Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Lemon Tuscan Pasta with Herb Crusted Chicken

One of my favorite things to do is to figure out recipes from restaurants. Years ago, I used to work as a hostess at a local Houlihan's. My friends and I loved that place, so much that we ALL started working there! They used to have this one dish that we all loved, one of my friends, Yelena, would probablly have that dish as her last meal! She has been begging me to make this for her and I still keep promising her I will. I am just hoping that maybe this simple version of the dish will inspire her to make it on her own!

This pasta was creamy, lemony and very filling! It was one of our saddest days when they took it off the menu. So being the only cook out of all my friends, I decided to duplicate it. About 6 years ago I did it, I replicated the recipe. But it wasn't exactly the quickest thing in the world. Today, with the help of my favorite friend, Trader Joe, I was able to make a very quick and satisfying meal. With a few fresh ingredients I am able to wake up the flavors and make the sauce my own. Unfortunately, it's not the most diet friendly, so I threw in some whole grain pasta with flax seed to make up for the sauce.

*Ruth from Presto Pasta Nights will be hosting this recipe on her site! Check it out!*

Lemon Tuscan Pasta

1/2 pound spaghette or angel hair pasta
1 jar Trader Joes Alfredo Sauce (you can also use homemade if you have it)
2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 an onion, finely diced
1/4 cup good Parmasan Cheese
zest off of 1/2 a lemon
juice of 1 lemon

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta.
2. Once the water has come to a boil, start the sauce. On a very low flame add butter to a deep saute pan. Once butter melts add garlic and onion. Close lid and let the onion and garic "sweat" in the butter. You do not want any color on it. It needs to go very slow and just develop the flavors. *The smell of butter cooking with onions and garlic, has to be the best smell in the world! When my fiance' walked into the house and got a whif he was instantly excited about dinner!*
3. Once garlic and onions are translucent and very fragrant, add in your sauce and lemon zest. Scrape every bit of the sauce in, it tends to get stuck in the jar. Let it simmer just enough to get thick. At the very end add in the cheese and lemon juice. *Be very careful with the lemon juice! Do not add any acidity to a cream sauce while it is boiling. It will seperate and you will have a big globby mess! Add it in slowly, at the end.*
4. Once the pasta is done, add it to the sauce with tongs. Don't worry about the water from the pasta, it will combine nicely with the sauce.
5. Serve with a twist of lemon and a sprinkle of Parmasan Cheese on top.

Herb Crusted Chicken

2 lbs of chicken breast
seasoned Italian bread crumbs
1 egg
1 handful of Italian Parsley, finely chopped
zest off of 1 lemon
Olive oil to fry

1. Remove fat from chicken breasts. Cut the chicken breast in half horizontally. I hate pounding out chicken breasts, it scares my cat and frankly just makes too much noise. Instead, I just cut it in half and they get thin that way at the same time they make more portions.
2. In a plate, combine breadcrumbs with parsley and lemon zest.
3. In another plate scramble one egg with 1 tablespoon of water.
4. Preheat the pan on high and pour enough oil in the pan to come up about half way on the chicken.
5. Dip the chicken in egg and then in the breadcrumbs.
6. Fry until golden brown on each side. Lay out on paper towels to drain the fat.
7. Serve with a sprinkle of parsley.

1 comment:

Ruth Daniels said...

What a glorious looking dinner. Thanks so much for sharing.