"I'm tired of hamburger," my wife stated.
I had to agree. We usually keep small one and two pound packs of frozen 'burger in the freezer to make last minute, quick meals. While 'burger makes some good home cooking, in my opinion, it does wear out its welcome after a bit.
On Thursday, I decided to surprise her. I swung by the local market and picked up some boneless chicken breast, a bag of salad, some Feta cheese, bread sticks, and angel hair pasta.
When I got home though, I discovered that the teen had requested one of her favorites; you guessed it - hamburger and gravy over mashed potatoes.
I put dinner off until tonight.
First, I cubed one of the chicken breasts into small pieces. I'd already had the old #11 Wapak cast iron skillet heating on the stove top. Preheating is one of the secrets of cast iron cooking, as it helps to prevent sticking.
I added 1/3 stick of (REAL) butter and a few splashes of olive oil to the skillet. Then I added the chicken.
While the chicken browned, I put on water to boil, with a splash of olive oil. Once it was rolling, I added 3/4 pound of the angel hair pasta and let it cook.
The chicken was coming along nicely, so I put the bread sticks into the oven. I then diced one clove of garlic. This particular garlic was Elephant garlic that I'd harvested from the garden. It is a very large garlic, so a clove of it equals approximately three regular cloves. I also diced a small onion and added these to the chicken. I added salt, pepper, and some Italian seasoning, and let the chicken finish cooking.
When it was done, I added some more olive oil and some lemon juice. While I was putting the lemon juice back into the refrigerator, a bottle caught my eye… WINE!
A partial bottle of Zinfandel, just begging to be used. I added approximately 1/2 a cup to the chicken and let it cook down.
The bagged salad may not be as good as fresh from our garden, but with some good dressing and the Feta sprinkled on top, it complimented the pasta nicely. The meal? It was a hit with the wife, and when she smiles, I smile.