Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ragin' Cajun

Adam and I love going out to eat but due to laziness usually end up sticking close to the Quincy area, if not the street we live on. As such, some of our favorite restaurants that are in the city or beyond are usually only graced with our presence a few times a year.

One such a restaurant is The Border Café in Harvard Square. When we first started dating, I was working in town on Newbury Street and Adam was still living/working in New Hampshire so we would only see each other once during the work week – on Wednesdays. He would drive down and pick me up on the corner of Mass Ave and Boylston and we would drive down Mass Ave into Harvard Square and go out to dinner, usually at The Border Café. So with it’s sentimental value, combined with it’s fabulous Cajun and Mexican dishes (not to mentions MARGARITAS. AS BIG AS YOUR HEAD), it is easy to see why it was such a favorite.

In any case one of our favorite dishes was their Bourbon Street Chicken Fettuccine, which is a delicious Cajun take on an Italian staple. The other day I was craving this and thinking you know? It might be fun to try and recreate it at home. Of course single-minded person that I am I worked with Adam to figure out/guess what exactly is in it, and then went the next day to the supermarket and so last night – Cajun Chicken Fettuccine was born! It is wonderfully spicy ( but not too spicy) , the chicken comes out juicy and tender and I didn’t even mind the mushrooms. In fact. I LIKED THEM.

I have to say, if you can't get to The Border Cafe for their Bourbon Street Chicken Fettuccine, this is a delicious second choice.

A few cheater’s points. You can use fresh mushrooms if you like, I just happened to have a jar of them at home and wanted to use it. And I suppose I could have made my own Mesquite seasoning, or my own Cajun Seasoning (really just salt, Cayenne, Paprika and pepper) but I figured this dish was already a three-pots-on-the-stove ordeal, why make it harder on myself?

And anyway I am a McCormick Girl at heart.


Cajun Chicken Fettuccine

3 boneless& skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 ½ inch chunks
1 jar button mushrooms
2 medium red peppers, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves minced garlic
Olive oil
1.5 tsp McCormick Cajun Seasoning
1 14.5 oz jar diced tomatoes with mild green chiles
Texas Pete
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 package McCormick Mesquite Marinade.
2 tbsp flour (opt)
12 oz box of whole wheat fettuccine

Marinate chicken strips for an hour in mesquite marinade. While you are doing this take your jar of button mushrooms and add in 3-4 good squirts of Texas Pete/whatever hot sauce you use. I like Pete because he is not TOO hot. And really a little sweet. You can of course skip this step but I thought it added a little kick to the mushrooms.

I love you Pete!

I like to chop up all my vegetables while whatever I am marinating is marinating that way when it's ready, so am I.

When you are ready to get started, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium –hi heat. Add peppers, onions and garlic and sauté for about 10 minutes (until tender).

Meanwhile, in another pan, heat 2 tbsp butter and add marinated chicken.

See what I mean about three pan/pot job? This would be a good time to get your water boiling for the pasta, too.

Cook the chicken until done, about 7-10 minutes. Pour the chicken pan into the veggie pan and stir. Add in tomatoes, mushrooms and Cajun seasoning.

Stir and simmer for about 10 minutes. If you want to thicken up the sauce, throw in about 2 tbsp flour, stir and it will thicken right up.

While that is cooking a pot of water boiling and cook your pasta according to the box directions. Add the veggie + chicken mixture to the cooked and drained pasta, stir over low heat for about five minutes and serve!

It makes about 4 LARGE servings, or 6 smaller ones.

And I have to say, the Cajun Seasoning in this recipe ran away with the show. It was so much spice in so little amount, and it was all spice that I would use anyway, on a weekly basis pretty much in other recipes. Best $2.99 I have spent in a long time!


Nicky said...

Sigh...woman, why must you make me ravenously hungry with this blog when all I have in my bag is half a turkey-filled pita and a yogurt? )o:

Britt said...

Yumm, this looks great - we are big pasta people and I like to see recipes that give a little spin on it. Love the Pink Shoe Cookbook! Great notes and pictures!

jayniek said...

i use that cajun seasoning (along with a little olive oil) on grilled sweet potato slices. way good.