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In the Pantry

06/15/2009 05:00PM ● Published by Super Admin

Chicken Spinach Penne Pasta
by Marilyn Zsigo

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup prepared pesto
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 cups uncooked penne pasta
  • 3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, sliced julienne style
  • 1 small green pepper, sliced julienne style
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 3 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese or
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, pesto, one tablespoon of oil, honey, salt and pepper; set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, sauté the mushrooms, onion and peppers in remaining oil until tender. Stir in the spinach, chicken and tomatoes; cook until spinach is wilted.

Drain pasta and place in a large serving bowl. Add the chicken mixture, tomatoes and pesto mixture; toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese. Yields five servings.

City Ham Recipe
by Rachel Mercurio
Cook’s note: This recipe made me go from liking ham to LOVING ham.

  • 1 city-style* (brined) ham, hock-end
  • 1/4 cup brown mustard
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 ounce bourbon (poured into a spray bottle)
  • 2 cups crushed ginger snap cookies

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Remove ham from bag, rinse and drain thoroughly. Place ham cut side down, in a roasting pan. Score the ham from bottom to top, spiraling clockwise as you cut. (If you’re using a paring knife, be careful to only cut through the skin and first few layers of fat). Rotate the ham after each cut so that the scores are no more than 2-inches across. Once you’ve made it all the way around, move the knife to the other hand and repeat, spiraling counterclockwise. The aim is to create a diamond pattern all over the ham.

Tent the ham with heavy-duty foil, insert a thermometer, and cook for 3-4 hours or until the internal temperature at the deepest part of the meat registers 130 degrees. Remove and use tongs to pull away the diamonds of skin and any sheets of fat that come off with them.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Dab ham dry with paper towels and brush on a liberal coat of mustard, using either a basting brush. Sprinkle on brown sugar, packing loosely until the ham is coated. Spray this layer lightly with bourbon and loosely pack on as much of the crushed cookies as you can. Insert the thermometer (don’t use the old hole) and return to the oven (uncovered). Cook until interior temperature reaches 140 degrees, approximately 1 hour. Let the roast rest for half an hour before carving.

*A city ham is basically any brined ham that’s packed in a plastic bag, refrigerated and marked “ready to cook,” “partially cooked,” or “ready to serve.” Better city hams are also labeled “ham in natural juices.”

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