Thursday night we invited our dear friends Erick and Kelly over for dinner. They are charming and fun, and we always have a blast when we get together. Last time they were over I made my brother’s recipe for Ginger Crusted Chicken. It was a hit, so I needed to outdo myself this time.
I hit the produce mother-lode at my mom’s house. She, for some, reason stocked up on fresh vegetables before leaving for vacation, so she loaded me up with a ton of goodies on Wednesday night before she left town.
I had a great selection of ingredients to work with! Oh how I love fresh vegetables! I ended up with several pickling cucumbers, 3 bell peppers, 3 roma tomatoes, a whole carton of baby bella mushrooms, 3 leeks, some spinach, romaine lettuce, and a partridge in a pear tree.
The nice thing about having a professional chef for a brother is that anytime I need to impress friends I can call him up and he’s always game for a recipe challenge. (Not that the perfectly stocked pantry I possessed was much of a challenge!) Together we decided on a Chicken saute’ with Mushrooms, leeks, and red pepper in a white wine, lemon, butter sauce over linguine. I also served a fresh summer salad of peppers, cucumber and tomato on the side.
No one was home so I invited Billie Holiday over, poured a glass of wine, and started chopping my vegetables. This is one of the best most cathartic parts of my day. Nothing but me and my food. It is a glorious moment to be kinetic with everything I’m about to devour! It is so very human.
“It’s so beautifully arranged on the plate – you know someone’s fingers have been all over it.” -Julia Child
For the salad I chopped the pickling cucumbers, orange bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, and tomatoes into uniform pieces. I added about 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar, a little olive oil, minced garlic, salt & pepper, and a bit of sugar to cut the acidity of the vinegar. Put them in the fridge for at least an hour and this will sort of pickle the salad. It is really delicious!
For the main dish I cubed 4 chicken breasts and sauteed with a bit of olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. 4 breasts are really too much for 4 people so I set a little bit aside and stored in the fridge to use in a chicken salad for lunch another day.
Once your chicken is cooked through add one diced red bell pepper, LOTS of sliced mushrooms, and 2 sliced leeks.
Also add about a cup of white wine, salt & pepper, garlic, lots of lemon juice, and about 3 Tbsp of butter. Let this cook down for a good 30min-1 hour. After it has cooked down add about 2/3 cup of milk and let is reduce a little. You want it to be all stewy and amazing.
When it is ready it will like like this… —->
Prepare your linguine, drain, and then pour all this stewy goodness right over the pasta and stir.
Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Since all the big kids had wine and lime-a-ritas… as a special little treat I made Kelly a Pregnancy Cocktail. She is having a little girl in September 🙂 The cocktail consisted of strawberries and blueberries dropped into a champagne flute. A little cranberry juice, peach sparkling cider, and lime juice. She loved it!