24 February 2009

Creamy Cajun Pasta

Ooooweee! 'Dis stuff is slap yo momma good. (That was my Justin Wilson impersonation.) Happy Fat Tuesday! I've been craving cajun food sooo bad. Maybe it's because Saturday was the Mardi Gras parade on the Bolivar Peninsula, which would normally result in a crawfish boil or some sort of cajun food happening. Or the fact that it's Fat Tuesday and I've heard all about it. Anyways, I decided to do something about it. I compiled a bunch of different recipes and it turned out sooooooo good!

6 chicken tenders, cleaned and cubed

1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 medium onion, diced
3/4 red bell pepper
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3T. flour
3 1/2 c. half and half
8 oz. white velveeta

1/2 pound small shrimp, cleaned, tails removed
12 bay scallops, cleaned

bowtie pasta

blackened seasoning
salt, coarse ground pepper

Start a pot of water to boil for the pasta. Warm a few tablespoon of olive oil in a large (read: deep) skillet over medium heat. Cover both sides of chicken with blackening seasoning. At this time, season the shrimp and scallops as well, but we will not cook them just let. They will marinate and be happy in the blackening seasoning for a while. Sautee chicken until light brown and cooked all the way through. This should not take long since the chicken is cubed. Once light brown, add the chopped veggies EXCEPT the garlic and save a little green onion tops for garnish. Also salt and pepper to taste. Once the onions turn opaque, add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, or until the garlic is soft. [Now, just so you know, I combined about 7 different recipes and in my shuffling through recipes, I decided to cook my veggies first and forgot about the chicken. Needless to say, I added the chicken after the veggies were soft and it didn't affect anything except for it's ability to brown a little, but it really didn't matter that much. If I created this recipe again, I would probably start with chicken first though.)

Sprinkle the flour over the chicken and veggie mixture and cook until no longer white. Turn heat down to medium low (or low for those of you like me who are scared of burning milk) and add cream and velveeta. Increase heat to bring to low simmer. *This is a good time to add your pasta to the boiling water.* Keep it at a LOW simmer for 5 minutes. Around minute 3 or so, check your seasonings to make sure you have enough blackening seasoning, salt and pepper. (Make sure it is simmering or very hot) Add the shrimp and scallops. These should only need to cook for 5 minutes or so. You will know they are done when the shrimp curl up like a "C" and are a bright pink. The scallops will be white instead of opaque-y. Serve over pasta with fresh Italian bread.

Next time, I wouldn't change a thing!!! This was so excellent and even though it was MORE than 3 cups of half and half, it wasn't too heavy. I might use a little less flour because I was over paranoid it would turn more into a thick gravy than a creamy sauce. But other than that, nothing else. It was perfect!

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