I think we’ve all learned how bad I am at following recipes, right? Well, today, I just threw the cookbooks out the window. Sorry, darlin… I’ll call a glass repair guy tomorrow.
I had a pound of very rare in our household (both because of cost and because my husband hates it so I rarely make it) jumbo shrimp. I had spent two days trying to figure out what to do with them. Batter fried? Tasty, but it doesn’t stretch far and since this is a rare treat, I wanted it to seem like more. Heck, give me an hour and I can finish a pound of fried shrimp myself. Gumbo? Too much trouble and I always use Andouille in my gumbo which I don’t have right now. So I started looking at recipes for Shrimp Alfredo. I didn’t like any of them lol. So I just went into the kitchen and started throwing Cajunish and Alfredoish (yes, those are now both official words) ingredients together. Those and bacon. Bacon makes everything better. I mean… it’s BACON!
I must say; this sauce turned out wonderfully. Spicy, creamy, shrimpy :-p Seriously, it’s quite good. Not too spicy but has a nice bite for the heat seekers like myself. The green peppers and onions and garlic make their presence known. Add in the bacon and shrimp and oh my… seafood (bacony) Heaven on a plate. Ok, so the pic is of it in a bowl. Work with me here.
Note… I had no fettuccine , linguine or other traditional pastas here so I used Penne. I actually think I prefer it now. The shape helps it catch more sauce then you can on a flat noodle shape. But use what makes YOU happy.
You know the drill…
Creamy Cajun Shrimp & Bacon Alfredo
1 pound shrimp (I used jumbo but you could use large or extra large too. Just don’t go smaller or you could end up with overcooked shrimp. Save the smaller shrimp for something where it’s not sitting in a hot sauce)
1 pound bacon, cooked until crisp, crumbled, 4 tablespoons of drippings reserved
1 large green bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons salt free Cajun seasoning (it can be hard to find but it’s worth it)
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper flakes (optional)
2 teaspoons hot sauce (optional)
2 cups half and half or heavy cream
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan Cheese (if you use that canned dried stuff, I’ll cry)
8 ounces of Mascarpone cheese (could sub cream cheese)
Start a large pot of water boiling. When water comes to a boil, cook your pasta to desired doneness. Drain and set aside in a covered bowl.
While it heats, pour your reserved bacon droppings in a large skillet. Add in the green pepper, onion and garlic. Saute over medium heat until the veggies are soft and tender.
Pat your shrimp dry then add into the veggie mix. Also add in the Cajun seasoning and red pepper flakes Saute just until the shrimp start firming up and turning pink. They will finish cooking as the sauce heats.
Pour the cream into the shrimp mixture. Pour in the hot sauce also if using.
Turn heat down to low and simmer for five minutes or until sauce starts to simmer (don’t boil it), stirring frequently. Add in the mascarpone and stir until smooth and melted Add in the crumbled bacon and serve the sauce over the warm pasta.
Garnish with more Parmesan cheese. Because you can never have too much cheese.
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No, I am NOT in a rut darn it :-P. So what if I have done two citrus pies and now two risottos as my last four posts? I LIKE them, I cook them, I inhale them (well not really inhale… my lungs might not appreciate that) then I tell you about them. We all go through food phases and lately anything citrus and different risottos have been my weaknesses.
I splurged for this dish. We are so NOT that family that can afford to get seafood anytime we want, as much as I may wish we could.Â Things like going out to seafood restaurants or buying shrimp or even fish are rare treats here. Add in that my husband doesn’t even LIKE seafood and I get it rarely. But Russ is out of town helping take care of his dad after surgery (I miss my darlin man!!!! *sobs*) and my oldest son and his family are here visiting so this seemed like a perfect chance to splurge and use seafood. So I bought some crab and shrimp and got cooking. I have to say, I am in love with this risotto. It’s rich and creamy (and we all know that those are my downfalls) with a wonderful seafood flavor (use less crab if you want the shrimp to shine) along with a burst of lemon and cheese flavors. This is a perfect family treat as well as a dish that would be great for a special occasion. So as I always say… get to cooking! This makes a lot so feel free to cut the amounts in half is serving just a few people.
Three Cheese, Seafood & Asparagus Risotto
1 lb uncooked large shrimp
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb asparagus, tough ends chopped off & the rest cut into about 1 inch pieces
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 12 ounce bag arborio rice
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
4 to 5 cups chicken broth, brought to a simmer and kept hot
1/2 cup heavy cream, heated then mixed with the chicken broth
1/3 cup dry white wine (don’t use something you wouldn’t drink)
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup crumbled bleu cheese
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan (plus more for on top)
1 tablespoon dried dill weed
zest and juice of one lemon (no more than 1/4 cup juice however)
8 ounces fresh crabmeat
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
First things first- get the shrimp ready. In a medium saucepan, combine the 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Melt over medium high heat. Add in the shrimp and saute for about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. You don’t want these completely cooked because they will finish cooking when they get mixed into the risotto. When they are done, put into a bowl and set aside (and clean your pan and put it away because I’m anal that way).
Now the asparagus- Take the pieces, put into a microwave safe bowl with 3 tablespoons water, cover with plastic wrap and microwave at full power for 4 minutes. Drain then set aside.
In a large saucepot, meltÂ the 3 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add in the chopped onion, garlic and rice. Saute, stirring frequently, until the rice has become translucent and the onions and garlic are softened and limp, about 5 minutes.
Add in the wine and continue cooking, stirring constantly until the wine is absorbed.
Stir in about 1 cup of the chicken broth. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until all the broth is absorbed.
Continue to add broth as needed, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly, until the rice is al dente and looks creamy (and utterly delicious)
Stir in the 3 cheeses. Continue stirring until they are melted and thoroughly incorporated into the rice.
Stir in the dill weed, lemon zest and juice.Â Stir in the 4 tablespoons butter and stir until melted and combined.Then fold in the shrimp, crabmeat and asparagus, being careful not to break up the asparagus.
Put into a serving dish, sprinkle with more Parmesan and serve. Get ready for some big time kudos here 🙂
I don’t know if I have ever mentioned my love for noodles aka “noodoos” when you’ve raised as many kids as I have. I have mentioned Twinkies and Cheetos, I have mentioned chocolate and panini sandwiches. I have mentioned citrus in any way shape or form. But noodoos??? I mean noodles? Nope, I forgot all about those slippery bits of tasty goodness. When I was a kid, noodles meant…well… any of it. For some reason it was all noodles. It wasn’t called “pasta” back then; at least not in my home on the South Side of Chicago. It was noodles darn it! Spaghetti for dinner? Noodles. Lasagna? Ok, that was still lasagna. My main noodle memory though is my mom making egg noodles that she tossed with onions that had been sauteed in butter. So simple but so good. I still love that. Mac & Cheese? Noodles. From a box… gritty…soupy…ickÂ *shudders and moves on*
As I got older, my love for noodoos increased as my foodie experience grew as I aged. Not that I have aged much… twenty nine and holding here. Ignore the fact that my oldest child is 25. I started early ok!!?
Erhmmm…. moving on. Again. Noodoos.
I got to try so many other types of noodles as I expanded my eating experiences (and my waistline). But my favorite, even today, as I age…very gracefully and wrinkle free I might add… is any sort of Asian noodoos…noodles. Lo Mein, Cellophane noodles, Udon, Pad Thai, even ramen (if fixed correctly which IS possible). Add some sort of meat in there because I am a rabid carnivore (maybe the rabid part isn’t a good thing to say. Would it help if I say I’ve had all my shots?) and I’m in noodoo Heaven. So today I wanted noodles. I wanted spice, I wanted an excuse to make the Shrimp I splurged on, I wanted sriracha, I wanted veggies. Strange I know… me saying I wanted veggies instead of Twinkies. I’ll have those later. But for now, I have noodles… and veggies… and a tangy spicy sweet sauce. And Shrimp. Did I mention the Shrimp? So if all of that sounds good to you, try this.
Hokkien Noodles In A
Spicy Teriyaki Sauce With Stir Fry Veggies And Sriracha!
1 pound raw shrimp
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 14.2 ounce packages hokkien noodles (found in the Asian aisle of most grocery stores)
1 15 ounce bottle of Kona Coast Pineapple Paradise Teriyaki Sauce (sub your favorite if you can’t find this one. I just happen to like it)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon lime zest
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1 lb bag frozen stir fry veggies
1 12 ounce bag frozen snow peas
3 green onions, sliced into 4 pieces
In a medium bowl (you can use a large or extra large. I won’t tell. Or a small but you may end up with a mess. You could even use a plate but I don’t recommend it) mix together the teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder, lime zest, lime juice and srirachaÂ mix well.Â Break up the noodles and set aside.
Over high heat, in a large pan, saute the shrimp in the oil until cooked and a nice purty pink; about 4 minutes. When they are almost done, toss the shrimp with 1/4 cup of the sauce.Â Set aside.
Add the veggies to the same pan and stir fry for five minutes or until crisp tender. Add the noodles and the rest of the sauce to the pan. Toss to coat well and cover the pan. Cook for about 90 seconds.
Put noodles in bowl and cover with a few gazillion shrimp. Add more sriracha because it isn’t spicy enough and you don’t like having taste buds. Scream in pain then eat more. Rinse and repeat.