Sunday, August 9, 2009

Post-Move In Pantry Clean-out

As many who read my blog know, I am a very proud dog owner, until the parent's return from Mexico I watched over my own dog (Jack) and my parents dog (Molly). Now, post-move, Jack and I are the only ones. In the absence of his 'mommy' Molly, Jack has taken on a number of new habits....most quite silly in nature. Two of Jack's new favorite locations are today's feature photos...exhibit A, Jack ala master bedroom closet:

Exhibit B, Jack in the pink please excuse any dirty look to the chair, it's been around for quite sometime but for the last year or so it has been hidden by a denim slip cover (it's currently between slip covers) that left a mild blue tint to the corners:

You'd think that a recent move would mean I am starting off with bare cupboards, but you'd be wrong....I transported lots of spices, dry goods and a handful of freezer foods that I feel the need to use lately. SO, pasta seems to be the flavor of the hour, no seriously in the last six days I've eaten pasta probably five nights (some being leftovers). That's pretty unusual for me, but it's been a nice change of pace.

Tonight, inspired by fresh herbs and a recent Panna Cotta post on the Chef Fresco's blog I pulled together a Chicken Margharita Pasta and Panna Cotta with Honey Balsamic Vinegar.

Chicken Margharita Pasta

2 Cubed Chicken Breasts
3 Chopped Tomatoes
1 Clove Sliced Garlic
3 Tbsp Chopped Basil
Angel Hair Pasta
Olive Oil
5 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
2.5 Tbsp Honey

1. Crisp garlic slices in olive oil. Remove from oil, set aside.
2. Saute chicken pieces with olive oil, salt and pepper. Boil pasta while chicken cooks.
3. Once chicken is cooked, toss chopped tomato and garlic with chicken, heat until tomato is just warm.
4. In small sauce pan, reduce vinegar and honey together until syrupy (about 3-5 minutes).
5. Drain pasta. Set serving size of pasta on plate, layer chicken, tomato and garlic over the pasta. Drizzle vinegar reduction over the top then garnish with basil.

Panna Cotta
1 Envelope Unflavored Gelatin
1/4 Cup Cold Water
1/4 Cup Sugar
2 Cup Whipping Cream
2/3 Cup Half and Half
1/3 Cup Sour Cream
1/3 Cup Berries
Honey-Balsamic Vinegar Reduction (see instructions below)

1. Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in small saucepan and let stand 3 to 4 minutes; stir in sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar and gelatin are dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Whisk whipping cream, half and half and sour cream together until smooth in a small bowl; whisk in gelatin mixture. Pour mixture into 6 stemmed glasses or small bowls. Regigerate until set, 3 to 4 hours.
3. Spoon berries on top of Panna Cotta and drizzle with Honey-Balsamic Vinegar Reduction.

Honey-Balsamic Vinegar Reduction
3 Tbsp Honey
3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

Heat honey and vinegar to boiling in small saucepan; reduce heat and simmer until thickened to a syrupy consistency (2-3 minutes). Cool and refrigerate.

My first experience with Panna Cotta was making it for my grandmother's birthday a few years back, her birthday is in October and in Texas it can be unseasonably hot then still (not unlike today when it's 105!) I searched for a chilled dessert that wouldn't be too heavy tasting. This is a very easy dessert and quite tasty, it reminds me almost of a yogurt in flavor but with the berries and honey-balsamic reduction it's got just the right ratio of tart to sweet.


Chef E said...

Cute dog, and this meal sounds good. I have yet to make panna cotta for my hubby who adores it...on my list!

Katherine Aucoin said...

Jack is a real looker!

It looks like post moving, you have been very busy in the kitchen. The pasta really has me drooling!

Anonymous said...

The pasta sounds delicious and the panna cotta is very tempting! yum!

Chef Fresco said...

We just made our first panna cotta, but it turned out soo bad! Shoot, yours looks good though!

Karine said...

Both your dishes looks delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipe :)

Donna-FFW said...

MY Goodness.. I LOVE both of these dishes you posted. The yummy pasta with tomatoes, chicken is perfect for the season right now.

And that panna cotta.. I have never made one, I want to try this one.

Kerstin said...

Awww, Jack is such a cutie! Your pasta looks so flavorful and delicious - yum!

♥Rosie♥ said...

You have me going ahhhh and ooooo's over Jack, what a cutie pie he is!! Love both of your dishes too of pasta and panna cotta mmmmmm...