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Monday, April 12, 2010

Fresh herbs and Pasta! Tres Bonne!

Fresh herbs. What a wonderful and delicious thing! My little tiny green friends are coming along fairly well with only a few hiccups along the way. My Basil took a shock at the beginning of the week, it got very cold overnight, and I did not even think about the poor buggers, and the next morning I was looking at 6 little shriveled green guys, so I did the only thing I could think of. Nothing. I thought, hey they are in shock and likely anything I do will probably make it worse, so I gave them a few days, no watering or anything and they came back a little worse for the wear, but I think they will be ok. All the other guys are doing very nicely, the cilantro was cranky at first but is now coming along even better than I could have imagined, and while the others are not exactly taking off, I think in another week or so I am going to have to start pinching them back.

So after a rather droll class today I thought to myself I should make something with some of these tasty treats and came up with this delicious pasta .

I used a tri-color rotini pasta ( tomato, spinach and egg) and leftover pulled rotisserie chicken ( slightly smoky, but no skin and white meat only!) A lemon herbed veloute sauce, and Feta cheese.

To better explain the sauce I did a twisted Veloute/Bercy. For those of you who are unfamiliar with these sauces, volute is one of the “five mother sauces” used in French cooking. They are the base sauces that all other sauces are built upon. They are Bechamel (milk and roux), Espagnole sauce (roughly a very dark roux with veal stock and meat and bone) AKA Brown sauce, Hollandaise (egg yolk, butter and lemon juice) this is the amazing sauce served on eggs benedict, Tomato sauce (need I say more), and Veloute (light roux with one of many kinds of stock added to it). Bercy is simply Veloute with the addition of Shallots and white wine (basically)
SOOOO… I made my roux (equal parts butter and flour cooked till straw colored, then added chicken stock and lemon juice (2T butter/Flour; 1cup of broth, and +2T of lemon juice) let it simmer for 20 minutes then added my basil (the poor damaged leaves) minced garlic, and Oregano and gave it another 5-10 minutes or so to release the flavors. Then I tossed the pasta in the sauce and chicken and added Feta (lots) to the top with some more julienne basil and oregano.

The result was fabulous! And I was so hungry I forgot to take a picture, but I think you all get the picture. Now you will have to take note, when I am cooking I often do much by feel, smell, and taste so my times are not exact and often my measures are not as exact, however, one does not mess wit the proportions of roux, or veloute. Not without some terrifying results anyway, so consider yourself warned.

So I got to make a pasta dish I have been toying with and use my fresh herbs, as well as pinch back some of my tiny friends, all a great night for yummy foods! As Julia says “Bonne Appetite!”

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