Saturday, October 11, 2008

Chicken Pasta Salad, from Mel

Last night I made chicken pasta salad.

1 bag brown rice tri-color pasta (this is what we had on hand. Can be substituted with whatever [substantial - like bowties or gimelli or strozzapreti or rotini] pasta you want. No more then 16 ounces.)

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup light/reduced sodium soy sauce
3 1/2 TBSP sugar
1 clove garlic and/or 1/2 shallot
1 1/2 tsp fresh ground (or jarred ground) ginger
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
2/3 cup vegetable oil
(optional) 1/3 cup fresh cilantro

1 bag frozen peas and carrots (usually only store brands makes these, for some reason)
(optional) 1 can water chestnuts
1 pound chicken breast or 1 bag morningstar farms meal starters "chicken" (we prefer the veggie chicken.)

Boil pasta until al dente. Set aside to cool.

While the pasta cooks, put rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, sugar, and garlic or scallions into a food processor. Blend until sugar is dissolved. SLOWLY add in veg and sesame oil to emulsify. Once emulsified, add cilantro and blend until finely chopped.

In a frying pan, cook chicken (or warm veggie chicken through) and season with some black pepper and garlic powder, if desired. Chop into bite size pieces and set aside.

Steam peas and carrots per bag recommendation.

Once all ingredients are cooked, blend emulsion again if it's begun to separate at all.

In a large container with a tight fitting lid, combine all ingredients. Cover and shake. Cool in fridge. (I like to shake it about every 45 minutes or so for the first few hours.) This CAN be eaten warm, but is best cold several hours after making, or the next day. The majority of the sauce should be absorbed by the 5th or so hour after making.

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