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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cheese Snob

I like cooking so much that I often do not repeat meals/recipes since I like to try new ones. However, there are a handful of recipes that I make over and over again because they are just THAT good! This is one of those recipes. There is nothing quite like homemade Alfredo sauce and it's so easy to make! Don't be afraid of the price tag on a block of Parmesan cheese. When grated, a little bit goes a long way. Plus, if you wrap it really well, it stores in the fridge for well over a month. There are so many uses for Parmesan cheese if you have a lot leftover. I would use it to grate over a Caesar salad, make fresh pesto to serve with crostini, eat by itself drizzled with a little balsamic vinegar, or serve with fresh fruit and a big glass of wine. One thing's for sure.....once I started using fresh Parmesan, I've never gone back to that fluffy, powdery stuff in the shaker container. If that makes me a cheese snob, then so be it!

Cajun Chicken Alfredo


3 large chicken breast, tenderized and sliced lengthwise (to make 6 strips total)
Any spicy grill seasoning or rub (I like Pampered Chef Chili Lime rub)
1 box Barilla Campanelle pasta
1/4 cup butter
3 cups half-n-half
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Fresh parsley, chopped (optional)


1. Preheat grill at medium heat. Rub chicken strips with your favorite seasoning or rub. 
Place chicken on grill and close lid.
2. Cook pasta as directed and drain.
3. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add garlic and cook over low heat until translucent, but not browned. Stir in 3 cups half-n-half. Simmer on low for 5 minutes. In the meantime, turn chicken on the grill.
4. Remove sauce from heat and add parmesan cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Add pasta to Alfredo sauce. Serve topped with cooked chicken. Sprinkle with fresh parsley if desired.

Note: This Alfredo sauce does not get super thick like the kind in the jar. However it does slightly thicken as it cools. For leftovers, pour a small amount of milk or half-n-half over pasta before reheating since the noodles absorb a lot of the sauce. Then stir after heating.

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