Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Golden Pasta

I have a catering gig on Friday, Dine&Jam on Sunday, and Papa's birthday party on the 15th so I need to get the creative juices flowing.

I'd been kicking around the idea for this unusual pasta sauce in my head for days. I chose today to try it out and I got so pumped up about it that even though I had some trouble searching for the ingredients that I wanted, nothing could stop me hehehe.

I did have a backup dish that I was also excited about. Indira's comment on the last post had gotten me thinking about doing something en papillote again, so I did a bit of ref raiding. This morning's inventory check turned up -among other things - a few potatoes, and some fresh tarragon in danger of drying out.

Even though I had doubts the two dishes I had in mind would pair well, I just knew they would both make really good eats & so I went ahead and made both of 'em.

After two hours in the kitchen, Sarah & I had our Golden Pasta with Pine Nuts & Dried Apricots, and Tarragon Chicken En Papillote.

Just like I hoped, the pasta looked way funky! I dug into that first, and I had to smile. It turned out just the way I wanted it. Maybe a tad too spicy. Though I'm a nutball for spicy food, I intended this sauce to be on the delicate side. Will bring the spice down a notch next time. The apricots were a stroke of genius, if I may say so myself hehehe. The toasted pine nuts gave it just the crunch & nutty flavor I was shooting for.

Golden Pasta with Pine Nuts & Dried Apricots
Golden Pasta with Pine Nuts & Dried Apricots

Next, the baked bird. Panalo!

En Papillote is just a fancy shmancy french term for "wrapped in paper." You put all your ingredients into a parchment or foil bag & bake it. I'm a big fan of cooking in bags. What I did was parboil some potatoes (well scrubbed so I could leave the skins on, and to conserve water I did the boiling in the same water I was gonna use to cook the pasta). Next I julienned some carrot, sliced up some mushrooms, and seasoned a couple of whole chicken legs. The sauce was orange juice & zest, olive oil, mustard, a nice bit of wine, and of course the fresh tarragon. I divided up into two bags and baked those suckers for half an hour.

Tarragon Chicken En Papillote
Tarragon Chicken En Papillote

P.S. After posting this I woke up in the middle of the night & remembered I had meant to use herbes de Proven├že on the chicken, but forgot about it come cooking time! Will save that idea for next time.

P.P.S Hey why are my food shots so blurry?!

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Anonymous Jep said...

En papillote reminds me of beef a la mustang from the movie "Seven Girlfriends." (My personal take on this was pastrami a la Honda).

Try this for photos:
1) close-up focus (the "flower" thing)
2) a tripod

They still look yummy, though, 'tol.

6:10 PM  
Blogger JB said...

Dude, I know how to take close-up shots heheh. I had my camera on macro (yeah, the flower thing), mounted on a tripod, and used the timer (so my hand pressing the shutter button wouldn't disturb the camera). The original photo was good, and even after I resized, and converted to screen resolution. I should've said, "Why are my food shots for this post so blurry after uploading them, when the source files (which, unfortunately, I have now deleted) were fine?" but I thought I'd save space hehehe.

Hey I'm intrigued by this beef a la mustang, and your own take. This doesn't involve putting a food-filled foil packet on the engine block while the motor's running, does it? Hehe.

1:09 AM  

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