Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Home Sweet Home

We are back at home now, and I’m back in the kitchen making up for lost time! I have to say the first few days have been rather chaotic, so I’ve fallen back on an old favourite. You will have seen recipes for versions of this before, particularly in advertisements in glossy magazines, but this is my version and I do think it is better than any of the others. Try it and let me know!!

The 21st Century Housewife’s Version of
Campbell’s Soup Pasta
Serves 4

1 tin Campbell’s condensed cream of chicken soup
¼ cup milk
4 chicken breasts, marinated in 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 large head of broccoli
1 small tin of corn or about 1 cup frozen corn
250 grams of pasta shapes (I use penne)
1 generous handful of grated cheddar style cheese (my favourite is Cerne Abbas from Grey's Cheese Shop in Pangbourne)
1 package of chips (crisps) either plain (Ready Salted) or my favourite, Sun Bites, a wholegrain crisp, crushed

Put the chicken breasts in a roasting pan in the oven and cook, turning once, until done (about 30 minutes at 350F or about 170C). They should be thoroughly cooked, with no pink inside. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling water according to package directions. When cooked, drain, return to the pan and set aside. Also, wash and cut the broccoli into florets and place in a steamer. Steam the broccoli with the corn for about five to six minutes until tender. (If using tinned corn, wait to add it to the broccoli until about 2 minutes before the end of cooking time). Drain, return to the pan, cover and set aside.

Stir the tin of soup and the milk through the cooked, drained pasta in the pan. Pop the lid on to keep warm. Slice the cooked chicken into fairly thin slices and add to the pan, along with the cooked broccoli and corn. Stir to mix through. If it seems at all dry, just add a bit of milk so that there is a light sauce coating everything. (Ironically, you don’t want it soupy!) Pour the contents of the pan into a large casserole.

Mix together the grated cheese and the crushed crisps (chips). Sprinkle over top of the casserole so that the whole surface is covered with the cheesy, crunchy coating. Place in the oven at 350 F or 170 C for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese melts. (If you turn the heat down, this will hold in the oven for a short time if someone is late for dinner.).

Serve with crusty bread and/or a green salad.

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