Saturday, August 18, 2012

On the Table

     From early spring 1996 until the summer of 1999, I wrote a food column called "On the Table" for The Daily News where I work.
     When the company sold in 1999, my job duties changed and the column was dropped. Over the years, I've written a few food features and thoroughly enjoyed them. Links to one on Juicing and one on Essential Oils are in other posts on my blog.
     Anyway, awhile back, the newspaper's This Day editor asked me if I'd like to write the column again. What? Of course! My first new column ran Aug. 1. They will appear on and in The Daily News every other week. :-) Am I excited? You bet!
     The first one was on sandwiches and the second was on tomatoes.
     Here are links to them:

     And since then, I've written several more. Simply visit and in the upper right-hand corner, search for Nancy Edwards and they should pop up.
     The features I am most proud of are the ones on essential oils and the 2011 Halloween package.
     Please note, visitors to the site are limited to viewing 10 pages per month before being asked to pay a monthly fee. 

Creamy Grilled Chicken Garlic Pasta

     Hi. My name is Nancy and I'm an addict.
     A Pinterest addict, that is.
      I love, love, love Pinterest and could spend an entire day perusing boards and pinning, pinning, pinning. But I don't, except on weekends and today is no exception. I've neglected my farm on Farmville; my trail has dead-ended on Pioneer Trail; my castle is falling apart on Castleville; my home on The Ville needs some TLC; Bingo, Slingo, Bubble Safari, calamari. Oh, wait. Calamari has nothing to do with anything.
     Enough of that. Back to Pinterest.
     This morning I discovered a recipe for Creamy Garlic Pasta from The Cheese Pusher and decided to try it out. I didn't have the exact ingredients the recipe called for, so I modified it and OMG, it is so yummy. Hubby said it was amazing. 
     Before I get into the recipe, here's a photo.

Creamy Grilled Chicken Garlic Pasta

     Doesn't that look good? Of course, it does.
     Here is the original recipe before I modified it.

Creamy Garlic Pasta
     2 tablespoons olive oil
     4 cloves garlic, minced
     2 tablespoons butter
     1/4 teaspoon salt
     1/2 teaspoon pepper
     3 cups chicken stock
     1/2 pound spaghetti or angel hair pasta
     1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
     3/4 cup heavy cream
     2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

     In a pot, bring the olive oil to medium-low heat. Add the garlic and stir, allowing it to cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Mix in the butter until melted. Add the salt, pepper and chicken stock. Raise the heat to high and let it come to a boil.
     Once it is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook for as long as the package directions indicate. Reduce the heat to medium and mix in the Parmesan until completely melted. Turn off the heat and stir in the cream and parsley. Serve immediately.

My favorite.
     OK. I didn't have fresh garlic so I used Kirkland's Signature brand Granulated California Garlic as shown here. It's made from 100 percent California grown garlic that has been dehydrated and milled to size. I buy it at Costco and absolutely love it.
     I sprinkled 2 tablespoons of the garlic into the olive oil in a large no-stick frying pan. That's right ... frying pan - one with at least four inch sides. I stirred it until all the powder was mixed in with the oil. Then I added the butter, Mediterranean sea salt and fresh ground five pepper blend.
     I only had one can of chicken broth, which equaled two cups, so I added one cup of filtered water. I did not raise the heat to high, but to medium-medium high (hot enough to bring it to a boil).
     I had some leftover grilled chicken breasts so I cut them into chunks and added them to the liquid mixture. Once it was heated through, I tasted it and, because I love garlic, added a couple shakes more. When the mixture started to boil, I added the pasta. The pan was wide enough to lay it all in perfectly in the liquid.
     I put the lid on the pan and let the pasta cook. When it was done, rather than turn down the heat and add the Parmesan cheese, I removed the pan from the heat and added the cheese, stirring until it was completely melted. I didn't have any heavy cream, so I used half and half.
     We love pepper, too, so upon serving, hubby and I each added fresh ground pepper.
     The next time I make this, I'm going to add some Cajun seasoning. The flavor reminds me of the Cajun Chicken Pasta made at Red Lobster. Heck, you could use shrimp, grilled salmon, even bacon in this creamy pasta.
     Don't be afraid to make your own modifications when it comes to seasonings.