Monday, February 26, 2024

Cajun Shrimp Alfredo

I had occasion to go out to lunch with a number of friends last week. We went to a favorite restaurant, one that I have been patronizing since I was in college; the overall experience was a bit of a disappointment. It was shocking how much the prices had gone up over the years, the portions smaller, and the food not quite as good as it used to be. As much as we all enjoyed the time together, we agreed that it’s doubtful that we'll return to this restaurant that we enjoyed so much over the years. That’s a shame.

I got to thinking about the whole dining out experience, and how I tend to enjoy the sociability more than I do the food. It’s gotten to the point where I can make restaurant quality food at home, fresher, with quality ingredients, for a fraction of the price, and I know how that food’s been prepared. Generally, I tend to order Cajun shrimp pasta out, but decided it was time to make it at home. This is an easy recipe that can be on the table in under an hour. Give some thought to how you want to spend your money. I certainly have, and that’s why I’ll be doing more restaurant-style cooking at home.

Cajun Shrimp Alfredo

Serves 2

8 oz. penne rigate pasta

2 T. butter

1 T. extra-virgin olive oil

1 Melissa’s shallot, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ c. diced Melissa’s fire roasted red bell peppers

1 c. sliced crimini mushrooms

½ lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 c. Alfredo sauce, jarred* or homemade

¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese

1/3 c. heavy cream

½ t. Cajun seasoning, more or less, to taste

Pinch cayenne pepper, more or less, to taste

Salt and pepper, to taste

Chopped parsley, for garnish

 Cook pasta according to package direction. While pasta is cooking, melt butter together with olive oil in a 10" skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion, and saute until translucent, about 4 minutes.

Stir in garlic, red peppers, and mushrooms; cook over medium-high heat until mushrooms have softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in shrimp and cook until firm and pink (3 minutes) and then add the Alfredo saucer, Parmesan, and cream. Simmer, stirring constantly, for about 4-5 minutes until thickened.

Stir in Cajun seasoning, cayenne, and salt and pepper, to taste. Stir drained pasta into sauce and serve immediately. Sprinkle with parsley, for garnish, if desired.

*I used Rao’s.

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Donna said...

Love alfredo Anything! lol

Gina said...

Absolutely you can make it better at home! I think people eat out less for the food than the socializing or getting a break from cooking. I'll admit, I love for someone else to cook it and serve to me. Bonus: no dishwasher to load. But the prices lately are outrageous! This looks good - shrimp is such a great choice!

Marie Smith said...

We have lost our desire to eat out as well. The price, portion sizes and the fact our homemade food tastes good means we eat out very little any more. You are so right!

Linda said...

Your pasta dish looks better than restaurant! We have found the same thing in restaurants and are actually stunned at the high prices. We pick and choose if and when we will dine out!