After preparing dinner for my husband in our newly-unpacked 1-bedroom apartment, I had a realization. Up until last night, I have truly taken for granted the expansive counter space in my parents kitchen. And that great little invention called the dishwasher. Oh, and don’t forget a sink that is bigger than the pan I am trying to wash…
Cooking in our “new” kitchen is definitely a challenge. But who says I’m not up for a challenge?
Last night’s menu was feta and tomato orzo pasta with “Pat’s favorite chicken” and fresh white-nectarines, a.k.a the best fruit to ever touch my lucky taste-buds.
ingredients for the orzo:
for the dressing
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 T fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 cup olive oil
for the pasta:
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 pound orzo
- 2 cups grape or teardrop tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 7-oz package feta cheese, broken in small cubes
- 1 cup chopped basil
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup chopped green onions
- 1/2 cup pine-nuts *although I omitted these because they are the one food I can’t stand.
- Bring the chicken broth to a boil and add the orzo, cooking until tender. Drain and allow to cool. (This may be done in advance, as it may take awhile for the pasta to cool.)
- In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice and honey, then slowly add the olive oil while mixing. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Chop the basil and green onions into small pieces. (Or if you don’t have fresh basil because you are on a newly-wed-college-student budget like me, you can use dried basil…) Cut the tomatoes in bite-size pieces.
- Toss the pasta in the dressing and add the chopped vegetables. Sprinkle with feta cheese and toss lightly.
ingredients for “Pat’s favorite chicken:”
- 2-3 chicken breasts
- olive oil
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder (or freshly-pressed garlic if you have it on hand…)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl, combine cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and mix well.
- In a large skillet, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat.
- While the oil is heating, coat the chicken breasts with the well-mixed seasonings.
- Place the chicken breasts in the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until they start to brown. *if you like your chicken to have a “crunchy” outside, cook a little longer, however not too long or it will become tough.
- Transfer the chicken to a small pan, lined with tin-foil.
- Cook the chicken in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the juices run clear and the insides appear white.
Summer food is so delicious, I didn’t even mind the heaping mountain of dishes I had to conquer after dinner…buon appetito!