Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

April 8, 2009

So, I was wondering what to cook for dinner the other night. I looked into my cupboard and saw two half used packs of different pasta. I decided I should use that up! What else do I have around? Well, I also had half a rotisserie chicken. All I needed now was something to make a nice chicken pasta salad. A quick trip to the Kroger and I was home with some sun dried tomatoes, zucchini, and store brand salad dressing (sun dried tomato flavor). What a dish I can make with this!

I first boiled the assortment of pasta based on the recommended time on the pack. I cut up the zucchini and sun dried tomatoes to any size you like. After the pasta was done, I put it in a big pan and tossed in everything else. After about 15 minutes it was nice and tender. I served it that way, and LOVED it! Fast, easy, and cheap.



Rotisserie Chicken Wrap

February 18, 2009

As you know, I have been cooking a lot of chickens in my new Showtime Rotisserie. One of the problems I have come across is I get tired of having just rotisserie chicken all the time. For something new I tried making a cool ranch chicken wrap. This came out great! I got some tortillas, diced up some tomatoes, added lettuce, bacon bits, ranch dressing, and some cold rotisserie chicken. I even tried added some cheese. It was great! A nice change of pace.

Showtime Rotisserie

January 24, 2009

I am sure you have seen the infomercials on TV for the Ronco Showtime Rotisseries. I have to say they really work! I got the smaller compact model and so far love it. When you go to the grocery store they sell rotisserie chickens for around $7.00. Now I can cook my own rotisserie chicken for around $4.00. It only takes a little over an hour to fully cook the chicken. The rotisserie also has a basket that goes in it to cook things like chicken wings, steaks, or even vegetables. I am really looking forward to trying some rotisserie wings!

Here is a photo of the model I got. I also put some tin foil in the back behind the heating element to make clean up even easier.

The first step after washing the chicken is to season it any way you like. I like to you lemon pepper seasoning. I sometimes also cut a lemon in half and put it in the cavity. A very important step is to tie the bird up. If you don’t do this the wings will come out and start hitting the heating element. The Showtime Rotisserie comes with elastic ties that are easy to use. You can also use twine. Here is one chicken ties up.

Then all you have to do is insert the rods into the chicken. It is very simple. It even comes with a stand to hold it up.

Then just put it in and turn the rotisserie on!

It really comes out great. Very juicy and cooked all the way though.

Honey Chicken

November 16, 2008

The other morning before work I watched an episode of Mr. Food. He was doing a dish called Honey Chicken. It looked very similar to sesame chicken that I get from my local Chinese restaurant. I gave it a try and at first was not to happy. But the next day when I heated the left overs back up it was much better. Maybe the honey mixture just needed time to soak in. Here is the recipe off the Mr. Food site.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup sesame seeds
Vegetable oil for frying
1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 cup honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon soy sauce

  1. In a large bowl, make a batter by combining the flour, baking powder, salt, and water; mix well.
  2. In a large deep skillet, toast the sesame seeds over medium-high heat, until golden. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium, add 1/4 inch oil to the skillet, and heat the oil until hot but not smoking. Dip the chicken pieces in the batter, coating completely, then cook in batches for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden. Drain on a paper towel-lined platter.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, warm the honey, garlic, and soy sauce over low heat for 4 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place the chicken in a large bowl and pour the warm honey sauce over it. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, and toss until the chicken is well coated. Serve immediately.

Coating the chicken pieces in the batter was a little more difficult than I thought. In my mind I was thinking I could just roll the chicken pieces around in it and that would be good enough. But the batter is so sticky it was hard to get it to stay on the chicken and not my hands! I finally got the pieces coated and started frying them.

As you can also see by the above picture, I have the honey mixture on the back burner. I also added a few drops of sesame seed oil to the mixture. If you do this be very careful to only add a few drops. Sesame seed oil is very strong! I cooked the chicken in batches and let drain on a paper towel.

When all the chicken was done and the honey mixture was warm, I transferred it over to a large bowl and and poured the honey mixture over the chicken. I then tossed the chicken to get it covered nicely. I then added the sesame seeds and tossed again.

Like I said, when I first tried it was was not too happy. But the left overs were much better. Does anyone have any ideas how to make this better? Here is the price breakdown.

Chicken Breast $3.36

Sesame Seeds $3.79

Honey $3.59

Total $10.74

I had the other ingredients already, so add a little more if you don’t. Next time I will get some local honey and not Kroger brand.