Holidays are over, it’s back to work already and I’ve decided to detox as well. My plan: no alcohol for 2 weeks and loads of water.
I’m actually quite proud of myself. My alcohol consumption over the holidays was even less than normal, believe it or not! Reason, KwaZulu Natal does no mess around with their traffic laws and enforcement! I had to drive around quite a bit and if you get caught over the limit, you go directly to jail, no arguments and no excuses. Obviously spending Christmas in jail wouldn’t have been the most ideal of situations. So I behaved. And it actually wasn’t that difficult, you don’t need alcohol to have fun. But it does help :).
New year’s was also a pleasant non-hungover experience. I had my party cup, which handles 1 double gin, lime and tonic and I was sorted. Only had about 5 I think, but in a space of 12 hours, before you judge! And the next day, zero hangover. Best feeling! While everybody feels and mostly looks fragile.
The point was I’m detoxing, purifying my system from all the 2014 alcohol!
Dinner tonight: cashew chicken Mac & cheese, with garlic mushrooms sauce, topped with Italian dried spice bread crumbs and paired with a tonic water and lime drink.
What do you need?
- Penne pasta- 250g
Leftover chicken- deboned without skin
250 ml cream, 50 ml of milk
200g of Gouda cheese, 200 g of pecorino, 200g of ementhal cheese
(Grate the cheeses and mix together)
- garlic- 2 tbs, 75g mushrooms – sliced
Spices- basil, oregano, thyme, fresh parsley, salt & pepper
oatmeal digestives with chocolate coating – 60 g
100g of salted cashew nuts
- Start with boiling the pasta in salty water until al dente, then drain and rest.
Next do the mushroom cream sauce. Add butter into a hot pot and when it starts to bubble, add 2tbs of garlic. After 2 minutes, add mushrooms and then pour in the cream while slowly stirring. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 2 minutes. Then add seasoning of salt and pepper in generous amounts. If the sauce is too viscous, add some milk. Bear in mind that the cheese will help bind the sauce later on.
Take off the stove and then add strips of last nights leftover chicken. The chicken is already cooked and has flavours from the LGGB recipe from yesterday. (see previous post)
- Start toasting cashew nuts in a hot dry pan on high heat. The toasting should last 4 to 5 minutes. When toasted, place on cutting board and use the flat side of your knife to crush them. This can be messy, and lightly blitzing in a food processor may be easier. 😁
– While the cashews are toasting, move onto the bread crumbs. In a food processor or blender, add in the oatmeal chocolate coated digestives, Italian dried spices (1tsp of basil, 1tsp of thyme and 1tsp of oregano), a handful of fresh parsley, and season with salt and pepper. And then blitz into fine crumbs.
- In a bowl, mix your pasta, 3/4 of the crushed toasted cashews, and then add the sauce and mix well. Fold in 400g of the mixed grated cheeses, saving some for presentation/serving. Transfer your mixture into a casserole dish. Make the mixture even in dish, and then sprinkle 100g of the mixed cheese and bread crumbs on top of the cheese to cover the surface of the dish.
Bon Appetito! 🙂
I usually cook pasta dishes for my husband’s sake, but am pleasantly surprised by this meal, thoroughly delicious!
I am also not a big fan of nuts in food, but I have to admit the texture; the crunch of the cashews, combined with the bread crumbs worked amazingly on this dish. The cashews took the dish to the next dimension.