Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Little Somethin' Somethin' for the Cold

It has averaged about 2 degrees Fahrenheit this past weekend. Tiny Apartment has been very, very cold. I've got my tasty wool slippers and homemade wool socks, but today when I was trying to take a nap, I couldn't get warmed up no matter what. So I conspired to cook something hot and spicy to take the edge off.

I keep this three ring binder of recipes I've ripped out of magazines over the years. If - when I finally try a recipe - and it's a winner, I will write it on a recipe card and put it in my wooden recipe box. I know. This whole online thing is great and everything, but I cherish the handwritten recipes from my mother, grandmother and Aunt Kathy. When I see their handwriting, not only do I know it's going to be good, but my heart thinks of them. And I hope that doesn't die with the age of the internet. It might. But so far, I'm not giving in.

So, this recipe - I'm PRETTY sure came from a Clean Eating magazine, but it doesn't really say. I'm assuming so because I think I remember that the recipe on the OTHER side of the page came from a Clean Eating magazine. So, if you don't put your name and date on all your magazine pages, you're shit out of luck in my world. So there you go for credit. The recipe is called Shrimp Fra Diavolo with quinoa. But I despise shrimp, so chicken it is. Fra Diavolo means "Brother Devil" which apparently refers to the crushed red pepper, but I was not particularly impressed with it's devilishness - no matter how good it was. I think if I did it again, I'd add twice the amount of crushed red pepper.

Kate's Chicken Fra Diavolo
Somehow adapted from Clean Eating Magazine
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
1 1/2 T. olive oil
1 lb. chicken tenders for stir fry
1/4 t. sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 t. crushed red pepper
Bring water and quinoa to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy and tender, 10 -15 minutes.

Heat 1 T. of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken tenders, season with salt and black pepper and cook until done, about 3-5 minutes per side depending on thickness. I cooked mine on my George Foreman grill, which I love. Regardless of how you cook it, when it's done, cut it into bite sized pieces.
Heat remaining oil in skillet and add red bell pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Add onion and cook for 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. I used a combination of onions, yellow, and red peppers because I had leftovers from other recipes. Whatever floats your boat.

Add tomatoes and crushed red pepper and stir well. Add cooked chicken and simmer until heated through. To serve, top quinoa with chicken mixture.

Now, I'm a single gal, so I make sure to look at the number of servings each recipe makes. And I got some awesome new Pyrex storage dishes for Christmas, so I portioned it into 4 serving sizes and refrigerated it. I've got almost a whole week's worth of lunches in my refrigerator tonight. And it's lovely.

When all is said and done, I think this dish needs more pizazz. I would definitely add more black pepper and some italian seasoning, along with a healthy dose of crushed red pepper. But that's just me. I make it the way they tell me the first time and then make my adaptations the second time around.


clearness said...

Nothing like spicy soup to take the edge off the cold wintry weather. A place called Max & Erma's has a chicken tortilla soup that is spicy enough to warm your insides but not burn your taste buds off. It's good and I wish I was there right now eating a big bowl. Or, I wish they delivered......big bowls of that soup. Don't really want to get out in weather like this. Yuck! Too cold, yes I'm a sissy.

Kate said...

I have a wicked Chicken Tortilla Soup on this blog. You should check it out. Warms the soul, doesn't kill your tummy.