Monthly Archives: September 2011

Cajun Chicken Pasta (Thanks Pioneer Woman)

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This is what we had for dinner last night and it was super yummy.  I think I gave Cheesecake Factory a run for their money.

  • 3 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Cubes
  • 3 teaspoons Cajun Spice Mix, More To Taste ( I made my own recipe at bottom)
  • 1 pound Fettuccine or what ever pasta you want to use
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 whole Green Bell Pepper, Seeded And Sliced
  • 1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Seeded And Sliced
  • 1/2 whole Large Red Onion, Sliced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 4 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced or A can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • Cayenne Pepper To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • Salt To Taste

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain when pasta is still al dente; do not overcook!

Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun spice over chicken pieces. Toss around to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy skillet over high heat. Add half the chicken in a single layer; do not stir. Allow chicken to brown on one side, about 1 minute. Flip to the other side and cook an additional minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a clean plate.

Repeat with remaining chicken. Remove chicken, leaving pan on high heat.

Add remaining olive oil and butter. When heated, add peppers, onions, and garlic. Sprinkle on remaining Cajun spice, and add salt if needed. Cook over very high heat for 1 minute, stirring gently and trying to get the vegetables as dark/black as possible. Add tomatoes and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove all vegetables from the pan.

With the pan over high heat, pour in the wine and chicken broth. Cook on high for 3 to 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Reduce heat to medium-low and pour in cream, stirring/whisking constantly. Cook sauce over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until cream starts to thicken the mixture. Taste and add freshly ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, and/or salt to taste. Sauce should be spicy!

Finally, add chicken and vegetables to sauce, making sure to include all the juices that have drained onto the plate. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until mixture is bubbly and hot. Add drained fettuccine and toss to combine.

Cajun Spice Mix

2 tablespoons Paprika

1 tablespoon Chili Powder

½ tablespoon Onion Powder

1 tablespoon Garlic Powder

½ teaspoon Cayenne  Pepper

Salt and Pepper to taste

Peace, Love and Spice

Gingersnap

It’s Greek To Me

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For dinner last night we had the most amazing greek taco sandwich things!  Here is the recipe with the changes I made for us. Looking forward to the leftovers for lunch today. I think this will have to be one of those every couple of week recipes.

Lamb or Ground Beef:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground lamb or ground beef
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons dry red wine

Feta Mint Tzatziki:

  • 1 English cucumber
  • Salt
  • 1 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt or full fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (this added such a nice change to the Tzatziki)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint or dill

Cucumber Tomato Relish:

  • 1 tablespoon roasted red pepper olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsmic vinegar
  • 2 firm tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 English cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Sandwich Build:

  • 4 non-pocket pitas or Nann bread because I couldn’t find any really soft pitas. (You want to warm these before making the tacos)

Directions:

For the lamb or ground beef: In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the lamb, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until the meat gets nice and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the lamb and reserve. Lower the heat to medium and saute the onions in the lamb juices until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the oregano and garlic and cook until fragrant. Season. Add the tomato paste and cook until it caramelizes. Deglaze with the red wine and scrape any bits up that have adhered to the pan. Add the lamb back in, stir and set aside.

 For the tzatziki: Grate the cucumber on the large holes of a box grater and place in a fine-meshed strainer or cheese cloth fitted over a bowl. Salt the cucumber and let sit 10 minutes. Then squeeze out any excess moisture. Add the strained cucumber into a bowl with the yogurt, feta, garlic and mint or dill.  Adjust the seasoning if necessary.

 For the cucumber tomato relish: Toss the olive oil, vinegar, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions in a bowl and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Cover and let sit at least 1 hour to marry the flavors.

 Schmear the tzatziki on the pitas, then place on the lamb or ground beef and top with cucumber tomato relish. 

Now stuff this in your mouth and get ready for your tongue to jump out and slap you in the head!

My tongue wants to hit me in the head just looking at this picture!

 

M.I.A

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Sorry that I have been missing in action!  Not that there is really enough people who follow my blog to care.  I have been too busy living life to sit down and collect my thoughts on just about anything.  Also pretending to diet while stuffing lots of food and adult beverages down my throat has slowed down the creative juices.  So now that summer (dieting) is over hopefully I will be back regaling you with yummy food and my super sassy wit.

Peace, Love and Chicken Grease

Gingersnap