Saturday, February 23, 2013

Cajun Chicken Alfredo

It's been a while but it's time for a blog post quickie! My life has really revolved around school these days. Trying to pass my classes, working out my schedules where I can graduate a little bit early, looking up Pharmacy Schools I would like to attend...the list goes on and on. But no matter how busy I am, you best believe I will never forget about food. 

I took a break from studying for midterms literally 2 hrs ago to make this Cajun Chicken Alfredo and let me tell you, this is a MUST MAKE! Don't be afraid of the Blackening/Cajun seasoning either. I was at first but it mellows out and flavors the sauce really well. Creamy, cheesy, tangy from the sun dried tomatoes, juicy chicken and pasta. Now I'd say that was a break from studying well worth it. 

Well, that's it for now. Eat well my peeps! Back to studying for me...Two midterms this week! Yikes!

Cajun Chicken Alfredo
Recipe by Guy Fieri

Kosher salt
Four 5-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 pounds)
Blackening/Cajun Spice Rub
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup roughly chopped marinated sun-dried tomatoes
1 pound fettuccine
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over very high heat. 

Dredge the chicken breasts in the Blackening Spice Rub. Place in the cast-iron skillet. Blacken both sides of the chicken, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Transfer the chicken to a baking sheet and place in the oven until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and slice the chicken into strips on the bias.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and lightly brown it, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the wine. Pour in the heavy cream, bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce is reduced by half. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and chicken slices.

Meanwhile, cook the fettuccine al dente, according to the package directions. Drain.

When the cream sauce is at the desired consistency, stir in 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, the sea salt, pepper and pasta. To serve, toss the pasta with the cream sauce and serve on large rimmed plates. Garnish with the green onions and the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.

-Aaron John

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Macaroni Salad

Macaroni Salad has been on my mind lately. Why? Who knows. I mean, who the heck starts thinking about Macaroni Salad? Never in my life have I ever said "Macaroni Salad sounds soooo good right now". Never, I mean NEVER! It's like the stories where they say pregnant women eat strange combos of food like pickles and peanut butter. Well, me eating straight up Macaroni Salad is strange in and of itself.  (BTW, type "peanut butter and pickles" in google and you get a bunch of sandwich pictures. Can you say "future blog post"?? Maybe if I'm desperate...)

So when something is based in mayo, who do you turn to? Paula Deen Ya'll!! The queen of butter, potatoes and mayo. When a cooking show is based on these three items, she better know her stuff and pretty much she does. It's a simple recipe with everything you want in a Macaroni Salad.

Honestly with a Macaroni Salad, you can really put anything you have left in the refrigerator as long as it's reasonable. I, myself, decided to add in some carrots. You can even put pickles in here, but leave out the peanut butter, unless you're adventurous!

Macaroni Salad
Recipe by Paula Deen

2 cups cooked elbow macaroni
3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
2 tablespoons diced green onions
1 tablespoon chopped pimento
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Cover and put into the refrigerator until ready to serve.

-Aaron John


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