Experimenting with Food
Mexican Style Pasta
It was one of the dishes I would always eat when I went to this restaurant. It was unbeatable good!
Since I am no millionaire, I wondered how I could make this dish at home.
To start with I would use any kind of 'Penne' Pasta. I think it would look great with a dish. As a sauce, it would have to be some kind that reminds you of Mexico... Sun-dried Tomatoes? Something with Lime? Roasted Peppers with Sweet Corn added to it? Or make one out of something creamy, some salsa, some corn, some Taco seasoning?
I wonder if corn and diced tomatoes would round it up nicely? Maybe add some fresh herbs and some cheese? If adding corn and tomatoes, I would probably saute the chicken in the juice of both. I like the taste of meat taking the flavor of some of the ingredients. Works well with pork roast and mushrooms.
As a garnish I am thinking fresh herbs, salsa, cheese and some of those tri-colored tortilla chips.
Makes me hungry just to think about it!
Mexican Style Salad
Another one of my favorite restaurants offers a salad that is just to die for.
If I were to try to make something like it (and I will), it would use chopped iceberg lettuce on a large plate. Cover it with chili (I would use Turkey Chili with Beans.) and Salsa.
For garnish I would use tri-colored tortilla chips, shredded cheese (like a Fajita mix), chopped green onions, nicely browned chicken breast and some fresh sour creme!
If you like that horrible stuff, you can add Guacamole to it. I honestly can't stand the smell of it; or worse: the taste! But that's personal preference!
When I started with the Border Patrol in 1989, we started a tradition. We would once a month pick a foreign restaurant and go out to eat. We tried all kinds of places including Greek, Italian, Yugoslavian, Chinese, Turkish... Never did make it to the Vietnamese Restaurant and wish I would have!
The greatest dish of all at the Italian Restaurant was Tortellini Alfredo. It came in a ceramic dish and the top was covered in browned cheese!!!
Soooo, here is my attempt to re-create a great memory:
In a small, low ceramic or glass dish combine tortellini (I buy the frozen ones and let them defrost.), cream, cheese (I like Ricotta.), sliced or finely diced cooked ham. Heat it up in the oven until it is thoroughly heated up. Add a good quarter inch layer of cheese and return it to the oven until it is browned.
The Italians have a wide variety of excellent wines and serve a small glass of Plumb Schnaps on the end to settle the stomach!
This is sold at supermarkets, but the regular 96 oz size just doesn't do it for a family of five. So I am trying to figure out how to make it at home.
It includes spinach, chopped carrots and chopped broccoli in a cream sauce (maybe a Alfredo sauce or a one-beer rue with lots of creme?).
Lasagna pasta is available at the same supermarkets in dry form. All you have to do is cook it and cool it. Be careful not to break it.
The cheeses used are Mozzarella, Ricotta and Parmesano.
All you should have to do is to layer your pasta, vegetables and cheese filling in a large enough pan. When you reach the top, top it off with a crust of cheese (Parmesano?) and breadcrumbs.
And it should be way cheaper to make than the $25+ it costs me to buy two of them for my growing kids!
Here I have to totally guess...
I would probably make some Chili (with Beans) with some chopped chili peppers in it (both red and green). The cheese mix would probably be one of the Mexican/Fajita mixes you can buy at the same 'Superstore' and some Ricotta (I just love this cheese!)
I love corn and would probably add some sweet corn to it. And maybe some finely chopped peppers.
Prepare the pasta, the cheese mix and the chili and layer it in a large pan. Cover it with the Mexican/Fajita cheese mix and bake until thoroughly heated through and the cheese browned.
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There are over forty thousand varieties of rice, over a thousand varieties of potatoes and hundreds of varieties of pasta... ...AND, belief it or not, a breakfast food item used in a total different way!