Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A funny thing happened...

Part 1

Two nights ago -

Me: "Ummm, we really haven't had a chance to sit down and talk about the Lance Armstrong doping admission to Oprah.  We should make some time for that."
Dotytron, not missing a beat: "Yeah, you're right, we'll have to try to get to that tonight."

LOL!  Reason #24601 why the Dotytron is the best: ability to roll with the punches.  Reason #24602 is the fact that we both know nearly all the words to Matthew Sweet's 90s classic, Sick of Myself.

I negative care about the Lance Armstrong thing.  One: because those bracelets were the worst.  Two: because I can't believe people are trying to recuperate his image after he was a cheating, weasel of a lying-face.  Three: I can't take anyone who dated Sheryl Crow seriously.

I've put the recipe for that chicken & kale casserole down below there, because it's delicious and because the Martha Stewart recipe that is the most Google-able calls for a whopping 48 OUNCES of ricotta, which to me is insane, because that's like, 3lbs.  The best thing about this casserole was the lemon zest in the mixture.  Revelation!  A little bit of citrus zest does wonders to elevate the starchy richness of a carb-laden casserole.  This might be a de rigeur step from now on.

We are battling the cold one casserole at a time.


Chicken & Kale Casserole
Serves 6-8 generously

1 pkg. whole wheat macaroni/penne/farfalle (375g)
2 T. unsalted butter
1 whole onion, chopped
minced garlic to taste
2 bunches kale, sliced thin or chopped into small pieces
3 cups cooked chopped chicken (I used turkey because that's what I had frozen)
2 containers ricotta cheese (I used the Silani Extra Smooth, 6% - which comes in smaller containers than the 454g ones you commonly see...but feel free to use 2 of the 454g containers.  More ricotta isn't a bad thing per se, but 3lbs is getting a little excessive, IMO).
zest of 2 lemons
3/4 c. grated parmesan
1 1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs
3 T. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

- cook the pasta as per package directions and then drain
- meanwhile, in a large skillet or dutch oven, heat the butter and sautĂ© the onion and garlic until translucent.  Add the kale and cook until wilted
- add the chicken, and then turn the heat off.  Stir the pasta, the lemon zest, the ricotta, and 1/2 c. of the grated parm into the kale mixture and toss well to combine
- pour into a 9 x 13 casserole dish (or 2 8x8 baking dishes)
- mix the panko with the olive oil and the remaining 1/4 c. of parmesan cheese until the panko crumbs are thoroughly moistened.  Spread this mixture on top of the casseroles
- bake the casserole, covered with foil, for about 45 minutes at 350F-375F and then remove the foil.  Bake an additiona 15-20 minutes or until the panko topping is nice and browned.

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