Maybe I'm watching too many episodes of Chopped, but I decided to try to clean out the fridge in a Chopped style cooking challenge. I had a chicken breast, cauliflower, bit of homemade pasta and half a can of pineapple pieces. What to make with all of that?
I decided I rather liked breading on my chicken so I was going to do that again. I wanted more flavor in the breading so I put poultry seasoning in the bread crumbs. The breast was first dusted with
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
mixed ground pepper
1 tsp flour
I pounded the breast flat then put the rub in the bag and shook to fully coat. I had an egg whipped up to dip it in then a bag of Alpine bread crumbs with poultry seasoning in a second bag. I put the breast into a hot pan with plenty of oil. I had to turn the heat down to just over medium and the crust still scorched a bit but fortunately didn't taste bitter. Medium is probably the hottest this should be cooked at so it browns without burning.
The pasta was cooking and I had cauliflower in the steamer, when it was almost done I ran it under cold water and drained it fully. Then put the cauliflower in the pot on medium low heat with extra virgin olive oil and salt to finish.
I had looked up pineapple sauces on the internet and a simple one can be made from pineapple juice, salt, soy sauce, molasses and lemon juice. I wasn't sure how that would all taste but I started with a tsp of flour and a tbsp of oil in the sauce pan. I cooked off the flour taste and added the pineapple juice. I had just enough juice to make a good consistency that would thicken a bit as it cooked. I added a tsp of soy sauce, a good pinch of salt and 2 tsp of molasses. The soy sauce gave a savory taste to the sauce but it was still too sweet. A tsp or two of lemon juice brought the sweetness under control and produced a nice tasting sauce. I added the pineapple pieces back in before everything else was quite ready. That was a small mistake because as the pieces cooked they released water which thinned the sauce too much. I had to turn up the heat to boil it down. I think the pineapple would have been better if I'd put it in just before serving.
The pineapple pasta was actually pretty good and the sauce was a nice counterpoint to the poultry seasoning on the chicken. The cauliflower managed to hold it's own with the sauce so overall, it was a pretty good meal. Now I understand the trepidation judges have just before the first bite of a dish on Chopped! Will it be delicious or disgusting?