Monday, January 7, 2019

Blackened Shrimp with Spaghetti Squash Alfredo


Day 7 of 365:

I could not agree with this quote more and I just love Ina Garten. I love watching her on show and yes someday, I will be going to The Hamptons, but until that day, I will daydream a bit.... 

Cooking is definitely one of my greatest gifts. I love cooking and love serving my family. No matter how crazy our day may be, I always find myself at almost a place of meditation while I'm in the kitchen cooking. I'm in my own world, in my own thoughts and it just comes natural.... with every stir of a spoon, every chop of a vegetable.... as I bring the tasting spoon first to my nostril to smell the essence of what I'm cooking and then to my mouth to indulge.... and today the indulgence was worth it.... Jack was pleasantly surprised when he got home and I had this meal ready when he walked through the door. And for a man who's pretty picky about vegetables, he devoured his bowl!!!! 

Tonight was a night of savory indulgences.... a night of yumminess, a night to just be with each other and enjoy family dinner together. A day that starts the rest of our week off. It sets the tone for the rest of the week and it went well. The kids ate so much too! Woo hoo!!! 

I know now that this week will just fall into place. Everything will happen the way it's suppose to and whatever the cards may have in store for us.... I'm ready... Ready to give these great gifts of food to the ones I love...

Blackened Shrimp with Spaghetti Squash Alfredo
Ingredients:
  • 1 bag of frozen shrimp, medium size, shelled, deveined, and tails removed
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • butter and olive oil (or cooking oil of your choice)
  • Parmesan cheese (fresh or canned - to top the dish)
  • parsley (fresh or flakes - for garnish - optional)

  • Alfredo Sauce:
1 stick of butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups of cream
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup of fresh grated Parmesan (buy a block and grate your own!)1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
            Blackening Seasoning (you can use this for fish, chicken, shrimp)
            • 2/3 cup paprika
            • 3 Tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons Lawry's Seasoning salt
            • 4 teaspoons garlic powder
            • 4 teaspoons onion powder
            • 4 teaspoons dried oregano leaves, crushed
            • 4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
            • 2 teaspoons black pepper
            • 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
            • 2 teaspoons gumbo file powder
            Instructions:
            First things first, we need to cook that beautiful Spaghetti squash. One of my favorite methods to cook these babies is in the microwave to knock it out super fast. I take a fork and poke holes all over the squash, then microwave it for 10 min, check it to see if it's fork tender, then microwave it again for an additional 10-15 minutes. I do it it 5 minutes increments after the first 10 minutes. That way you can keep checking on it so you don't overcook it. After you've cooked your spaghetti squash, cut it in half and take a fork to remove the seeds first to toss out, then using for fork, fork it some more... lol get those squash strands nice and looking like spaghetti. It's so gloriously beautiful... If you can't tell already. I love love love spaghetti squash. OK, back to the cooking....
            Meanwhile go ahead and make the Alfredo sauce.  Melt butter on medium heat. Stir in garlic and sauce until fragrant. Add the cream and pepper. Simmer 10-12 minutes stirring constantly (it will burn!) until it begins to thicken. (It won't thicken a lot until it cools a bit) After it has thickened up a bit add in cheese.  Stir well and set aside while you cook the shrimp.  This will give it time to thicken more. 
            Thaw shrimp according to package directions.  Dry them off with a paper towel because frozen shrimp always have excess water left behind.
            Make blackening seasoning and set aside.
            Spread shrimp out on a large platter in a single layer and sprinkle with blackening season on one side.  No need to season the other side, we'll do that after they're in the pan 
            Depending on the size of your pan, you may have to cook the shrimp in batches.  Don't pile them up on top of each other.  They need some breathing room.... 
            Heat over medium/high heat 1/2 butter and half olive oil (a nice combination in my opinion to get that brown on the shrimp) in a very large skillet.
            Now place the seasoned side face DOWN in the pan.  While they are cooking lightly sprinkle the blackening season on the shrimp in the pan.  See, now both sides are covered.  It won't take long to cook - a couple minutes on each side - tails will curl and shrimp will be opaque when done.  Set aside.
            Now simply fill your plate with the desired amount of spaghetti squash (1 cup), top generously with Alfredo sauce, add shrimp, and garnish with a little extra Parmesan cheese and parsley flakes (if desired.)