Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mike's Chicken Marsala Tomato pasta

Hello Mike here, yes it is Mike and not Sarah.  I usually allow her to write the blogs since she tends to have a great way of wording things.  I am more of a blunt and simple guy but I am going to try today with my Chicken Marsala Tomato pasta.

So I was hungry and wanting to cook something easier so I came up with this meal.  I wanted chicken in a tomato sauce over some pasta.  I started to think of what veggies to add in with the chicken.  I had some carrots that needed to be used, so they went in.  Next was mushrooms because they just absorb flavors so well.  Third veggie was sweet peas.  I went with canned sweet peas instead of frozen since my roomie has a bunch of junk in the freezer and no room for a bag of peas.  I was looking at pasta at Walmart and decided upon whole wheat penne pasta.

Now time to cook, I just enjoy cooking.  It is a way for me to relax and it usually tastes good.  I can not say it always tastes good though unfortunately.  So I started the water for the pasta.  I put some roasted garlic olive oil in a pot of water and some sea salt.  I thought the garlic olive oil would help but I think it was a waste of expensive oil, good thing it was free thanks Wendy.  I use the oil to flavor the pasta some and to keep the water from boiling over.  How does the oil keep it from boiling over you ask.  Well the oil breaks the surface tension of the water and prevents it from boiling over.  Sarah accomplishes the same thing by placing a wooden spoon across the top of the pot, so when the water boils up it breaks the surface tension when it touches the spoon.  So I turned on the burner under the water and started browning the chicken, I seasoned with S&P, in a different pan.

I was about done with the chicken browning and looked over at the water.  It was not boiling.  How is it not boiling yet, the electric rings are not even glowing yet.  Oh that is right I rent an apartment and the stove is not top quality or even mediocre quality.  I guessed the ring was not getting a solid connection in the stove top so I moved the pot to a different burner and started again.  Since I was waiting for water to boil I poured some Marsala wine into the pan to get a nice steamed wine facial and scrap the brown goodness off of the bottom of the pan. The smell of the Marsala wine started to fill my apartment up.  Finally the water is boiling so I put my pasta in its bath of oil and salt.

Now that the pasta is cooking I can start more on my sauce.  I had juilenned  two carrots into small pieces.  Knowing they will take a while to cook I put those in with the chicken.  I added a can of Rotel sauce into the pot with the chicken.  Not a can of Rotel tomatoes and peppers but just a can of sauce.  I added a little more Marsala into the pan.  I sliced up three baby button mushrooms and add them to the pan with a little more Marsala.  The mushrooms just absorb the flavor of the Marsala so well along with the tomato sauce flavor.  I added some Italian seasoning into the pot, I need to add some more for next time.  Finally I added a little over have a small can of Del Monte sweet peas to the pan
All the kids in the pool

My pasta took longer to cook than expected, even after the water was boiling.  So I had to add a little more Marsala to keep the sauce from thicken up to tight.  No, it was not a lot of Marsala.  It just seems like it.  In reality my pours of Marsala are very small, probably close to an ounce with each pour.  So the final product was ready to combine.  Next time I will add the pasta in the pan with the sauce and stir it around to help the pasta take on the sauce.  I added some Parmesan cheese because everything is better with cheese, don't let Sarah convince you otherwise.

Final product not super pretty but not bad.

Sarah has gotten my eating healthier and proper serving sizes.  To help with that she got me using myfitnesspal.com app for my phone.  I used the app to make my recipe.  I determined it was three servings of sauce and 242 calories per serving.  That is only a rough estimate from the app, just FYI.

Then later in the night I felt like an adult beverage.  Sarah and I have a recipe called a Yummy Gummy vodka drink.  The drink has 2 oz or Pinnacle Gummy vodka, 2 oz of Triple Sec and 4 oz of sweet and sour mix.  I have to stir it up since I do not have a shaker.  Yes the drink may seem girlie but if it tastes good and is half full of alcohol then it sounds like a good drink to me.  Who needs to drink something that is only somewhat tasty and weak on the alcohol, aka beer.  I am a more of hard alcohol drinker over beer.

Yummy Gummy vodka drink
So in closing "Get out and cook."  What better way to bond with the family or just relax by yourself than seeing your work turn out well and taste so good.