Thursday, 15 March 2012
A Liebster Blog Award and mum's impromptu chicken, bacon and mozzarella pasta bake.
A couple of weeks ago I was nominated by a dear fellow food blogger for a Liebster Blog award, and I was really quite flattered, because it never occurred to me that people would think that this blog is any good. indeed, it made me think about why I was blogging in the first place and part of it was because I was told I should, and I must say I enjoy doing it enormously. It allows me to indulge creatively whether cooking the dish or writing about it, but it is first and foremost a quite personal thing so for others to like it makes me smile.
Accepting the award means that I follow these five rules:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award.
2. Link back to their blog.
3. Copy and paste the Liebster award to your profile
4. Pick 5 blogs that you feel deserve to be in the spotlight (they must have 200 followers or under)
5. Blog about it and leave a comment for your nominations to let them know that you have chosen their blog.
So, without further ado, I will fulfil the rules of my award, which are thoroughly sensible in that they allow me to thank Becki over at Becki's Whole Life for nominating me. I encourage you strongly to visit her blog which includes some excellent musings and fabulous recipes. Thank you Becki.
I also get to nominate five blogs that I would like to award a Liebster blog award to. Hmm, tricky. I link to other blogs in my blog because I have enjoyed and enjoy reading them, so to narrow it to five is difficult. But, here are my five:
Jam Tarts and Gingerbread Men - Written by Samantha. I love reading about her food adventures and she writes from the perspective of being a mum, which I really 'get'. Please visit!
How to cook a wolf - Written by Linda, whose photography is beautiful and whose cooking repetoire is really wideranging. A great foodie friend.
Warm and Snug and Fat - A brilliant blog written by Amee. Beautifully photographed with some stunning recipes. A great blog to visit.
It all tastes Greek to me - How I love this blog. I adore Greek food anyway and I just love the way that Eri's selection of mouthwatering recipes.
From the Bookshelf - written by Andrea, her blog contains lots of gorgeous recipes and interesting musings.
So, I figured that the spontaneity with which I received the award should be matched by a kind of spontaneous recipe that happened in my kitchen earlier this week. Regular readers will know of Lola and Finn's love affair with pasta, and to be honest I like it too. So, I decided to concoct a pasta dish from some sorry looking objects in the fridge that were perilously close to their use by date.
I remembered reading about baking pasta with breadcrumbs on top and I liked that idea and I thought Lola and Finn would too, so I googled and initially came up with Giada di Laurentiis' Baked chicken and Pastina. I also know that chicken and bacon go well together so added bacon plus extra garlic, onion, a red pepper and more breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Giada's recipe planted the seed, and then I kind of went my own way with it.
Baked chicken, bacon and mozzarella pasta, also known as 'Mum's made up pasta' inspired by Giada di Laurentiis' Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina.
Serves 4, plus Lola and Finn.
About 250g pasta (I used fusilli)
A little olive oil
5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into small pieces
150g bacon lardons, or pancetta
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 Romano red pepper, diced
1 ball of mozzarella, torn into shreds
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, plus extra to garnish
salt and pepper
Half a small stale baguette, blitzed into breadcrumbs (probably made about six tablespoons of breadcrumbs)
A piece of Parmesan, probably about 40g finely grated (or blitzed)
A little butter, for dotting the top of the assembled dish.
Cook the pasta in salted water until just cooked. Drain and set aside.
Preheat the oven, 180c/Gas 5
In a large cast iron pot or something similar and big enough to take the finished mixture, cook the chicken over a high heat until browned and starting to leave chicken-y residue on the bottom of the pan. Add the bacon and fry until crispy.
Add the onion, sweat for a couple of minutes until turning translucent, then add the garlic. Fry until fragrant and then add the diced pepper.
At this point add the pasta to the chicken mixture. Stir until thoroughly combined.
Add the tinned tomatoes, mozzarella, parsley and then season and stir well.
Press the mixture down slightly in readiness for the breadcrumbs.
Combine the breadcrumbs and the Parmesan together and then scatter it over the pasta mixture. Dot the breadcrumbs with butter.
Place in the oven for about 25 - 30 minutes until the top is brown. Take out of the oven and leave to rest for a few minutes.
Serve, maybe with salad... It is a dry pasta dish, so you might not want garlic bread with it, but we did!