Recipe: Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

When I was a kid, there was nothing fancier one could have for dinner than chicken cordon bleu.

I'm fairly certain I ate it before every high school dance I went to as a teenager.

My tastes today have grown up a bit, and a treat for me today is more likely to be Asian than faux French.

Still, every once in a while, I crave that cordon bleu taste.

When I do, I'd rather opt for a dish like this Cooking Light magazine recipe that makes better use of the cheese and less use of fat.

Yield: 4 servings

8 ounces uncooked medium egg noodles

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups fat-free milk, divided

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 1/2 cups Jarlsberg cheese

2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 cup diced lean deli ham

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

While noodles cook, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup and level with a knife.

Combine flour and 1/4 cup milk in a heavy saucepan, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Place the pan over medium heat; whisk in 1 3/4 cups milk and mustard.

Cook 6 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken, stirring frequently.

Reduce heat to low. Add the cheese, stirring until melted. Stir in the chicken, peas, ham and black pepper and serve over noodles.

-- Emily Simnitt