Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cajun Shrimp Pasta

Cajun Shrimp Pasta - Applebee's Copycat recipe
Applebee’s Cajun Shrimp Pasta is definitely off the menu for someone following a gluten free diet.  The main hurdle is the pasta of course.  Restaurant dining in general can be quite an obstacle.  Most times I don’t even bother attempting to dine out.  I’d rather ogle the menus online where I know I’m safe from any harm caused by choosing the wrong dinner.  Cross contamination is another issue that can occur in the restaurant kitchens.  I often look over their menus then attempt to recreate the dishes that strike my fancy.  On my latest online menu perusal I was struck by the tasty description of Applebee’s Cajun shrimp dish but was also struck by how many calories it has at 1200.  So in my recreation I’ve not only removed the gluten I’ve also reduced the calories nearly by half.  By increasing the amount of vegetables in the dish and cutting down on the pasta amounts we now have a huge plate of flavorful food without having to starve the rest of the day.  The amounts in the recipe will generously serve two but you can always double or half the recipe to suite your needs. 

Ingredients list

·         12 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined
·         1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning blend
·         4 oz gluten free fettuccine 
·         1 onion, thinly sliced
·         1 red pepper, thinly sliced
·         1 green pepper, thinly sliced
·         1 tbsp olive oil
·         Salt and pepper to taste
·         2 cloves of garlic, minced
·         2 tbsp butter
·         1 lemon, the juice and the zest

Video Tutorial: 


1.      Prepare the fettuccine 1 minute shy of the package instructions.  If you drop the pasta into the salted boiling water just after starting the sauce they will both be done at roughly the same time. 
2.      In a small bowl mix the shrimp with the Cajun seasoning. 
3.      In a large sauté pan over a medium high heat add the peppers, onions, and olive oil with some salt and pepper to taste and sauté for 3-5 minutes or until they begin to soften. 
4.      Push all of the veggies to one side of the pan and add the butter, garlic, lemon zest and shrimp to the empty part of the pan then sauté the shrimp for 2 minutes on the first side and an additional minute on the second side.  If your pasta in not done yet you’ll need to remove the shrimp from the pan so they won’t overcook. 
5.      Continue sautéing the peppers and onions using the whole surface of the pan now and once the fettuccine is done add it to the pan but reserve some of the pasta cooking water in case it is needed to loosen the dish. 
6.      Add the shrimp back into the pan then squeeze the fresh lemon juice over the skillet and continue to toss the pasta until everything is well combined then serve.

Notes: Be sure to have all of your chopping and prepping done in advance since the dish moves along quickly once you start.

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