Aimee’s Pretty Palate: Sunday Supper
A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned on my business Facebook page that I was preparing some make-ahead containers of my Cajun Chicken Bowtie Pasta for my pet sitter in advance of our vacation. I am so very grateful anytime I don’t have to disturb my dog’s routine when I’m traveling, and I like to show that appreciation via keeping my sitter well fed and happy.
When the requests for the recipe began rolling in, however, I quickly realized that while the recipe is included in my Picnics, Potlucks and Porch Parties cookbook, I have never shared it on my blog. A quick search on the inRegister website revealed I have also never shared it there either. My only excuse is that I must not have been in the mood to photograph it (I despise photographing casseroles), because Lord knows it’s not because I haven’t made it 9.2 million times over the last year.
I’m sharing it with you now so that you will have it on hand anytime you are feeding many or for when you wish to divide the recipe into two 8 x 8-inch disposable pans, as I do whenever I want one for my husband and me now and one to freeze for later.
Add some French bread with my easy Roasted Garlic Spread and you have all the makings for a Sunday supper meal with little effort.
And because we are talking about my recent vacation, I’m also sharing with you my Cruise Ship Strawberry Crepes. They’re a knock off of the fancy Crepe Ballon Rouge recipe I learned while taking a cooking class onboard my Alaskan cruise. The crepes are stuffed with ice cream, topped with an insane wine syrup sauce, and the perfect dessert to bid the summer season farewell if I do say so myself.
CAJUN CHICKEN BOWTIE PASTA
I’ve used bowtie pasta in this recipe, but you can also use fettuccine or linguine, if you prefer.
1 (12-oz.) pkg. bowtie pasta
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
Olive oil, enough to coat pan
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium sweet red bell pepper, chopped
½ (14½-oz.) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 (10¾-oz.) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (10¾-oz.) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
½ cup milk
1 ½ tsp. Creole seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1 ½ cups shredded Colby Jack cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray; set aside. Cook pasta according to package instructions; drain and set aside.
In a Dutch oven, sauté chicken in olive oil until juices run clear. Remove with a slotted spoon, and set aside. In same pan, sauté onions and bell pepper until tender. Add broth, soups, milk, Creole seasoning, garlic powder and black pepper. Bring to a boil; remove from heat. Add pasta and chicken, tossing to coat.
Pour chicken and pasta mixture into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese; cover and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.
Makes 4-6 servings.
ROASTED GARLIC SPREAD
2 small bulbs garli
Salt and pepper to taste
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 Tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for roasting garlic
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely diced
Slice tips off garlic bulbs to expose cloves. Place in the center of a square of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap garlic and pop into oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until dark golden and caramelized.
Once cooled, squeeze out roasted garlic into a bowl and mash with a pinch of salt until smooth. Stir in butter, olive oil, parsley and a pinch of black pepper. Stir until smooth. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Makes 4 servings.
CRUISE SHIP STRAWBERRY CREPES
1½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 Tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
2 cups milk
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 oz. red wine (I used Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon, about 1⁄3 of the bottle)
8 oz. sugar
2 slices fresh lemon (peel and juice)
2 slices fresh orange (peel and juice)
1 cinnamon stick
2 oz. cornstarch
3 oz. sugar
3 oz. balsamic vinegar
4 oz. Wine Sauce
Sliced strawberries (4 to 6 per plate)
Begin by making Crepes: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat milk, eggs, butter and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix until batter is smooth. Heat an 8-in. omelet pan over medium-high heat and coat with butter or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Use a mini cookie scoop to pour batter into pan (about 2 scoops). Quickly turn pan from side to side to form an even and thin circle of batter, completely covering pan. Cook until batter is no longer shiny and wet and begins to turn dry and light golden brown. Gently flip and cook remaining side. Remove from heat and place on a piece of parchment paper until ready to serve.
Prepare Wine Sauce: Mix and boil all ingredients except cornstarch in a small pot. Remove orange and lemon peels. Dilute cornstarch in a bit of water, then add slowly to wine mixture. Remove from heat and set aside to thicken.
For Strawberries: Heat a large pan and cook sugar to a caramel stage, then deglaze with balsamic vinegar and Wine Sauce. Add strawberries and mix thoroughly; sauté for about 3 minutes.
To assemble: Place a scoop of ice cream in center of each Crepe. Fold corners around ice cream, flip and place folded side down on center of plate. Arrange 4 to 5 pieces of sautéed Strawberries around plate, and drizzle Wine Sauce over top of Crepes and around Strawberries. Decorate with a sprig of mint.
Note: For original recipe ingredients and flambé instructions, see my blog post titled “Cruise Ship Crepes” on southernfromscratch.com.
Makes 4 servings.
Aimee Broussard is a Southern food blogger and award-winning author. Her recent cookbook Picnics, Potlucks & Porch Parties debuted exclusively on QVC. Join Aimee for weekly recipes with a side of Southern hospitality on her blog, aimeebroussard.com.