Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dinner Shortcut

Today was a long one. I was looking for a quick dinner with a short grocery list. This was it!

I already had some of the ingredients.

I had most of a rotisserie chicken leftover from when I used half of the breast meat for buffalo chicken dip for a party. (Yum!) The celery came from the same thing.

I have a stockpile of Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta I ordered by the case from Amazon a while back when I thought it would be discontinued. Weird, I know, but I really like the stuff.

My brother-in-law has been telling me about Philadelphia Cooking Creme. It's on the same grocery shelf as the regular cream cheese, but it's flavored and pourable, designed to serve as a sauce. I bought the Italian Cheese and Herb flavor to try tonight.

First, I put a pot of water on for the pasta.

Then I started out by dicing a medium sweet onion and a few sticks of celery. I cut a small broccoli crown into bite-sized florets. I picked the meat off of the chicken bones and cubed it. I even used some of the dark meat; I just diced it a little smaller than the white meat. It amounted to about 2 cups of chicken.

I added a couple of teaspoons of olive oil to a large saucepan and turned it to medium heat. I added the onion and celery to the pan and salted it.  I sautéed the veggies until they were tender, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile I put 8 oz. of rotini into salted boiling water. When the pasta had five minutes left to cook, I added the broccoli to cook along with it.

When the pasta and broccoli were done, I drained them into my cool collapsible colander. (It is dishwasher safe and takes up very little space in the dishwasher or cabinet. Love it!)

I added the chicken to the onion and celery pan, then added the drained pasta and broccoli, and stirred in the container of cooking creme. I should have saved a little of the pasta water to loosen the mixture up a bit. Next time I'll  know better.

In the end, I ended up with a nice plate of pasta that took very little time to cook. Yeah!

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