Chicken Tarragon Pasta,Litanies and Leprechauns

GOTG has been ignored this past month in other mundane routines and a rather uninspiring series of salad suppers .
Meanwhile I've climbed the first few rungs on the Twitter ladder, added a few tweeple and twittle twattled (new eh? Twictionary, pls take note!).
    I have also done some pretty stupid things (aside some bot-like tweets that is!) - like spray Cilit Bang (who put it in my spot cleaner corner?!) on the collars of quite a few Thomas Pink whites one hassled weekday night. I'm happy to report what comes out of a 30 degree wash cycle is still herringbone and not a flimsy cheesecloth, whew!
    And pontificate with H endlessly (read: defend vigorously) the other evening, aspects of much loved European je ne se quas versus American 'cookie-cutter'edness(to quote Scarlett Johansson) and general lack of soul, fuelled by a rerun of Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

Despite the few domestic harikari however , some tasty weeknight treats emerged, of which this Chicken and Tarragon Pasta (recipe here) was a classy way to mend fences. I was out of spinach so substituted with equally salubrious broccoli instead.

Talking of greens, Happy St Paddy's Day to all - hope you got the goodies and not the pinches ;)


Love is in the air. And in Chocolate Fondants.

Tall , dark & handsome ? Check.
Rich? Very.
Heart that melts? Affirmative.

Turns out Chocolate Fondants( Chocolate Lava Cakes to some) are the toast of the season. Okayy...they may not exactly be 'tall' - but if they were truly 'all of the above' they'd be full of hot air..see?
Whatever your heart out this Valentine's (literally!) - since they are one heck of an artery clogging, weight-watch busting, 'make-you-go-weak-in-the-knees' dessert.

Making fondants is really not the enigma that it's made out to be, and molten centre or not - they're an assault on the senses either way! Take heart though,  the recipe does work.

What's more - melting dark chocolate and butter together feels like stirring a witches' cauldron, very therapeutic, in an evil sort of way.
Yepper. Joy to eat AND joy to make.

The 'new short tulip-dress' plans will have to wait.

Recipe here. Of course, if you're too picky you may want to complicate a perfectly fool-proof, easy-peasy recipe to this.
But there really is a thing as too much foreplay.

Some notes on my trials with it-
  • I used 150 ml ramekins, and in my oven, - 12 minutes at 200 degrees gave me the perfect fondants. Spongy outsides, and gooey goodness in the centre.
  • The consistency of the batter in the end was much thicker than what Gordon describes it, but they still turned out perfect.
  • The fondants with Gordan's recipe linked above are not sweet enough, (even for me - and I don't do too sweet!) - I found another recipe, again by Gordon, where the sugar measure has been increased, so I suggest using 120 gms of sugar for every 100 gms of flour.
  • Do remember to let the ramekins stand for a minute before turning the fondants out.
  • Since exact timing depends on the depth to which you fill your ramekins and the thickness of the china, it makes sense to have a spare 'tester' . 
          That's right. Any excuse will do :)

Try It



Tantalising Tagliatelle, per favore!

Friday night - Yayie !!!! Legitimate 'one pot meal day' (if we're home, that is!). Don't get me wrong..there are many a 'one-pot-meal days' - slightly tinged with guilt at times.
Fridays however, its official :)
Its expected.
Had there been a prenup, it'd have been there - in ink.

Also lately, the chutzpah has been missing from our fave local Italian takeaway - or maybe, we've just had too much of a good thing ?! Enter - Gary Rhodes' recent culinary ramblings. Alluring scenes of rolling olive groves and lovely gondolas with oodles of fresh pasta thrown in for good measure - I could drown in a vat of olives/olive oil right this minute and be buried in Tuscany, thank you.
Well, it had to be a pasta night, it was the right thing to do.
And technically - a one-pot meal - since you can open a jar of pesto anytime..but I was in my element. I zhuzzed my own :)

Recipe for Tagliatelle with sundried tomato pesto,cashewnuts, spinach, olives and feta (feeds 3-4)


Fresh egg tagliatelle - 500 gm
Fresh baby leaf spinach - 200 gm (washed)
Black and green Olives with feta- 100 gm ( chop the olives, crumble some feta, reserve some feta cubes)
1/2 a jar(280 gm) sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup cashewnuts , dry roasted
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
Red chilli pepper flakes
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup of olive oil


First, prepare the pesto by blending the sun-dried tomatoes and their oil, roasted cashewnuts,1 minced garlic, salt,pepper and chilli flakes(to taste) in a food processor Add olive oil to achieve desired pesto consistency. Transfer the pesto mixture to a large bowl.

Separately, cook the tagliatelle in a large pot of boiling water as per pack instructions (until al dente - as per pack instructions - approx 3 minutes). Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp of butter and 1 tsp of olive oil in a pan. Saute spinach with the remaining minced garlic till wilted and press against the pan to release liquids as shown.
Remove spinach, and chop finely. Remove liquids from pan.

Now add back the chopped spinach, pesto, chopped olives and crumbled feta in the pan - saute for 1 minute and toss in the warm pasta to coat.

Add  enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten ( makes it easier to toss the tagliatelle). Season the pasta, to taste, with salt and pepper and serve, ganished with baby spinach leaves, chopped sundried tomatoes and feta cubes.

Creamy pesto and chunky bits. Pure bliss.

Try It