Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I'm gonna get all Pioneer Woman on ya...

So I love Pioneer Woman, and today I thought, "how hard would it be to do what she does?" You know, take pictures while you're making a recipe. Slap it up on the website. Say how delicious it is in cowboy jargon.

Ahem. Wow-eeee. It's actually not that easy. So here's my attempt at showing you the ropes of my favorite spring/summer dish! Here goes...

My Cilantro-Walnut Pesto with Chicken and Penne

Ingredients: Penne, olive oil, cilantro, garlic, walnuts, salt, Parmesan

First you smash the garlic to make the skin come off. I use my Wusthof knife. Oh. my. Is that a rust stain on there? How embarrassing. Anyways, I use 2 garlic cloves but if you're not a garlic fan you can use 1 clove instead. And you can also say goodbye to our friendship. I love me some garlic.

Then measure out 1 cup of walnuts. You can choose to toast them if you want. I choose to be lazy.

Put 1 bunch of cilantro without the stems, walnuts, and about 1 tsp salt into the food processor.

Pulse it about 8 times or until it looks something like this.

Then grate some Parmesan cheese. DO NOT skimp on this part. It needs to be real and it needs to be about 1 cup. Not using fresh Parmesan is like not using a light bulb. At night. When you want to read. I know. My metaphors are astounding.

Add the Parmesan and then begin processing again. Drizzle the olive oil while the machine is running until it's a creamy texture.

Like this. Pur-dee, isn't it?

Now I'm asking myself, "do I seriously still have to take pictures?" Yes I do. Quit complaining woman! And here's a lovely artistic shot of my pan with olive oil.

*If you're a vegetarian, you can skip ahead. Now it's time for me to teach you how to make the best-est chicken ever. You're gonna needs some salt and pepper. I prefer Kosher salt because the texture is just dreamy and crunchy and ooh la la.

So I salt and pepper one side and then put it in the pan and salt and pepper the other side. I do this over a HIGH temperature. Not at the highest, but really high.


When the underside gets golden brown, turn it on over. I'm gonna need to turn it over again because it's still a bit pink on one side, but it's a price I will just have to pay for delish-ish-ness.
To test for doneness press on the chicken. If it feels hard it's done, if it can still indent a ways it's not. Do this test at the beginning on the first side flip where it is obviously not done so you can tell the difference. Once it is done, take it off immediately!

Just look at those adorable specs of pepper and kosher salt. Fabulous. These are chicken tenders because it's all I had on hand, but this concept is un-really good on chicken breasts as well.
Let's break for a story: Hubby asked me how I learned to make such juicy succulent chicken. I told him I learned from him because he is the grill master and always cooks the chicken on the highest temp on the grill. I figured it would be the same concept inside. He did the dishes for a week he was so proud.
Okay, back to cooking. You have to let the chicken sit for 10 minutes before you cut into it. Always. No exceptions.

So add the pesto and chicken to a bowl and then pour the pasta over it. Oh ya--you need to cook pasta for this dish at some point. Go back to before you put the chicken in the pan:)

And Voila! Throw some more Parmesan on and you're ready to eat!

How about another close up? Yum........


Jana Heller said...

if this is the pesto you brought me over one time, i am very excited to make it. your pesto was awesome! thanks for the recipe!

kladle said...

oh good gosh! That looks delish! Do share the recipe.

Kristen said...

YUM! That looks delish! I wish Brian liked pesto so I could cook it for more than myself. Regardless, I'm making this.

Mary Seals said...

I don't think 'pioneer women' had food processors..... come to think of it, I don't even have one.... ;-)

Sarah in the Middle said...

Oh Yum! Thanks! I will try it soon, fo sho.
If my snobby food-critic friends like it, it must be good :)

Erin said...

you're my hero!

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