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Creamy Cajun Shrimp Linguine

October 18, 2011

I think I need to rename this month’s theme to complete dinners, because I keep using two pans. I’m not trying to cheat I promise, it just keeps happening. Even with two pans in play, the end result is a complete meal that comes together in less than 20 minutes, so I think you may just forgive me for using multiple pots…

And did I mention one serving has only 365 calories? A filling meal that is ready in 20 minutes=perfect for any day of the week. And even though it has creamy in the title, I promise it’s a light sauce.

Creamy Cajun Shrimp Linguine
Yields: 4 Servings

1/6 teaspoon white pepper
1/6 teaspoon garlic powder
1/6 teaspoon onion powder
1/6 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/6 teaspoon paprika
1/6 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup Water
1 14 ounce can Fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
6 ounces Uncooked linguine
1 pound Medium shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 1/2 tablespoon Butter
1 8-ounce package Pre-sliced mushrooms
1 large Red bell pepper cut into (1/4-inch-thick) slices
2 teaspoon All purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2/3 cup Half-and-half cream
1/4 cup Fresh parsley (chopped)

1. Combine first six ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Combine 1 cup water and broth in a Dutch oven or large sauce pan; bring to a boil. Break pasta in half; add to pan. Bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 8 minutes. Add shrimp to pan. Cover and simmer for 3 minutes or until shrimp are done; drain.
3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and pepper to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until moisture evaporates. Add flour, reserved seasoning blend, and salt to pan; sauté 30 seconds. Stir in half-and-half; cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add pasta mixture and parsley to pan; toss.

Kate’s Thoughts

This dish was such a pleasant surprise! I thought it had potential, but it was even better than expected. The creaminess was subtle and not overwhelming, which was perfect because I am not a fan of over the top cream sauces. The spices packed just enough punch to complement the shrimp, without ruining the palate. I loved the earthiness of the fresh mushrooms and the bell peppers gave just a little crunch. Using linguine is a must to stand up to the rest of the ingredients.

A few recommendations: start the sauce in the skillet just before you add the shrimp to the pot. My timing was slightly off and my sauce was finished before my pasta and shrimp were ready. Thankfully it didn’t seem to adversly affect the sauce, but there is no reason we should both make the same mistake.

Although I am the crazy fool who chose to travel cross country with her Dutch oven and half her spice rack, I didn’t bring white pepper. The finished product seemed perfect to me, but incorporating the white pepper would result in an even spicier dish. I think you’ll enjoy it!

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