MT recently brought home a cooking tome from her mom’s titled “the Treasury of Creative Cooking,” by the editors of Consumer Guide. And I’m not exaggerating when I say tome. With a thick hard cover and 608 heavyweight glossy pages (edged with gold to give the closed book a glistening sheen), it’s a pretty safe bet this is the heaviest cookbook I’ve ever hoisted.
It’s also loaded with recipes that look enticing, many with stories of how the chefs won awards for the creations. I started leafing through it, jotting down the recipes I’d like to try, and had seven on the list by time I got to page 140. This is one of those.
To quote the intro: Chefs Suvit and Gordon from Washington, DC, were semifinalists in a “Use Your Noodle” contest sponsored by the National Pasta Association. Of course there’s a National Pasta Association, online at ilovepasta.org. Founded in 1904 as the national Association of Macaroni and Noodle Manufacturers, it claims to be one of the oldest trade associations in the county.
As to the “Use Your Noodle” contest, I found no mention of it on the NPA website, though it was brief search. There are contests using the name, predictably from noodle companies like Kraft and Nissin.
The dish is pretty simple, the prep work can be reduced by buying pre-sliced mushrooms and, if you aren’t a purist like me, even jars of pre-minced garlic. Speaking of the king of herbs, it calls for 8 ounces garlic, minced, and I have no kitchen scale. I minced two bulbs using a mini food processor at the old West Hazleton homestead where I made the meal as a belated birthday gift for my visiting sister, and MT and I decided that looked like enough.
While this is supposed to serve six to eight, with a full pound of pasta, and a pound-and-a-half each of chicken and mushrooms, I think they would have to be pretty hungry diners. Of course, they’d eat more if it was the only thing being served. I opted to serve it with some salad and shrimp cocktail and had more than half left. Which was OK. I thought the flavors melded overnight and made it taste better the next day.
I didn’t season the chicken before grilling, something I’ll likely do if I try it again.
Sweet Garlic With Chicken Pasta (The Treasury of Creative Cooking by the Editors of Consumer Guide)
8 ounces garlic, minced
5 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ pounds shiitake mushrooms, sliced.
2 cups fresh plum tomatoes, diced
1 cup chopped green onions
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 chicken broth cups
1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and diced
1 package (16 ounces) bow tie noodles, cooked, rinsed and drained.
4 ounces cilantro, chopped and divided.
Cook and stir garlic in hot oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until lightly browned. Add mushrooms, tomatoes, green onions and crushed red pepper. Cook and stir two more minutes. Add brother and simmer to reduce slightly. Add chicken, noodles and half of the cilantro. Heat thorough. Garnish with remaining cilantro.
Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish