take my word for wednesday.. fiery shrimp with cajun "fried" rice is where it's at!!

last night i had planned on making my sweet and spicy thai chili shrimp recipe found here.. with my fried rice recipe found here.. but when i ordered my bountiful basket for next week i ordered the asian basket also and pete suggested making something else for dinner since we will probably be eating asian dishes for the next 2 weeks.. so i had to switch it up a bit.. i had made creamy cajun chicken pasta monday night.. ohh let me tell you it was so yummy i will post the recipe below.. there are no pictures because well it's not a "pretty" dish but the flavor is spot on.. the pictures for last nights dish are kinda funky as i hadn't planned on taking any photos since i thought i was making a repeat dish i have already posted.. so i quickly grabbed my camera before it got gobbled up.. the shrimp is so easy it's basically a deconstructed appetizer i have made for years..sometime back in 2002-2003 my brother in law, jimmy went camping and when he came back he told me about this shrimp dish someone had brought to a pot luck he went to.. he said they took a sliver of jalapeno and put it in the back of the shrimp where it's been deviened.. they wrapped it all in bacon put on some kind of cajun type seasoning skewered it and grilled it.. so i began making this simple little concoction changing it up a bit ever since.. sometimes grilling them, sometimes broiling them, sometimes using scallops instead of shrimp..there are a variety of different ways to make it.. about a year ago i was going to make them and time got away from me and i realized i would not have time before my guests arrived.. so i cut up my bacon rendered it down.. tossed in diced jalapeno and cooked it down then added my shrimp and cajun seasoning and cooked until no longer pink.. ooooommmmmgggggeeeee is it good.. i tossed it over pasta and it was an awesome dinner..  i thought last night i have all the ingredient's why not make my fiery shrimp and since i had planned on making "fried" rice might as well make it cajun.. so i used bacon, jalapenos, celery, onions, yellow peppers and garlic.. with cajun seasoning.. i have to tell you it might just be one of my favorite ways to make rice now.. omg it was so good!!

fiery shrimp

prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 15 minutes
servings: 4


2 lbs. uncooked, peeled, deviened and tail off shrimp
1 jalapeno, diced fine
1 1/2 strips bacon, diced small
1 tbls. cajun seasoning (more or less depending on how "spicy" you like your food)

in a large non stick pan over medium heat cook bacon down until translucent but not crispy.. about 4-6 minutes.. add jalapeno.. cook until soft about another 3 minutes.. i tossed my shrimp with the seasoning before adding to the pan.. then add to the pan it won't take long to cook.. about 6 minutes or so.. you want to cook them until no longer pink..  serve immediately over rice..if you wait the shrimp will get rubbery you really want to cook them at the last minute just before serving..

cajun "fried" rice

prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 20 minutes
servings: 4

rice for 4 servings cooked according to package direction
1 yellow bell pepper, diced (any color is fine i just had yellow on hand)
1 small onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 1/2 strips of bacon, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
1 tbls. cajun seasoning
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

in a large wok over medium heat cook bacon until rendered down but not crispy..when translucent add everything but broth and rice... cook until veggies are softened about 6 -8 minutes.. add rice stir to incorporate.. add broth and stir again.. let everything heat up and incorporate about 8-10 minutes.. stirring every now and again.. then serve...

creamy chicken cajun pasta

prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 30 minutes
servings: 6-8

At Walmart they have a bag of Chicken Breast Strips or Chicken thighs Strips I use them but if you buy a package of skinless boneless chicken thighs or breasts and cut them into strips/diced basically the same thing :)
1 red, green or yellow pepper diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil
1 bag of frozen okra (optional Pete just really likes okra) I zapped mine in the microwave for about 4 minutes so it wasn't icey cold
1 tbls. (or more depending on how "spicy you like it) of Tony Chachere cajun seasoning (any brand will do it's just the one I have ) http://www.tonychachere.com/
2 tbls. tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can low fat evaporated milk
salt and pepper
1 tsp. cayenne (optional) or more if you like the heat
linguine cooked to package directions..

season your chicken with salt and pepper..two twirls around a medium dutch oven with olive oil over medium heat.. put in chicken and cook until golden brown.. remove chicken and set aside.. add 1 more twirl around the pan with olive oil then add onions, celery, peppers and garlic.. cook until tender about 5 minutes.. add tomato paste.. cook another 3-4 minutes.. then add chicken broth.. deglaze pan and get up all those brown bits.. add cajun seasoning, okra, tomatoes and evaporated milk.. (it's not going go be a pretty sauce if you used pure heavy cream it would be but the fat content would be outrages!!) mix until all incorporated.. add chicken back in and salt and pepper.. reduce to simmer.. cook for about 5-7 minutes.. taste about now you might want more cajun seasoning.. if you want a little heat add the cayenne.. cook your noodles according to package directions.. drain your pasta and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.. add your pasta to your chicken dish.. if it seems to thick add 1/2 cup your reserved pasta water. cook another 5 or so minutes still to thick add additional 1/2 cup of pasta water but that shouldn't be necessary.. and it's ready to serve.. now if you wanted to go totally traditional you could add shrimp and sausage too.. that would be good.. again it's not "pretty" but it's tasty!!!


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