Dinners

Recipe—Swiss Chard and Chicken Pasta

Sometimes when I want pasta I want a dish that isn’t smothered in sauce, something more refined. This rustic pasta dish is it. You have some nice hearty chunks of chicken, bits of salty prosciutto, a mild creaminess from the ricotta, and of course some healthy greens mixed in, and it’s all finished off with a nice crispy topping. It really is a perfect balance. There is just something about hot baked pasta coming straight out of the oven and onto the plate that warms my belly and makes me happy. I just put the entire baking dish down on the table and let my family serve themselves. Unfortunately, we lack self-control and could not stop eating it! It was just so good!

Note: In case this is one of your first times cooking with chard be sure to wash it thoroughly and then pull the leaves off the thick stalks. They can be tough and bitter so you just want to eat the leafy green part.

INGREDIENTS
1/2 lb (8 oz) penne pasta
olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp garlic, minced
4 oz prosciutto (chopped pieces for cooking)
1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped
salt and pepper
1/2 c white wine
1 1/2 c ricotta cheese
1 rotisserie chicken, meat removed and shredded
2 tbsp butter
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c panko crumbs

STEPS

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Fill a large pot with water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.
  • Add the pasta and cook until al dente per the package instructions. When the pasta is done drain will and toss with a generous amount of olive oil (enough so that all the noodles have a nice coating but aren’t swimming in it). Set aside until you are done with the rest of the filling.
  • While the pasta is cooking heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large wok or pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes or until translucent.
  • Add in the garlic and prosciutto and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add the Swiss chard to the pot and season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook the chard for 8­10 minutes stirring occasionally until the greens are wilted and tender.
  • Stir in the wine and ricotta until well combined and then mix in the chicken and cooked penne.
  • Transfer your pasta to a medium sized baking dish.
  • Melt the butter in a small bowl.
  • Add in the Parmesan and panko and stir until well mixed.
  • Sprinkle the panko mixture over the top of the pasta,
  • Bake for 20–25 minutes or until the top just starts to turn a golden brown.
Advertisements
Appetizers

Recipe—Creamy Chicken Enchilada Roll Ups

This is actually a recipe adapted from one my mother-in-law made back around the holidays. They seemed like such a great idea and were absolutely delicious. She brought her Mexican inspired wraps over all rolled up in Saran wrap and then just sliced them when she got to our house. They traveled great! When she put them out I could not stop eating them. They were so yummy! So when I was invited to a summer pool party a couple weeks back I knew these would be a hit! Me being the tinkerer I am I had to put my own twist on them. I added in the chicken, olives, and cilantro to help bulk up the filling. They were wonderful additions. If you have any parties coming up definitely keep these in mind. They are relatively easy to assemble and are the perfect finger food for a party of any kind.

Note: You can use a couple of tablespoons of my homemade taco seasoning or just part of an envelope of taco seasoning you would pick up at the store. If you like a little heat add in a chopped jalapeño.

INGREDIENTS
2-8 ox packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 tsp garlic, minced
2 tbsp taco seasoning
10 oz can Rotel tomatoes and chilies, drained
rotisserie chicken, skinned and chopped
1/2 c cilantro, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
4.25 oz chopped black olives
1 package burrito sized tortillas

STEPS

  • Using an electric mixer beat together cream cheese, shredded cheese, garlic, and taco seasoning until well blended.
  • Fold in the canned tomatoes, chicken, cilantro, green onions, and chopped olives.
  • Lay a tortilla out flat and place a heaping spoonful of the creamy mixture in the center.
  • Use a rubber spatula and spread an even layer of the filling out to the edges of the tortilla.
  • Roll up the tortilla and as you finish each place on a cutting board or plate.
  • Continue until the filling is gone.
  • Place the rolls in the freezer for 30–45 minutes allowing them to firm up. (I do this step so that when I slice them they keep their round shape.)
  • Slice the rolls into 1 inch thick pieces and arrange on a plate.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Dinners

Recipe—Creamy Chicken Potpies

This year one of the gifts I really wanted for Christmas was a set of large ramekins. I always wanted to make personal potpies, cobblers, and even soufflés. Thanks to my ultra fabulous sister now I can. (Thanks Jess!) With this cold winter weather I knew right away that the first recipe I would be using my new kitchen paraphernalia for had to be chicken potpies. One of my favorite comfort foods!

These creamy chicken potpies turned out to be the best I have ever had! No joke! They were perfect for a cold winter night. My husband, son, and I polished them off.  I like using the pre-cooked rotisserie chicken because it made it a realistic dinner to be able to pull off after a full day of work. The puff pastry is a wonderful change from your typical piecrust. Not only is it super easy to work with but it gives the crust this really great flaky quality that you don’t usually see in a potpie. And the tender chicken with classic veggies smothered in creamy sauce, mmmm… mmmm… mmmm… so good! Give this recipe a try. You won’t be disappointed!

Note: This recipe is written to make four individual pot pies in ramekins but you can also follow the same instructions and make one family size potpie in a large pie dish. Baking time will remain about the same. Also, in place of a rotisserie chicken you can boil 2 chicken breasts for 20 minutes and then cube those up instead.

INGREDIENTS
1 rotisserie chicken, meat removed and chopped
6 tbsp butter, divided
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 tsp garlic, minced
2 carrots, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 c frozen green peas
salt and pepper
4 tbsp flour
1/2 c chicken broth
1 1/2 c heavy cream
1 tsp Tabasco
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 sheet frozen puff pasty (I use Pepperidge Farm), at room temperature
1 egg

STEPS

  • Preheat oven to 425º.
  • Place your chopped chicken in a large bowl.
  • In a large skillet melt 2 tbsp of butter over medium heat.
  • Add onions and garlic and cook for 4 minutes.
  • Add carrots, celery, and thyme and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in frozen peas and heat through.
  • Season veggies with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer veggies to the bowl with the chicken.
  • Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter to the skillet and melt over medium-high heat.
  • Stir in the flour and heat for 1 minute mixing constantly.
  • Add the chicken broth and cream and continue stirring constantly until the liquid begins to boil and thicken.
  • Reduce heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Remove the creamy mixture from the stove and stir in Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Pour your creamy sauce into the bowl with the chicken and veggies. Stir to combine.
  • Transfer the potpie mixture to four large ramekins. (Mine are 5” in diameter and they were filled perfectly.)
  • Lay the puff pastry out flat on a cutting board and cut into four even squares.
  • Cut a hole in the middle of each or make a couple of slits. (This allows the steam to escape.)
  • Place the puff pastry squares over the top of each.
  • In a small bowl whisk the egg and then brush over the puff pastry.
  • Transfer the ramekins to a large cookie sheet. (The potpie filling may bubble over so this helps in keeping the oven clean.)
  • Bake until the puff pastry is a golden brown and the filling is nice and bubbly, about 20–25 minutes.
  • Allow finished potpies to sit for 5 minutes before serving.