Thursday, July 28, 2011

Roasted Corn Acini di Pepe

 If you have a non-rice eater in your house, like I do, Acini di Pepe is a great compromise. You have the flexibility of rice in a pasta! The possibilities are endless! (I feel like a commercial right now. I'm not affiliated! just like the stuff lol)

  • 4 cups chicken stock 
  • 1 cup Acini di Pepe (found in the pasta isle or maybe the Italian section of your grocery)
  • 1 (14.5oz) can carrots, drained
  • 1 (11oz ) can Mexican corn (corn w/red and green bell peppers), drained
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic, or 1 teaspoon minced garlic (or more if you're in love with garlic like I am)
  • 1 tablespoon margarine (butter will burn, oil will make it greasy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste) and some extra to sprinkle--literally just sprinkle. I'm not exact with my salt as everyone has different tastes or dietary needs when it comes to salt.
  • pepper to taste  
Bring 4 cups of chicken stock (preferably homemade, it's richer) and about a half teaspoon of salt, if it's unsalted, to a boil in a med sized saucepan with a lid. A lid will get it to a boil faster.  Then add your Acini di Pepe and cook as you would any other pasta. A nice, soft boil and stir occasionally.
Now, get a large skillet hot over medium heat, add your margarine and corn and a sprinkle of kosher salt. Give it a stir to combine the butter and corn, then just let it sit..while you go sit!  Just get up and stir the pasta and the corn occasionally. This will take 15-20 minutes or so.

When the corn starts to turn golden and the pan is drier, and you're scraping some nice browning on the bottom of the pan, like this:

mmmm...that's flavor right there!
Your pasta should be done, or almost done! I taste to check--it's the only way. heehee.
Add your garlic and mix it in real well, as much as I love garlic, I don't want to bite into a chunk of it.

Add the carrots, sprinkle a little more kosher salt and pepper to taste.
DON'T drain the Acini di Pepe. It should have absorbed most of the chicken broth by now. 

Add it straight to your pan with the corn mixture, and stir to combine. Add more salt and pepper, if desired. Turn down your heat a little and cook & stir until carrots are heated and any leftover stock from the di pepe is absorbed.

It smelled and looked so good, I forgot to take an after picture.  I remembered later when I was cleaning up and tossed the extra bbq chicken in the pan with it.  So please forgive the messed up looking chicken LOL 

This is a side dish that compliments BBQ Chicken very well. I can also see it as a side to a creamy chicken dish, like the kind you make with mushrooms and cream chicken soup. LIGHTBULB! New dish! and I just made myself hungry again. :)

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