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Jambalaya Alfredo

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Hello all!

I’ve been busy, busy, busy here lately (who hasn’t?) and although I’ve cooked a ton of recipes and taken pictures of them, I could never find the time to blog about it until now! Things are starting to feel more routine, but that will probably change again soon. My schedule at the station has been flip-flopping for the past few months, and as soon as I get settled down into one schedule, it changes again. Hopefully it ends soon! Also, it’s full-blown summer now. When I’m not at work, I’m either at my pool or basketball court or somewhere else outside.

My mom came up to OKC to visit me last-last weekend, and I gave her the culinary tour over the two days she was here. We ate dinner on Friday evening at Stephen & I’s favorite Mexican food place in Moore, Alfredo’s, and got gigantic margaritas. I’ve always gotten the avocado enchiladas there, and so I ordered them again—fantastic, as usual.

Saturday morning my mom and I woke up super early (actually late for me…I had been waking up at 3:30am for work the past few days) and got down to business in OKC. We were planning on hitting up the farmer’s market, but I had heard about a big antique/junk show at the fairgrounds the day before at work, so we went there instead. cajun8

But first, breakfast! I had just recently had a morning shoot at a breakfast/lunch spot in downtown OKC called Kitchen No. 324, so I wanted to take my mom there. It was definitely a hit with her. I ordered what I had gotten before (creature of habit, I know), the Open-Faced toast: brioche topped with black forest ham, gruyere cheese, two poached eggs and a thyme béchamel sauce. AMAZZZZZING. They also have some of the best coffee in town, and the greatest pastry chef, Joe. When I had to spend the morning with him for work, he was so entertaining and you could tell he absolutely loved doing what he does best. He makes the best maple cruellers I’ve ever tasted in my life, along with an amazing creation he dubs the “Joenut”. cajun6A Joenut is basically a “Cronut”—a croissant donut. Apparently a café in NY patented and/or trademarked the term Cronut, so they send cease-and-desist orders to other restaurants if they use the term. I like Joenut better, though.

Anyway, he fills the flaky croissant-donut with the best filling I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting in my life. It’s light and fluffy, not heavy like a buttercream or liquidy like pudding. The Joenut I went with that day was the maple-bacon flavor, my mom tried the blue coconut. Joe’s always trying out new flavors and fillings; when we were there for work I had a chocolate-covered banana flavor. Insanely good—I cannot explain to you how freaking wonderful these things are. Probably one of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth.

The food tour continues—-after five hours of shopping at the Junk Hippy show. I bought a desk!!!!! I got an incredible deal for it. Originally it was $125. I haggled the lady all the way down to $105 and made her throw in a lamp and ceramic owl as well! Then I found the perfect chair to go with the desk for $20 at another booth.

cajun7Now I finally have a place to keep all of my recipes and recipe booklets organized and a wonderful desk to blog on (which I’m doing now!) AND I can sit and write down new recipes to keep my collection growing.

So, for dinner that night Stephen, my mom & I went to an amazing Mediterranean restaurant in NW OKC called Zorba’s, and I made the best decision of my life. I bypassed the Osso Buco to try the Moussaka. Best. Decision. Ever.

Moussaka is classic Greek comfort food. Seasoned ground beef or lamb with eggplants and potatoes covered in a béchamel….what could be better?!?

My mom had a good visit, and I had a great time with her. Now, onto some cooking.

It’s summer so I’ve been investing in a lot of summer foods—fresh fruit, berries, squashes, tomatoes—and I’ve been visiting the famer’s market on the regular. I went to make some chicken alfredo the other night and thought hey, why don’t I spice things up a bit? And made the following recipe completely up. I’ve had Cajun alfredos before, but I think this was one of the best. It included all the things I love about alfredo and Cajun cuisine. I was feeling lazy so I used jarred alfredo sauce, but regular alfredo sauce is super simple to make yourself…just google it.

 

The cast of characters.
The cast of characters.

 

 

Jambalaya Alfredo

  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 16 oz. package of Wagon wheel shaped pasta
  • 1 large zucchini, diced
  • 1-1 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1/2-1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 large bunch green onions, diced
  • 1 regular jar alfredo sauce
  • 3 TBS. Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp. red pepper (cayenne) or hot paprika
  • 1 TBS. Old Bay seasoning
  • grated Parmesan

1. Bring large pot of water to boil & boil pasta until al dente. Meanwhile, combine peppers, onions, zucchini, and 1 TBS. Cajun seasoning in medium bowl.

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2. Cut chicken breasts into cubes and sprinkle red pepper & 1 TBS. of the Cajun seasoning over chicken, mix well. In large saucepan, sauté chicken until just done. Remove from pan to warmed plate, add vegetable mix to pan. Saute veggies until tender and onions are translucent. Add shrimp and Old Bay seasoning & cook until shrimp is pink.

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3. In medium pot, heat alfredo sauce and remaining tablespoon of Cajun seasoning. Combine pasta, chicken, shrimp, veggies and sauce in pasta pot or in large serving bowl. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

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Your tastebuds won’t be disappointed! This creamy and spicy mixture is sure to be a hit with the whole family.

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Now, the fourth of July is Friday, and I’m still working on the menu…I know I want pork shish-ka-bobs, deviled eggs, pasta salad, and some type of slaw, but I can’t put my finger on what kind of dessert I want. A berry trifle? Cherry pie? Granitas? Help!

I do know what I’m making tonight, though…Sweet chile chicken sliders with Sriracha coleslaw. Recipe coming soon, so stay tuned!

 

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