|Fetta-zuch-ini! Can I say it enough?|
I've been feeling pretty stressed at work lately, so this week I've been trying to focus on the little things in life that make me smile. If it's cool with you, I'd like to share my list. And maybe it will bring a smile to your face as well! And then I promise we will get back to food. (But some of these things are food, so it's totally relevant.)
Little things that happened this week that make me happy:
- Dresses with pockets
- Chocolate chips that are stuck together butt to butt (the flat side is the butt, in case that's not obvious to you)
- This little bun and the person it always reminds me of
- Iced coffee, in a cup with a straw
- Free Kindle books (reading The Secret Garden right now; A Tale of Two Cities which I've been trying to reread for years is next!)
- Olive bars
- Watching little kids do weird things and then picturing them as adults doing the same things and thinking about how weird that would be
- The mini garden gnomes I stuck in some of the pots on my rooftop "garden"
- The actual flowers in the aforementioned garden
- Wedge heels, because they are possible for me to walk in
- Clean bedrooms
- Lime green grocery totes
- Opening a new eyeliner
- This little boy (I love when his face gets itchy)
- And then, when all else fails, beer!
So, now that we are all good and happy, let's talk healthy Alfredo. I didn't use butter or heavy cream, so I'm not sure you can really call the sauce an "Alfredo." I used a technique similar to what I use to make macaroni and cheese, and whisked flour and milk into a little chicken stock, allowed it to thicken, and then stirred in the cheese. The sauce comes out thick enough to rival a classic Alfredo. This time around I cooked the zucchini IN the sauce, next time I won't do that. By cooking the vegetable in the sauce I added a lot of water and thinned it out. So I will instruct you to do it that way and that is why. Do as I say, not as I do! Also, I will add olives to anything. You can leave them out and it won't take anything away from the dish. But let's get started! You seem hungry.
Soundtrack: American Babies
Fetta-zuc-hinni Alfredo with Chicken and Kalamatas
Total Time: 30 minutes Serves: 2 (or double for 4!)
2 chicken breasts, cleaned and cut into slightly-larger-than-bite-sized pieces (scientific, I know)
3 medium zucchini
1/2 c. chicken stock, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. 2% milk
1/2 c. grated (freshly if possible!) Parmesan cheese (or similar), plus more to sprinkle
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
about 10 kalamata olives, halved
salt and pepper
Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Spray saute pan with a layer of cooking spray and add chicken. Cook through, until no pink remains.
Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat 1/4 c. of chicken stock over medium heat. Add zucchini, lightly season with salt and pepper and cook just until it begins to soften, tossing often with tongs. This will take about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Once chicken is finished, move to a bowl and cover. In the same saute pan, heat the remaining 1/4 c. of chicken stock and add garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the milk and flour, making sure to eliminate any lumps. Add milk to chicken stock and stir until combined. Bring mixture to a boil, using a rubber spatula to scrap the bottom to avoid burning. Once the mixture reaches a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and simmer until thickened. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and red pepper flakes. Add cheese and stir until incorporated. Remove from heat.
Using tongs, move zucchini to the saute pan, making sure to leave behind any liquid in the frying pan. Add chicken and olives and toss. Serve!
|Little pieces of chicken.. creative caption huh?|
|Technique demo - cutting the zucchini into ribbons. Or pasta!|
|Must be hot in there!|
|Sauce ingredients... man I suck at this part tonight.|
|Look at you, all healthy and stuff...|