Sunday, 6 May 2007
A Simple Plan
A busy weekend of work and play, with the added challenge of a terrible twosome stomping around the house, the cooking of food this weekend has been a challenge for a change. A positive start on Friday evening with a Greek feast of moussaka, salad and lemon and oregano potatoes elapsed into a strange lack of enthusiasm come Saturday. This happens rarely. And at times like this, I'll not give in to the dreaded convenience factor.
In our roadshows with Expo Chef, we demonstrate lots of quick, simple and healthy meals. Considering that I cook these a few times a week for lots of people, I have never been tempted to cook any of them for me and my family. Until now.
One of the dishes we do is a simple as can be pasta dish that takes 10 minutes to make. And it is packed with flavour. Bacon and onions, a pinch of chilli then your meat or fish of choice, rounded off with a little low fat créme fraiche and a few slithers of sun dried tomato. It is always the favourite with the crowd no matter what meat is utilised. For example, today in Morpeth I made it using some salmon and crab meat. In the school last week, I used prawns. In our house during this time of food mental shut down, I used chicken. It was brilliant, and gave me enough energy to start planning meals for the rest for the week.
This food is never going to win you awards. But it will satisfy you when you want a very quick pasta hit without the need for complicated sauces. It proves that anybody can cook as well as wipe clear the notion that tasty food has to mean spending an age in the kitchen. 10 minutes, start to finish. Ready, steady......
Spicy Chicken and Bacon Pasta
To feed 4
6 rashers of bacon, I used streaky, cut into 1 inch slices
2 chicken breasts or 3 thighs, sliced
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 tub of créme fraiche, full or half fat
A handful of sun dried tomatoes, cut into thin slivers
A pinch of chilli powder
Freshly ground pepper
Fresh parsley, chopped
1 - Bring a pan of water to the boil then pour in your pasta of choice, I use penne.
2 - Heat the olive oil in a deep pan, then add the chicken and quickly brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.
3 - Add the bacon and onion and cook until well coloured. Return the chicken and stir until cooked.
4 - Add a pinch of chilli and the sun dried tomatoes. Then stir in the créme fraiche and a grind of pepper. Bring to the simmer then remove from the heat. If you leave it for too long it will curdle.
5 - This should have taken 10 minutes at which time your pasta will be finished. All that remains is to stir it through, then serve with a few scatterings of parsley and Parmesan cheese.