23 February, 2013

The Cheesecake Factory Cajun Jambalaya Pasta

Okay... my husband insisted that I blog on this recipe. I gotta tell you - it's fabulous. It's even BETTER the next day.

I've taken to planning menus and shopping for those menus only. Saves me from buying a lot of extra items. I also don't stand staring in my refrigerator trying to decide what to cook that night. I've got a list to choose from. In order to avoid getting something out of left field that everyone looks at me like I've lost my mind when I put it on the table, I try to review my menu plans with the hubby and mini me so that if they've got any objections to my menu, they can be voiced BEFORE I invest in the ingredients.

Seems like lately I've been cooking a lot of Asian meals. I've also been cooking a lot of chicken. Please God, no more Asian meals - OR chicken!!

So, I've only eaten at the ACTUAL Cheesecake factory once in my entire life - and that was in Atlanta. They didn't have them here in Florida at the time, but I understand there is one in Tampa -but I RARELY schlep to Tampa, if EVER if I can help it.

Entrance this recipe. It sure looked yummy, and while it still has chicken in it, it's not much. It also has shrimp. It also has PASTA - which would be a nice change from the tons of rice I've had to invest in to go with all those Asian meals. That being said, let's get down to it.

CAJUN CHICKEN AND SHRIMP PASTA JAMBALAYA


As we say here in the South, it ain't real hard!

*Make Spice Mix
*Cut up chicken, sprinkle with aforementioned spice mix
*Saute Chicken/Shrimp, remove
*Boil Pasta
*Saute veggies in same pan as meat
*Add meat back in
*Plate Pasta, cover with meat/veggie mix
*Chew vigorously

Now for the REAL recipe:


INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 t White Pepper, 1/2 t Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 1/2 t Salt, 1/2 t Paprika
  • 1/4 t Garlic Powder, 1/4 t Onion Powder
  • 2 skinless, boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 1/2 lb. Large Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 5 Qt Water
  • 6 oz Plain Fettuccine
  • 6 oz Spinach Fettuccine
  • 2T Olive Oil
  • 2 medium Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small Green Pepper, sliced
  • 1 small Red Pepper, sliced
  • 1 small Yellow Pepper, sliced
  • 1 small Onion, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 T Cornstarch
  • 2 T White Wine
  • 2 t chopped fresh Parsley

DIRECTIONS

  • 1
    Mix first 6 ingredients in a small bowl. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. Use about 1/3 of seasoning to coat chicken. In another bowl sprinkle 1/3 seasoning on shrimp. Cook pasta to Al Dente and drain.
  • 2
    Heat 1 T olive oil in skillet over high heat. Saute Chicken for 2 minutes per side. add shrimp and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from pan. Put pan with juices back over high heat and add remaining oil. Add tomatoes, peppers, and onion to oil. Sprinkle with remaining spice and saute for about 10 minutes.

    Your tomatoes cook down and make a tomato sauce in the end.
  • 3
    Add chicken and Shrimp back in and pour 3/4 cup chicken stock in pan. Cook over high until liquid is almost gone. Add remaining 3/4 cup of stock. Stir constantly scraping blackened stuff on the bottom of pan. reduce broth some and then turn to low. Combine cornstarch with wine in small bowl. Add to pan and simmer until thickens. Serve over noodles and top with parsley for garnish.


Here's some things I learned along the way... I absolutely cannot devein shrimp and make them look pretty. It's just one of those things I shouldn't do so long as I can get around it. SO, I bought a bag of frozen shrimp, thawed them, and took the tails off. I added them in when I put the chicken back in after the veggies cooked. They are already cooked - you just want them to heat up. SO much easier than deveining and all that madness. I used half of a 12oz bag that I got for $5.00 at Walmart.

I couldn't find the spinach pasta... It would have been so much prettier. So, if you can't don't worry about it - it's still delicious on plain old fettuccine.

When you chop the tomatoes, just whack them into some large slices. I pretty much quartered mine then cut those pieces in half and dumped them in. They will cook down into a tomato sauce by the time everything has sauteed so if you've got non-tomato chunk eaters - like my husband - they won't be there by the time you serve it.

It IS a little spicy. My mom thought it was too much for her, but she's sensitive to spice. We also thought it was even spicier the following day. CUT BACK ON THE CAYENNE IF YOU DON'T LIKE SPICY!

Oh and adding parsley at the end just made it look so much prettier.... I'm just sayin.......

Overall, it got high ratings. My super picky nine year old didn't LOVE it, but she ate what she had to - and she's not a fan of spicy. My husband and mom loved it, and I even got a text from my nearly 20 year old niece with hearts and everything that said she loved it.

I don't know if it can be made a head and frozen yet - I suppose you could do it and then just add shrimp in later and make your pasta the day of..... If anyone tries that before I do, please let me know.

This was definitely a big winner in my house and will be included regularly in our menu - cutting back on the spice.



Let me know your thoughts and variations on this! I love to see different ways to change things up!

Link to Original Recipe! Thank you tastebook.com!

Red
XoXoXoXo

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