Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Cajun Seafood Pasta

I'm not normally a HOT spice lover.  I like to be able to actually taste my food and I really prefer to NOT burn off my tastebuds.  The description of this recipe is - "This is a hot one but delicious!" so I had my reservations.  I halved the recipe just in case.
The ingredients - but the fettuccine pasta was late getting to the party so it's not in the picture

The recipe calls for fresh thyme and basil, but the truth is you could use dried as my opinion is that you couldn't really taste it over the THREE different kinds of peppers.  It also calls for shrimp and scallops - but I just doubled the shrimp and left the scallops out.
I gave the shrimp a rough chop so it would be easier to eat and nicely distributed

I've never actually used fresh thyme or basil.  I had to kind of guess with the thyme.  And I had to buy this whole big package.  But I learned this great little trick that you can portion chopped fresh herbs and freeze them in ice cube trays and just pull out what you need when you need it.  So I stripped the thyme leaves off the twigs, gave them a quick chop and froze what I didn't use. 

Stripped thyme twigs
Thyme leaves - gets kinda messy
I think dinner probably would have been ready sooner if I'd been better prepared.  It took forever to strip that stupid thyme.  And now my hands smell like thyme and I can't get it off.


A quick overview of the recipe.

Heat cream in a skillet until it's almost boiling.  Add in the peppers and the fresh herbs and simmer until thickened.  I don't think I let it thicken as much as it could have gotten, but I was starting to get impatient. 

Add in the shrimp and cook until pink, then throw in the cheeses and stir until well combined.
This actually smelled so good

Serve over pasta.
You want some? (Yeah - I kinda overdid it with the pasta)

I wasn't crazy about the way this recipe is written because the first step is to cook the pasta.  My problem with that is what the heck do you do to keep the pasta warm while you're waiting for the sauce?  In my opinion, I would put the pasta in after the peppers are added to the cream.  You would have to rush around to drain the pasta and at the same time finish the sauce.  But at least your pasta would still be warm.

My opinion on this recipe?  If you like burny spicy food a lot - this is for you.  I mean, it was seriously yummy, but it was a little too much for me.  I thought my mouth and guts were starting to liquefy.  I think my exact reaction was "WHEW".  I also thought it could have used like half the parsley, but perhaps it helps counter the pepper?

Would I add it to my recipe book and make it again?  Not for myself, but I would feed it to someone who really likes HOT food.  (I personally don't get it, I like to taste things)

This is the Cane Girl with the liquefied insides - signing off.

Cajun Seafood Pasta
I adjusted the recipe to reflect my cooking suggestions
This is the original recipe, I halved my recipe from this
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 cup chopped green onions
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 pound scallops
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 pound dry fettuccine pasta
  1. Pour cream into a large skillet.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until just about boiling.
  2. Reduce heat and add herbs, salt, peppers, onions, and parsley.
  3. Start cooking pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente.  Drain well when finished.
  4. Simmer cream and spices about 7 to 8 minutes or until thickened.
  5. Stir in seafood and cook until shrimp is no longer transparent.
  6. Sprinkle cheeses over the cream and stir until melted and well blended.
  7. Serve sauce over noodles.
Source:  AllRecipes

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