Cajun Dinner

This blog post is different than what most of my posts will be as I do not claim to be any sort of chef however, I do love to cook and bake.  So, with that said, this blog post is for a recipe.  My family is rather large, (a family of 6, ALL boys, that are VERY hungry) so we don’t go out to eat often as it is far too expensive.  When we do go out to eat it is generally for a special occasion.  On this occasion we went to a restaurant close by our home called Interurban.  We love it!  They have a great menu with different types of foods, pasta, burgers, and steaks.  So, there’s something to hit everyone’s taste buds.  When I go to Interurban, I always get the same thing and I’m never disappointed-Dixieland Bowtie Pasta!  The only disappointment is we can’t afford to go there often enough.  I get cravings for it often and my boys love it so time to channel my inner chef and come up with my own recipe.  Turns out it is a family favorite and I unapologetically say, I like my version better than Interurban’s version!

I sit down every week to make up our weekly menu and weekly grocery list and the first thing I do is send a text to all my boys and ask if there are any special requests.  With four boys and a husband to toss out some dinner ideas I usually only have to come up three to four meals.  However, oftentimes at least 3 of them pick “Cajun” as one of the choices.  Although this is one of my favorites my boys have really burnt me out on having “Cajun”.  My version of “Cajun” gives my tastebuds confusion thinking they’re in a real restaurant.  Alas, I’m in my kitchen and I cooked the meal but as easy as this is to prepare, as well as being inexpensive, I feel it’s a win, win!

For this recipe, I warn you, it is rich and full of carbs so if you’re here for healthy go click that “X” cause this ain’t it! HA!  However, you can make this keto friendly by replacing the pasta noodles with zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.  My family doesn’t love these options but they’re okay with it when we are trying to eat clean. 

As I said before I’m cooking for four boys and a husband on rare occasions, he gets to be home from work, and you will see in this recipe that it makes a huge pot of good, yummy carby deliciousness! Now on to the “how-to”!

I start by boiling the water and heating up the outdoor grill. 

After starting the grill, I move to mincing up the garlic and opening up those flavors while I get the chicken grilled and chopped.

 

I season the raw chicken with a small drizzle of olive oil and garlic salt and pepper.  When the grill is warm, I throw on 4 chicken breasts like these from SAMS.

https://www.samsclub.com/p/forester-antibiotic-free-boneless-skinless-chicken-breast/prod18460026

Grilling each side for 8 minutes on the lowest setting, I find that 8 minutes on each side gives that crispy grilled flavor all the while leaving the chicken breasts juicy on the inside. 

Now that the chicken breasts are grilled it is time to cut up the breasts into bite sized pieces.  While chopping, give your supervisors a small bite to win brownie points.

By this time the water is boiling and ready to soften up those bowties!  Toss in the bowties and set the timer according to package directions or until they are at your desired tenderness.

 

Now before we start melting that cheese, here’s a quick pointer that will save you countless hours scrubbing that gooey cheese off the bottom of the pot… GET COPPER CHEF PANS!!!  I absolutely love these, and they clean up with great ease!  I like to use this one for melting down the cheese AND for when I make carmel corn because of the ease of clean up!  You can get a great set of them at the link below from Amazon!

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Toss in that minced garlic and 1 stick of salted butter, yep 1 entire stick! 

 Sauté the garlic until it begins to brown just slightly. 

 Add in the entire bag of cheese, stir it in with the butter and garlic essentially coating the cheese.  Then pour in the entire carton of heavy cream, yes, the entire carton! 

 

(Remember, I warned you it’s not for the healthy diet).  Now kick up the heat to medium heat and get ready to stir your little heart out.  Get lost in the reverie that your large crew is going to clean up after dinner while you soak in a bubble bath with a glass of wine after dinner!  By the time you come back from that pipe dream your cheese is probably melted.  After your cheese sauce has started to liquify partly it’s time to dash in that Cajun flavor! 

I use cayenne pepper and “Slap Ya Momma” seasoning. 

 Of course, you can heat this up as much or as little as you like!  My boys like it spicy so we use a lot of cayenne in the sauce.  The “Slap Ya Momma” seasoning does seem to be pretty salty, so I like to season and then taste until I like where the flavor stands.  I might’ve gotten it a bit too salty a time or two!

You want to make sure the cheese mixture is melted enough to be smooth.  If your cheese looks like this,  or this  then you need to keep melting.  Don’t even think about turning up the heat!  Be patient with where the heat setting is, it will get there.  Keep melting until you get to this consistency.   Once you get to the smooth creamy cheese, we’re after turn the heat to its lowest setting while you’re draining the noodles.

Pausing from cooking for a moment to say cooking in a clean and whimsy kitchen is much more fun than drab and dirty!  And who wouldn't love cooking with King  weenies!?!?!

 

Drain those bowties!  Useful tip-Put the colander on top of the pan of noodles and flip to drain.  I hope I’m not the only one at 40 and just now figuring that little gem out!  HA! 

Now toss everything together in the noodle pan, the cheese sauce, the chicken, and the noodles. 

 

Stir up that pot of dreamy creaminess, throw it in a bowl, top with fresh cut tomatoes if desired, and ENJOY!

 

 

 

 


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