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Friday, 17 July 2009

Linguine alla Carbonara, version Shuketron


Apologies for the lack of posts lately. Been busy, internet's been wonky and I finally got to play Sims 3. All of those compounded to a huge lack of time/ability to be cooking as well as posting.

Luckily, I am not the only one in the house who enjoys cooking. Roughly half of us siblings are experimental cooks (the other half just eat =P). One of them is my brother, who shall be known by his nama glamour, Shuketron. Haha. Having recently come back from his first year at UK, he proudly told us that in his house, he was the one who cooked most of the time. Unlike my first year of my degree, it seems as if he had tried a whole variety of dishes on his willing housemates.

Foremost among them, is Pasta Carbonara. Enjoy. =)

What you need:
Chicken salami/sandwich meat - about 250g worth, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
8 button mushrooms, sliced - omitted, as the rest of us don't like mushrooms
500g boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced
500mL thick cream
250g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
Chicken stock granules, white pepper and herbs of your choice, for seasoning and flavour
500g dried linguine

What you do:
  1. Place the salami in single layers on a baking tray and bake in a 180 C oven until the exterior is browned and crisp. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the dried pasta in boiling water until your desired texture is achieved.
  3. In a large wok, heat the olive oil and fry the sliced onions until browned and fragrant. Add in the mushrooms and the chicken strips. Fry until chicken is cooked through and season well with stock granules and pepper.
  4. Add in the cream (and about a cup of milk to thin the sauce slightly). Stir well to mix, and season with more stock granules. Add in the grated cheese and heat gently until cheese is melted and sauce is thickened.
  5. Drain the pasta and add into the wok.
  6. Slice the salami slices into thin fingers and add half of them into the wok. Mix well.
  7. Place the pasta mixture onto a large serving dish and sprinkle the reserved salami and herbs over. Serve immediately.

Very rich dish. Very very rich. What with all the cream and the cheese. Definitely not for the dieters out there. =) I am not sure where he got the recipe from, perhaps it was one of his own. Nevertheless, despite it not being a "traditional" carbonara recipe (missing eggs), it was very very tasty. It has to be. The magical power of cheese and cream, hehe.

I've made something similar before, though the recipe was slightly healthier in that it used milk instead of cream. Fettucine alfredo is also rather similar. But of course, this dish is much much more calorific than either of those two. =P

The chicken salami we used was a wrapped one by... BMC, I think. Or PDS, one of them. I forget now. Back in the UK, I loved chicken salami sandwiches. Of course, here in Brunei, my choice is not quite so limited. I particularly like the beef pepper pastrami slices from PDS. Oh, and the pepperoni too. Mmmm!

But am going off on a tangent here. =) The recipe doesn't take too long to complete, although the actual preparation - slicing and dicing - might take you awhile. Its best served hot though, so make sure people are waiting at the table already when you finish everything. Once it gets cool, like anything, it kind of coagulates. Not very appetising. Serve with Parmesan, if your eaters want something stronger. =D

If chicken is not quite your thing, Ibu quite successfully made a prawn version. Everything the same, except that the chicken was replaced with fried prawns. Sounds tasty, except that I still have my prawn allergy. Ah well.

I have to say, I am impressed. Look forward to (maybe) some more dishes by the Shuketron. ;)

Quote of the day: My sisters like cooking at my place. It has a bit more room, and the food tastes a little bit better. A big pot of spaghetti and sauce, some warm French bread - works all the time. I think I've been eating pasta for 26 years.

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