And now, I’m eating like a pauper. My body sometimes can’t take the transformations by resorting to quick pizza slices (Vegan) and sandwiches (Turkey) while I’m out or just before my training. I’ve kept dimsum at bay, and the rich, creamy, spicy and buttery Indian muttons and the heavy Chinese soy and bean sauces only for serious celebrations. From having a luxurious cut of beef or porkloin, I was moved down to a diminutive slice of chicken breast, a bunch of greens and a small heap of pasta; unfathomable! I had never thought I would switch to this diet, and I was caught off-guard.
I encountered this dish in a steakhouse last summer when a former HS classmate visited Toronto. We went to a steakhouse, and as American as he was, went for a good old fashioned cut of steak and nachos. I’ve had several encounters with steakhouses here in the city and seeing another cut makes me avoid it all the more; moreso now with the health scare. I’ve had done pub style nachos a long time ago and wouldn’t or can’t even touch one. Extreme exhaustion also got the best of me; coming from work and travelling farther up north to the suburbs to meet him was menacing. Nevertheless, it had to happen. It had been close to 25 years since we had seen each other, thus, I didn’t really mind the long travel. So, to bring my nerves down and put me on a relaxing mode, I resorted to a lighter meal and a bottle of beer instead.
This is my rendition of that dish. It was originally cooked with Portobello mushrooms. I used regular white mushrooms and whole wheat pasta for a healthier alternative. Mushrooms are always on sale in the oriental store and I can never go wrong by adding either herbs, a pinch of salt & pepper or wine with any kind of mushrooms. The pasta is given; tomato, pesto or even with just a drizzle of an expensive olive oil does wonders. The end product almost always tastes delicious.
I marinated the chicken breast to my liking; heavy on Pimenton and honey. The one I had was tad bland, and just had a hint of wine. I couldn’t remember though if it was seared or grilled. My former HS classmates stared at me when I turned the dish up and about and even around. Told them it was work related.
- Chicken Breast
- Whole Wheat Spaghetti
- Olive oil
- Mushrooms, quartered
- Garlic, minced to a paste
- Onions, chopped
- Pimenton Dulce (or Paprika)
- Salt & Pepper
- Truffle Salt
- Condensed milk
- Compound butter
- Parmesan (condiment)
- Pimenton Dulce
- Salt & Pepper
Marinate the chicken breast overnight. Pre-heat a sauté pan and sear the breast on both sides. Transfer to a roasting pan and finish off in a medium-high 350’C pre-heated oven ( really depends how big the breast is).
Add a little more olive oil and sauté the onion and mushrooms. Deglaze with whiskey and add a little chicken stock (or pasta water) to form a pan-sauce. Scoop a little minced garlic into the pan.
Meanwhile, cook some spaghetti based on box instructions. Remove and set aside. Save some pasta water for the sauce.
Add the pasta (and water) and continue sautéing. Add a small amount of compound butter into the pan and finish off with condensed milk (or cream). Season to taste. Remove the chicken breast from the oven and let it rest, tinted (save the drippings to be added into the pan-sauce).
Scoop the pasta into a dish and set the chicken atop the plate. Sprinkle with Truffle salt, and garnish with slivers of green onion.
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