Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Little Celebrations: Gourmet Baffoo

1. The rains haven't completely returned. It is an Indian summer, cool mornings and nights, warm days. It's beautiful.

2. Yesterday I started to harvest apples. We have a columnar apple tree in the herb bed, what The Spouse charmingly refers to as "the apple stick". The apple stick is full of fruit this year, for a little tree. I have already baked one pie.

The above bowlful represents only about half of what is left on the tree, which doesn't include the ones which have already fallen or the ones which The Dog learned to steal from the bottom most branches. I have a hankering for applesauce cake (no raisins, eeww) and turnovers and tarte tatin.

3. Last night The Neighbor and I had our usual "cocktail hour", for about twice as long as usual. Sometimes it's just a quick check-in, "how was your day" sort of visit. Sometimes we really get going, like last night, talking about politics, personal responsibility, hope, reality tv, blogs and how much we both hate it when someone says, "Well, that's just the way it is".

Have I mentioned lately how much I love The Neighbor? Somewhere along the way she went from being a really cool neighbor who shared the proverbial cup of sugar over a fence and was fun (and convenient) to hang with to becoming one of my best friends. I heart her.

4. Ikea's frozen Swedish meatballs are the most delicious thing ever. We had them for dinner last night with lingonberry sauce. And it's a good thing I planned it that way, too, because it meant that I could spend extra time hanging with The Neighbor and still give the family a decent dinner, even though I was an hour late getting it to the table.

5. Our Jewish neighbors are preparing for Sukkot, which means that little huts are springing up in various back gardens. There will be a lot of late night feasting and laughter will come over the back fence from the Rabbi's house. The Rabbi's Wife has invited The Neighbor and I to stop in one evening and I think we will. I will have to get a bottle of kosher wine to take with us. The Rabbi's Wife is an excellent cook.

6. All my clean napkins are ironed.

7. Tonight we're having Gourmet Baffoo for dinner. A few years back, when The Child began to take a serious interest in cooking, she asked to invent a recipe. I was planning on doing something with chicken and she started to suggest how it should be prepared. It was basically a modification of my chicken and biscuits recipe, without the biscuits, and served over pasta. It was good. When I asked her what we should call the concoction she said, "Gourmet Baffoo". I don't know what the heck that's supposed to mean but that's what we call it.

Gourmet Baffoo

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
1/2 c. diced carrots
16 oz. farfalle or rotini pasta
2 T. butter
1/4 pound crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
2 T. all-purpose flour
2 c. half and half
1/2 c. frozen green peas
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
1 c. unseasoned bread crumbs

Bring a small pot of water to the boil and cook the carrots until just beginning to be tender. Drain and set aside.

Saute pieces in 1-2 T. olive oil until browned. Set aside.

Bring large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions.

Melt the butter in a large skillet and saute the mushrooms and onions. When onion is translucent, sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.

Add half & half and cook until sauce thickens.

When sauce is thicken add the peas and carrots, then stir in the Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Drain the cooked pasta and place in an oiled baking dish. Lay chicken pieces over pasta and cover with the sauce. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.


Kimberly Ann said...

Sounds delish. I was looking for a good chicken recipe for tonight and I think this will fit the bill.

Lorraine said...

Hope you enjoy it, Kimberly Ann!