Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Recipes of Roommates Past

Roommates come and go, but sometimes you crave the food they used to make.

Brandy's Chicken in Really Good Sauce

1/4 C butter
1 pkg dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
1/2 C white wine
1 can Campbells Golden Mushroom Soup
4 oz cream cheese
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1. Melt butter on stovetop in a saucepan. Stir in dressing mix. Blend wine, then soup, then cream cheese into butter & dressing mix. Heat throughout but do not boil, stirring until smooth.

2. Arrange chicken breasts in ovenproof dish. Pour sauce over chicken. Cook uncovered at 325 degrees F for 25 minutes if fresh, 60 minutes if frozen.

3. Cook spaghetti or other pasta according to package directions. Plate, then top with chicken and sauce.

This particular roommate combo was short-lived, but it gave me this recipe, which is darn tasty. If you're serving more people than you have chicken breasts, just cut it up before cooking. Unfortunately I can't make the chicken here in Australia, because there is no golden mushroom soup, and Campbells cream soups in general just don't taste the same. Come to think of it, I haven't found dry italian dressing mix either. Sigh.

Chris' Rice n Beans

White rice
1 can of black or kidney beans, rinsed
Black sesame oil
Good quality chili powder
Salt to taste
Light flavoured olive oil
Garnish: cilantro, lime and grated cheese

I can't vouch for amounts but here's the basic method:
1. Cook rice according to package directions. Set aside.
2. Heat black sesame oil in large pan or deep electric griddle
3. Transfer rice to pan once hot, then add beans and mix.
4. Shake chili powder and salt onto beans & rice, to taste
5. Add lots of olive oil - chef says "enough light flavoured olive oil to make it kind of oily." Stir, stir stir, because the pan should be hot and the rice n beans sizzling. When it's shiny and a bit crispy, you're done!
6. Top with fresh cilantro (Aussies: coriander), a squeeze of lime, and grated cheese.

The best part of the rice n beans is definitely watching Chris make it, because he's so very happy in the kitchen. He's usually wielding some utensil or another as though it were an extension of his arm. Chris is also the roomie with whom I argued over "small mashy." I did promise to tell this story sometime...

Jody and I started our married life as the roommates of Chris and his talented fiancee Angie. Between us we had far too many utensils. As a newlywed AND a student, wine was scarce - and I had been given a glass. Chris and I were going through the kitchen stuff and deciding what to put in storage. He had the standard wavy potato masher, while I had my round one with holes, and I was trying to argue why mine should stay in rotation. Tipsy from the wine, I was unable to conclude with anything other than,
"Because it makes smaller mashy!"

Danielle's Strawberry Muffins

My roommate Danielle once stayed up until midnight to bake strawberry muffins and take a 20-minute drive to sneak them into her boyfriend's truck. (They got married not long afterward!) Michelle and I got to eat the extras. I don't have her recipe, but this is my fave strawberry muffin recipe, from Eggs on Sunday.

Please consume responsibly, and enjoy!


  1. That's funny. I have a few friends who request my mac and cheese recipe still :)

  2. It's not a bad thing to be known for, Tara!