Monday, April 02, 2007

TINKER ME THIS, TINKER ME THAT (oh yeah, some yummy green tea chicken pasta too!)

I've been tinkering around with my site for a while. It's going slower than I expected and the neighbors are getting annoyed with the loud cursing that accompanies the tinkering. I'll try to get it together soon. I'll also try to tinker more quietly.

I think I've discovered "Tinker Tantrums."

Oh, but don't expect too much of a change. I don't want to get your hopes up. It would be like going out with the expectation of hearing the Boston Pops and instead hearing Snap Crackle and Pop. Lower your expectations a bit.

In the meantime, let me toss out this no-recipe, non-photographed tid-bit. Quite some time ago I came across a recipe for some chicken dish that was cooked in a pot with the contents of some green tea bags and other such things. I don't remember any specifics but the idea kept bouncing around in my head so I decided to get it out of there and build a dish on the idea. I'm glad I did because this was REALY good!


(rough ingredient estimations)

(so sue me)

(I'll be downstairs...tinkering)

two small, half skinless chicken breasts (that would make one whole one, wouldn't it?)
4 cups water
4 green tea bags (I used decaf)
one-inch+ stem of fresh ginger, peeled & minced
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
pinch cumin, salt & pepper

Enough whole wheat fettuccini for two
1 TBS canola oil
8-10 garlic cloves
julienned carrot sticks
broccoli flowerets
water chestnuts, sliced
snow peas (oh just open the frig and see what needs to get used up!)
1/4 cup ponzu (citrus flavored soy sauce)
few sprinkles sesame oil
1/4 cup toasted pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)

Pour water into a medium-sized saucepan. Tear open tea bags and pour tea leaves into water. Add ginger, red chili flakes, cumin, salt & pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes. Dice chicken breasts and place in tea mixture. Reduce heat to LOW and let chicken cook slowly. Turn off heat before chicken is quite cooked (90% done). Drain chicken and reserve a cup or so of the cooking liquid.

In a large skillet, bring roughly 6 cups of water to a boil. Drop garlic cloves in skillet and simmer until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove garlic cloves with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add roughly 1/4 cup ponzu to water in skillet. Add fettuccini and cook, stirring occasionally until pasta is al dente. Drain pasta and return skillet to burner.

Slice garlic. Add canola oil to skillet and add garlic and veggies. Cook over medium-high heat until veggies are very crisp tender and garlic is fragrant. Add chicken and drained pasta. Sprinkle a few splashes of sesame oil (and additional ponzu) over skillet and add a small amount of the reserved chicken cooking liquid if needed. Remove when chicken is fully cooked and pasta is hot. Stir in pepitas. Eat it.


christine (myplateoryours) said...

Recipe sounds good, but the tinkering intrigues me. Look forward to seeing what you come up with.

mooncrazy said...

Tinkering. Yes, a dangerous sport. Take it from an old Web developer, never utter the words, "I'll be right to bed, I've got a minor change to make," because the 'net gods will see to it you'll be up until 3am!

I usually call these type of dishes, "clean the frige" dinners and they usually turn out good and as luck would have it, I have one whole breast hanging around.

If the two halves make one whole does that mean chickens only have one breast? Now there's something to think of while tinkering?

Lis said...

Oddly this sounds good to me. I say oddly because I'm not a big tea in my dinner kinda gal.. but I like this idea. Do you get a big hit of the tea or is it mellow in the background?

When you get your tinkering done, would you mind teaching me? I need to make several changes with mine but haven't the FAINTEST where to start. I need to find an HTML tutorial that's written for dorks.

Acme Instant Food said...

Christine--no peeking.

Moon-Yeah, I've uttered those words more than once! However, I am a total HTML looser and it is taking me TONS of time and energy just to make a few simple changes. Ack!

Lis-the tea is mellowed by the ponzu (or you could use soy sauce) and the other flavors. Even though the crumpled tea leaves cover the chicken, the taste is tre subtle. I so wish I could help you with your tinkering, but trust me, asking me to do so would be like asking our President to mediate an international peace conference. Oye.

Kate said...

This sounds terrific, especially the idea of cooking the fettucini in the ponzu-flavored water. And I love green tea too, so it becomes even more intriguing.

Good luck with the tinkering. I am a computer nerds spouse so I know what can happen when 'a few changes' need to be done.

emily said...

You had me at "green tea chicken pasta" - I never liked it much before, but lately I can down a pot religiously at night. I don't know that I would've thought of doing chicken in it - although I fondly recall a sort of flan with a great garnish of dried fruits reconstituted in jasmine tea . . . and there I go getting sidetracked. This might be my next week's lunchbox.
Good luck with the tinkering!

Garrett said...

Hmm, green tea pasta? I am intrigued by your sexy words.