Thursday, April 26, 2012

Did you hear giggling from Heaven late last night?

Ah yes, the best laid plans. Ha.  I tell my friend Jess all the time that the problem with me making plans is that the minute Gods gets wind of them, the giggling begins.  I purchased an electric Masterbuilt smoker ( item #K35546) for my husband's birthday; this coming Saturday.  I thought we better test it out since we are having a party and I wanted to be sure everything worked.  I never used one so I was kind of basing time off of a couple of different recipes with simimilar density meat.  Thankfully we were not having it for dinner last night or we would have eaten at 2 AM.  It was a 7lb boneless pork butt rubbed with brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, sea salt and pepper.  We smoked it for 3.5 hours, brought it up to the house, I cut it down the center, the dead center was still pretty pink.  Turned the oven to 275 degrees and stuck the two halves, raw side down in the pan, put the pan in the oven.  We set the alarm for 2AM and went to bed.   It actually turned out good, but at least now I know for Saturday that it needs to be in smoker early morning if I want it ready for 2PM party kickoff!

The process itself was simple, so while that was smoking I whipped up chicken breast cubes with some chopped arugula and mezzuna (Weight Watcher Points Plus can't find that either, but it falls under leafy, lettuce green world of 0 points) and cut asparagus.  Once the chicken browned (I used a total of 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil in the trusty cast iron skillet) I added the stalk pieces of the asparagus, added some chicken stock and lidded it.  Let it steam a little, threw in the asparagus tops and lidded it again.  I boiled water for some penne pasta for my husband while the chicken cubes cooked, tossed in the pasta and cooked it and drained it.  While the greens wilted and the asparagus cooked, I added the ricotta I made Sunday to the pasta, for the creamiest sauce ever.  Added pepper, salt was good since the cheese had required a good amount anyway and I ALWAYS salt my pasta water so the pasta has flavor.

My husband was happy with his cheesy pasta and chicken with vegtables, garnished with some Opal Basil (love this stuff, its like green basil, but kind of sweet) and I had the chicken and vegtables.  Five ounces of chicken breast=5 pts.  If you do not have a food scale, get once, absolutely essential to this process.  Weight Watchers website had them on sale yesterday, check it out today and see if they still do.

Today's challenge:  I am going out for lunch.  I will have to approximate portion size and carefully select what I am eating to stay on track.  Tonight is the smoked / roasted pork butt, which has a pretty high fat content so I see lots of leafy greens and tomatoes along side it for my dinner.  I'll let you know tomorrow how it works out.

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