Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pasta with Chicken and Shimeji Mushrooms

The other day I had lunch at The Curry House and my companion ordered the Pasta with Shimeji Mushrooms, while I ordered the Tofu Salad.
 
Hers looked so good, I had to go home and make some for lunch the next day!


I ended up making it twice--once with flour and half-and-half, and the other time with cream cheese.

This is the one with the cream cheese sauce.

It's a lot easier to make, and of course, richer.



This is the one with the half-and-half.

It's a lot lighter,  but overall, it was good too.



Ingredients:

Serves 2

1 chicken breast, sliced
1 package Buna Shimeji mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup sake or white wine
1 to 2 cups chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half or 8 ounces softened cream cheese
2 cups arugula or spinach
2 cloves garlic, minced

optional: 2 teaspoons capers

1/2 pound pasta



These are the shimeji mushrooms.

I bought them at Nijiya Market--they also have them at 99 Ranch Market or most other Asian grocery stores.

Regular mushrooms also work fine.



This is what they look like out of the package.

I like the way they look.



They're all clustered at the base.



I trim that part off and pull the mushrooms apart.




Start cooking your noodles, they take longer than the sauce. 



Be sure to watch them or they may boil over and mess up your stove.

That's only bad if you're taking photos while  you're cooking.



Cook the chicken first.

I didn't use much chicken--if you like it with a lot of chicken use 2 chicken breasts.



When the chicken is seared on the outside, add the onions, garlic and butter.

Saute until the onions are just wilted.



Then add the mushrooms.



When the mushrooms start to become wilted, add 2 tablespoons flour and stir until the flour is absorbed by the butter.

OR,



If you're making it with cream cheese instead of half-and-half, skip the flour and just add the chicken broth and sake.

This photo has the half-and-half added, but if you're making it with cream cheese--soften the cream cheese in the microwave and whisk it into the broth.



Season with salt, pepper and chili flakes if desired.

Simmer, but do not boil, stirring until sauce thickens--or add water a little at a time to reach desired consistency if the cream cheese is too thick.



Just before serving, add arugula or spinach, stir to combine and cook until greens are just wilted.



You can add the pasta at the same time if you like it combined together.

If you're making it with cream cheese, you probably have enough for 4 people, the cream cheese sauce is really rich and you won't need as much--but then, my husband can eat almost the whole thing himself--so gauge accordingly.

I forgot to add the capers to this one--capers add a nice little blast of saltiness and I really like them but Gary said he didn't miss them.



Serve it plain,



Or garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and a little chopped parsley.
Itadakimasu!



***


Today is my son-in-law Mitchell's birthday.

Happy Birthday, Mitchell!


 

This is the first time we met Mitchell, at a Dodgers playoff game.



When I asked them to pose, I got this photo.

Fun!



Mitchell's been such a good influence on our family, he gets us to do things outside our box.

Like going salsa dancing.



It was Gary's birthday and he went on-stage.

That's waaaay outside Gary's box!

Just as blogging was outside my box.

FOODjimoto.com was his idea--it was a gift from Karen & Mitchell last Christmas.


 

Mitchell's very adventurous.



Mitchell got Gary,  Bill and Rick (and our friend Keith who is not pictured) to hike the John Muir Trail.

 Gary was apprehensive at first, but Mitchell didn't give up and got him to go.

He had a great time.



He got us to go camping at Big Sur.

 We had a great time, the ocean and the redwoods are beautiful.



Most importantly, we know that our daughter has a great husband and she'll be loved and well taken care of--even Gary says he doesn't worry about Karen since she married Mitchell.



This is Mitchell on the top of Mt. Whitney.

We are so happy and proud that Mitchell is a member of our family and wish him the best on his birthday.

Happy Birthday, Mitchell.

We love you!



***




Pasta with Chicken and Shimeji Mushrooms

Ingredients:

Serves 2

1 chicken breast, sliced
1 package Buna Shimeji mushrooms, root removed & broken into pieces
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup sake or white wine
1 to 2 cups chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half or 8 ounces softened cream cheese
1 tablespoon butter, 2 tablespoons flour (omit if using cream cheese)
2 cups arugula or spinach

optional: 2 teaspoons capers

garnish: grated Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley 

1/2 pound pasta


Start cooking the noodles, they will take longer to cook than the sauce.

Saute the chicken in a non-stick pan or add a little non-stick cooking spray to the pan before putting the chicken in. When the chicken is seared, add the butter, onions and garlic and saute until onions are wilted, then add the mushrooms.
When the mushrooms begin to wilt, add the flour and saute until the flour is absorbed by the butter. If you're using cream cheese, you won't need to use the butter and flour, the sauce will be thick and rich enough as it is.
Add the chicken broth and the sake, stirring constantly until evenly combined. Season with salt, pepper and chili flakes if desired. If you're using cream cheese, soften it in the microwave and whisk into the sauce. Simmer, but do not boil, stirring until sauce thickens--or add water a little at a tiime to reach desired consistency if the cream cheese is too thick.
Just before serving, add arugula or spinach leaves and the pasta, stir to combine and cook until greens are just wilted. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and/or chopped parsley.

2 comments:

  1. Well, I love mushrooms and this looks delicious! Why wasn't I invited to taste your recipe? Gary got ALL the pasta? ... so lucky! ;)

    Wow! Mitchell IS adventurous!

    Happy Birthday, Mitchell!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautiful dish! I have never tried beech mushrooms, I think - it's time to change that :-). And your trip photos make me nostalgic for North Cal :-)

    ReplyDelete