Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Julie's Supper Club: Sgt. Grumbles Makes Chicken Pasta

Wow, ask me what's for dinner and I can post forever. While I'm at it, here's a picture of my kitchen (taken a couple of years ago) for no real reason at all other than, hey, I cook there!

So, anyway, what's for dinner? You've probably already sussed out that I'm In Charge of Dinner. It's for the best, and if you ask me, I'll tell you I like cooking... but I don't like being the one who HAS to cook. If you ask me what's for dinner, suddenly there's a shift from me wanting to cook to me having to cook... like it's expected of me. Which: Of course it is, but I hate to admit it and I go all Sgt. Grumbles about it. What is up with that, anyway? I'm so weird.

Sidebar: Almost every day, on the drive home from work, Tim will lovingly look deep into my cheekbone (because I'm watching the road, right?) and sweetly ask me the following question...

"What would you like to do for dinner?"

This makes me irrationally angry (and yes, I do know it is irrational, see how I used "irrationally"?) because it's not about what I want to do for dinner, it's never about what I want to do for dinner! After doing stuff for everybody else since the minute I get up, and working all day, and picking everybody up and driving everybody home, what I want to do for dinner is exercise my takeout-ordering dialing finger, or have somebody else cook, or just generally have dinner magically appear (and have a clean kitchen at the end of it, thanks). The real question, I posit, is "What are you, my wife, the same person who cooks dinner almost every night, going to be cooking for dinner on this night? BTW did I mention I'm hungry?" but Tim swears that he asks me what I want to do for dinner because he's being considerate... and because sometimes I tell him to microwave queso. Which: true. (And he's very sweet, and I can be... cranky. Ish. SHUT UP.)


Tonight, I'm going to make what I call Chicken Pasta. Generic, no? But my family knows what it means when I say that, so that's what I call it. Again, this is not a test of precise measuring and if you ask me how much of what goes in I'm likely to tell you "a bunch", or "some", or "whatever looks right". Typically, I make enough food to feed an army/pack for lunch the next day.

Chicken Pasta


While the pasta is cooking according to package directions, cook the chicken (as much as you need to feed your number of people) in a large pan or pot sprayed with nonstick stuff. Cook until it's hot (for frozen pre-cooked popcorn, this is generally until it is heated through). After it's hot, reduce the heat, and add tomatoes.

Now, what I do with the tomatoes depends on my mood. Sometimes I just dump both cans into the chicken, sometimes I dump one can in as-is and puree the other. Up to you. Once the tomato is in and hot, drain the pasta and mix it in.

Chicken Pasta
Click to embiggen

Cut your mozz into 1/4 inch cubes, sprinkle it over the top of the chicken/sauce/pasta, and cover the whole thing for a couple minutes until the cheese is soft. Don't stir too much or you'll make a big cheeseball mess.

I like to have a salad with this - my current favorite is Fresh Express Sweet Butter Lettuce salad in the bag, and now I wish I'd never, ever, Googled bagged salad. I can't un-know those things, Internet Nation! Why do you ruin everything I love? WHY?