Thursday, August 26, 2010

School Buses and Comfort Food!

While I realize it's still summer...and I want to hang on to every last moment of this season...and it is not "officially" over until September 22nd...I'm beginning to feel a bit of fall in the air. The nights are suddenly much cooler now and sleeping with the windows open is a welcome relief to the constant night-time hum of the air conditioning during our long heat wave. 

As much as I will miss my favorite season, seeing school buses forces me to prepare myself to say goodbye to the freedom summer brings.  I don't look forward to wearing coats again...and  I'll miss the liberty my feet experience from May through September in my open shoes, sandals and flip flops as I look down at my pedicured toes.  I won't say goodbye easily.  My heart belongs to summer.  Yet there is something beautiful about autumn's colors; the smell of crisp air; and curling up in front of the fire wrapped in a warm "snuggy" on a chilly night. 

Oddly enough, today I was craving my "not so traditional" Smokey Chicken Paprikash!  I usually don't think about it in the summer.  It's definitely a chilly weather dish and somewhat of a comfort food for me. It is a lighter version of an old favorite, transformed by using skinless, boneless breasts of chicken along with low fat cream cheese.  I love adding "smoked" paprika to give it a unique autumn-like flavor. The cream cheese adds a smooth and creamy texture without becoming heavy. 

With the transition from summer to fall...nature's brush stroke of autumn colors...cooler air...and back to school routines, comes the realization that the changing seasons bring a refreshing variety to for this reason, I'll embrace the new season as I re-arrange my closets, bring out my sweaters and closed toed shoes...put a log on the fire and cook a comforting meal. 

Smokey Chicken Paprikash

Prep time: 10 minutes |Cook time: 20 minutes |Total time: 30 minutes |Servings: 4


4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp. of Olive oil (approx.)
2 Cloves Garlic  (crushed or pressed)
1 Large white onion (chopped or sliced)
1/2 cup(s) of Chicken broth
1/4 cup(s) of White wine (approx.)
1 eight oz. pkg, Cream Cheese (1/3 less fat)
1 tbsp. of Smoked paprika
1/8 tsp. of Finely ground black pepper (approx.)
1 Pkg. egg noodles (or any other noodle or rice)
2 quart(s) of Boiling water (for noodles)
1/2 tsp. of Salt (for boiling water)

*Place a large pot of water with 1/2 tsp. salt over medium heat and bring to boil for the noodles.
*In a large skillet or sauté pan, drizzle olive oil and add garlic.
*Add chicken to pan and sprinkle with black pepper. Begin to cook over medium high heat.
*As chicken begins to brown, add onion and continue to sauté until onions appear translucent and
  chicken is cooked through.
*Add white wine while scraping the browned bits from the bottom of pan.
*Stir in chicken broth and cream cheese until blended.
*Stir in smoked paprika.
*Cover and simmer for approx. 5 - 10 minutes.
*Add noodles to boiling water. Boil according to pkg. directions (approx. 8-10 minutes) and drain.
*Spoon noodles into serving dish and top with Smokey Chicken Paprikash.
*Garnish with a few sprigs of snipped parsley and serve immediately with a side salad or your favorite
  vegetable.  I love cool, crisp cucumbers with this dish!
* Enjoy the smokey flavor and the creamy consistency of this not so traditional paprikash!


Donna said...

Hey Lorraine! It was so good to get your facebook message--thank you! One of my family favorites is Hungarian Chicken Paprikash! My hubby's grandma gave me her Paprikash sauce recipe that I use, which uses sour cream--but cream cheese sounds better! YUMMY!!!! Love your blog!!!!

A multi-dimensional life said...

Thanks Donna! It's always great to hear from you! I tried it with cream cheese for the first time during our rwop contest, and loved it.

mangiabella said...

yummmmmm. oh wow. this looks heavenly! fall is my absolute favorite time of year *more on that in an upcoming post* - this will be the perfect dish to indulge in as I curl up with a new book - i have everything on hand except the smoked paprika!!

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