Cashew nutted chicken Mac & Cheese

 

Triple cheese Mac
Cashew nutted chicken Mac & cheese

 

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

  • 100g margarine

  • Spices- basil, oregano, thyme, fresh parsley, salt & pepper

  • oatmeal digestives with chocolate coating – 60 g

  • 100g of salted cashew nuts

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The 3 cheeses
The 3 cheeses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Method:

  • 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. 😁

image– 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.

The breadcrumbs
The breadcrumbs

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  • 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.

– Place into preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes. Then remove from oven, sprinkle leftover nuts and cheese, and then serve with a fresh parsley garnish.

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Bon Appetito! 🙂

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Dinner served
Dinner served

 

 

 

 

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.

Author: preciousgarnett

I'm a multi-faceted young woman. I'm a proud mom to a now 5 year old 😜. I'm a daughter, I'm a sister and a friend to a few people. I'm a medical doctor by profession, passionate about infectious disease, primary health care and public health. I live food, from thinking about it, cooking it to eating it. Health and Nutrition fanatic. I live by a few chants...: 1. Before I do anything whether related to food or not, I ask myself ' Is it worth the calories?' Whether literally or figuratively( i.e. Is the decision worth the stress, effort, investment) 2. What you put in must come out! If you don't let it out, it settles on your tummy and hips. 3. 'Everything happens for a reason'. I try reflect on situations I find myself in, whether by choice or not. And look for Lessons I'm meant to learn from them, in order to grow.

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