Mexican chorizo
1 tsp garlic powder
8 oz. tomato sauce
2 Tbsp Cholula sauce
1/2 cup heavy cream
~15 black olives, sliced
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (optional)

1. Bring a medium sized pot of water to the boil and add pasta. Boil for about ten minutes, or until al dente.

2. Meanwhile, warm half the olive oil in a large frying pan. Squeeze chorizo out of its casing into the pan and break up with a spatula or fork. Cook over medium high heat for about ten minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium low.

3. Add garlic powder, tomato sauce, and Cholula and stir. Allow chorizo to simmer until the liquid is well mixed and absorbed, about another seven minutes. Add heavy cream and olives, stir thoroughly, and reduce heat to simmer.

4. Drain pasta, return to pot, and then stir in the remaining olive oil and the black pepper. Add cheese and turn over repeatedly with a large wooden spoon until the cheese has fully melted into the pasta.

5. Spoon pasta out onto your serving plates and top with creamy chorizo. Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6.

I like to make a big pot of this, have it for dinner with the boy, and then put the rest in Pyrex leftover bowls in the fridge, for workday leftovers or a lazy weeknight dinner.

Pan Seared Lemon Tilapia with Parmesan Pasta

We had a half pound of filetted tilapia from Wheatsville, some lemons, and a whole garden overflowing with fresh, aromatic herbs.  So I Googled those things, and found this recipe.  Though I using a cast iron skillet, fresh oregano, double the lemon juice, and a dash of balsamic vinegar, I stayed pretty close to the original recipe, and the result was really good.

We’re trying to incorporate more fish into our diet, and this was right up our alley.  The tilapia was filling, summery, and not too fishy, balanced nicely by the heavier, slightly creamy macaroni.  The fresh herbs gave the whole dish both a brightness and a little crunch, and made our dinner!  Next time I will cook it at a slightly higher temperature so as to brown the fish better, and I’ll probably add even more lemon juice.  I love summer

Conchigliette with Ground Lamb and Summer Squash

2 large summer squash, diced
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 lb. ground lamb
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 tomato, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 lb. conchigliette pasta (baby shells)
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
grated parmesan, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a baking tin, mix squash, half the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven, turn off heat, and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add ground lamb and onions; sauté until the meat browns and onions soften, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, cinnamon, and chili powder; stir and cook for an additional minute or so. Stir in tomatoes, deglaze the pan with chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until mixture thickens, 5-10 minutes. Add squash to skillet, stir, and taste. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

3. While lamb is simmering, cook the pasta. Bring about four cups of water to a boil in large stock pot. Add pasta and cook for approximately 8 minutes, until al dente. Drain and sppon pasta onto serving plates.

4. Add lamb mixture, cheese, and mint, and serve immediately.

Serves 2-4, depending on how hungry you are! We made double this amount and had four nice-sized bowls of leftovers to freeze for later!