If I recall correctly, I remember that justification for buying this Zara leopard print apron was that I would never come home after a long day and be snippy about having to get dinner on the table - and a dish organised for the work pot luck Christmas lunch. It took a bit of encouragement but that frown of mine became a smile once the apron went on and I decided that dinner and my lunch contribution would be one and the same.
I decided to be different this year and bring a savoury dish. You know how I can never walk past a Coles rotisserie chicken? Well I was true to form this evening and brought home this lovely hormone free specimen with which to make a pasta salad.
I find making savoury dishes for entertaining such a stress yet I made the irrational decision to make the dressing from scratch. Sleep deprivation tends to give me this overconfidence in my cooking prowess. I imagine myself to be Donna or Nigella effortlessly chopping vegetables as other parts of the dish come together magically around me.
|I used a kilo of pasta and a whole chicken due to the numbers I was catering for.|
The first couple of steps are easy. Boil your pasta until al dente and cool. I'm using this organic pasta from Costco which is surprisingly tasty and has a great texture.
Combine the cooled pasta with the chicken (teased and de skinned) as well as a little olive oil and some garlic powder.
The methodical nature of preparing the chicken did wonders for my stress levels. I released further pent up aggression with the vegetable preparation. Finely chop some capsicum (I used 2) and tomatoes (I used 3) as well as a grated carrot or 2. Particular people may wish to pack each vegetable in its own air tight PBA free plastic container from a matching set purchased at Woolworths at a crazy discount. But only if you're particularly particular.
Now for the dressing. And what a dressing it is. The recipe calls for parmesan dressing which I don't think we actually have in Australia. So I went the extra mile and whipped up a batch using the rest of my exxy parmigiano reggiano (so exxy I freeze it).
Combine a cup of finely grated cheese with 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1/2 cup vegetable oil (BTW, have you freaked out about your cholesterol level yet? Relaaaaxxxx, it's Christmas), 1/2 cup lemon juice, 4 crushed garlic cloves (definitely freak out about your breath.... hope the intensity dissipates with refrigeration or I'll be in trouble with work), 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce and blend.
I love my Braun stick blender. It made quick work of that step.
And there was enough room in the bowl to add the rest of the dressing ingredients. Namely 2 cups of whole egg mayo, 2 tablespoons of seeded honey mustard, 4 teaspoons of curry powder, 2 teaspoons of salt and a half teaspoon of pepper. Then blend some more.
In reality, the dressing was a rich golden mustard colour. This photo doesn't do it justice and I'm too darn slack tonight to put it through Aperture. Pop the dressing in the fridge for a bit.
Whilst you (or Mr SSG) attack the washing up that tends to accumulate when making a salad.
To serve, add the salad to the pasta and mix through the dressing. I loved this dressing. Who would have thought curry powder and honey mustard would get along this well? Let alone the parmesan cheese. It tastes a little like curried egg to be honest. Given the sheer number of raw vegetables used in the salad and the fact that I skinned the chicken, it was only fair to be generous with the dressing.
|I was this close to labelling this as 'Mr SSG's lunch - paws off'.....|
Mr SSG won't miss out tomorrow. He will be having the same lunch as my workmates and I (albeit in somewhat slicker surrounds with the option of a quick walk down the road to T&Co after for a bit of nearest and dearest present shopping - I know this is an idea already in your subconscious, Mr SSG).
And here we have half my collection of Sistema airtight plasticware being put to good use in preparation for the drive to work tomorrow.
Well, that's it from me. I'm putting myself to bed. Talk soon.