Sunday, December 5, 2010

In the cooking mood.

Watching too much of Asian Food Channel is really liberating in sense of my culinary skills.  Once you are able to master making one simple sauce, you are on your way to culinary creativity.  As Chef Micheal Smith had said once in one episode of the Chef at Home series " Cooking should not be made difficult.  All you need to do is to take whatever you have in your kitchen to create the perfect recipe..", ( Not in his own words exactly but more or less bearing the same meaning) I decided to do just that.  

Ransacking my larder jam packed with ingredients that were approaching the end of its shelf life, I managed to whip up a pasta dish using whatever I could work with.  Thinking that pasta is at its most appetizing when you pair it with cheese of any sort, so my fridge was vigorously molested last night.  Joy to the world, I found me some Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.  Not having a recipe with exact measurements that could get me through to make something edible, I was aided by vivid recollections of those mouthwatering pasta dishes seen on channel 703.  Picturing those melting cheeses, vegetables, chicken and ribs gave me an idea to turn a simple carbonara sauce into my own version of Pasta Bake.  I was lucky enough that I still had the chicken stock I made months ago and just look at what I managed to come up with..

Before it hit the oven

Pasta Bake ala Scarlet
(pics taken by my Sony Ericsson 770i )

Pasta Bake
Half a packet of penne rigate plus a bit more
1 large head of brocolli
3 red capsicums, smoked
4 chicken breasts sliced into nibblets
1/4 of a 250gm butter
4 tbsp flour
3 cups of chicken stock
1 ltr full cream milk
Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese
salt and coarse black pepper to taste.

  1. Boil the pasta in salted water.  Just as it is about to cook, add in the brocolli and boil together.
  2. Drain the water and set aside.
  3. Heat up a skillet with 4 spoons of olive oil and fry the chicken pieces until they are slightly cooked.  Set aside or you could just throw it into your pasta and brocolli.
  4. Slice the smoked peppers into thin strips and put them too in the pasta.  Mix well.  
  5. Melt the butter in a pan and fry the flour, quickly stirring them.
  6. Add in the milk, bit by bit while stirring continuously to avoid the flour from becoming lumpy.  I use a whisk here!
  7. Add in the cheeses.  I noticed it to become stringy as I added the mozzarella but continuos stirring will sort that out.
  8. When the mixture is mixed well, it will become quite thick so I laced it down using the chicken stock.  Let it simmer a while and season it with salt and pepper.
  9. Cool it down a bit and pour the whole content into the pasta.  You will then get what you see in the first picture.  Eating it like that pun dah sedap!!!!!
  10. Sprinkle some more Parmesan on top and bake it in the oven.  I set the temperature at 175 Celsius for 20 minutes.
Enjoy the recipe.  If you see some flaws, please make adjustments because this recipe did not come out from any recipe book.  Do care to comment if you feel there is something wrong with the recipe. Once again, enjoy...I am sure I did!

p/s  I owe Nining, tons and tons for boiling the pasta to perfection.  She really knows what al dente means..good eh for an Indonesian helper.  She rocks!!!


Fely said...

OH. MY. WORD!! YUMMMMMMM!! And the mee kari from the previous post got me salivating!! Damn you! Lol! Well done Scarlet...they look scrummy!

Rosfida Abu Sufi said...

Hahahhaha...serves you right for making me droooooooooooool over your quiche from posting of Nia's birthday. And all those just had to post them all did you???(LOL till my head plopped...)