After being out of town and away from my kitchen for a couple days, Jim was really missing my cooking. I didn't have time to plan dinner, or grocery shop but I did go through the fridge and pantry to dig out some ingredients to make a spectacular dinner in less than 30 minutes.
Here is how I did it. We always have chicken in the house, that was a good start. The veggies I found were an onion, a green bell pepper, 2 garlic cloves and a can of diced tomatoes (which I always have on hand.) I also gathered some leftover black beans (from another recipe), a block of cheddar cheese and egg noodles.
The key ingredient, that pulled all these random foods together is the new Philadelphia Cooking Creme, Santa Fe Blend.
I wanted to give the onions a head start in my skillet, so I gave them a rough chop and added those to a little bit of olive oil over medium heat. These cook low and slow for about 15 minutes, stirring every now and then.
Next, I chopped the green bell pepper into a small dice and minced the garlic.
Once the onions are turning a dark color, I add the green bell pepper to cook for another 5-10 minutes.
The last addition is the minced garlic, but only for the last minute. All this will be added again later, so I just wanted the onions to caramelize, the bell pepper to heat through and start to sweat and the garlic to release their flavor just a little bit. Then I removed everything to a bowl and set aside. Don't wipe out the skillet, we are going to cook the chicken next.
Cheese! I used about a cup of cheese total. Half was grated cheddar and half was preshredded parmesan cheese.
I cut the chicken breast inso one inch cubes, seasoned with salt and pepper, then added to the skillet and let them brown for a a few minutes. Next I added the drained and rinsed black beans along with the drained can of tomatoes.
Add back the onion, pepper and garlic mixture. Add the can of drained corn, stir to mix together. Turn heat to low and keep warm.
Boil a large pot of salted water and add two cups of egg noodles. Boil for 10 minutes or until al dente, drain well.
Now for the key ingredient, Philadelphia Cooking Creme Santa Fe Blend which I mixed into the hot noodles. Likewise, you could add the noodles to the chicken skillet and then mix the Cooking Creme into that.... however you decide, we are mixing everything together now.
Then I dumped my chicken and veggie skillet into the noodles along with the shredded cheese.
Stir it all together and you have one delicious pasta and chicken dish.
The Santa Fe Blend reminded me of taco seasoning, and the consistency of the Philadelphia Creme product made it perfect for stirring into the hot noodles for an easy and flavorful sauce. It made a simple veggie saute into something with complex flavors. Jim absolutely flipped over this meal...was it that he missed my cooking so much, was it that he was starving by the time he got home from work? I will never know. I do know that I would not make any changes to this next time. I loved the bright corn, the deep caramel flavor of the onion and the crunchiness of the bell pepper. The pasta wasn't a necessity, but it helped stretch the dish into lunch the next day for us. Use what protien and veggies you have on hand, and give the Philadelphia Creme a try, there are several flavors - I'm a fan.