Linguine Alfredo with Roasted Mushrooms and Asparagus

This is another recipe inspired by Pinterest. Something about seeing a nice picture of something delicious just makes me want to eat it immediately. I’m always up for trying a new pasta dish and this one used alfredo sauce, a sauce that I had never actually made before and it ended up being so easy! I love the combination of the roasted asparagus and mushrooms and the lemon juice cuts the heaviness of the cream very nicely. I ended up making the recipe I found my own by using an alfredo recipe from my Giada cookbook.

Prep the asparagus, mushrooms and garlic and combine them with mustard and olive oil in a bowl until well coated.

Roast the the asparagus and mushrooms on a baking sheet with minced garlic and olive oil.

Bring water to boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Combine the cream and lemon juice in a deep fry pan and add the butter over medium-low heat until melted, remove it from the heat until pasta is ready.

Add the cooked pasta to the cream mixture, pour over another 1/2 cup of cream, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. Toss well and cook over medium heat until thickened.

Toss in the mushrooms and asparagus into the pasta and serve with extra cheese on top.

 

 The sauce is so creamy yet the lemon juice keeps it light. As person who typically prefers red sauce to white, I was initially skeptical of this dish but in the end it has won me over completely. It’s simple, quick, cheap and delicious!

Here’s the recipe:

Linguine Alfredo with Roasted Mushrooms and Asparagus
Print
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. asparagus, tough ends snapped off
  • 3-4 cups whole mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup strained lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Creole or coarse-grain mustard
  • 8 ounces uncooked linguine
  • 1 recipe Guiltless Alfredo Sauce
  • Optional: Grilled chicken breast or sauteed shrimp
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine trimmed asparagus and sliced mushrooms. Zest the lemons (enough to get 1 tablespoon of zest) and set the zest aside.
  3. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and mustard. Drizzle over the veggies and toss to combine. Spread the veggies out onto the prepared baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes or until the asparagus is tender but not mushy. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 5-10 minutes.
  4. While the veggies are roasting, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and, when the water is ready, cook pasta al dente. Prepare the Alfredo sauce. After you’ve added the cheese, add the reserved lemon zest to the sauce. When the asparagus and mushrooms are done roasting, you can either portion out the pasta, veggies, and sauce into individual servings or toss it all together. Serves 6-8.

 

Dinner Club – March

As promised last week, I’m finally (after battling it out with a case of bronchitis) back to regale you with our March Dinner Club experience which was also our St. Patrick’s Day celebration. When choosing the date for this month’s club, we all noticed that St. Patrick’s Day was on a Saturday and that all of our schedules were free so naturally we choose that to be the date of our club and we choose traditional Irish fare as the theme. Eric and I ended up with the dessert course this time, if you remember last month we had the appetizer course, read more about that here.

Being of Irish heritage and having visited Ireland were definitely an advantage for this theme, however dessert was probably the most difficult course to research. Go ahead and Google it, not one major dessert will appear, if you’re even able to find one that is definitively Irish. In the end I did find a lot of apple cakes, recipes that combined Guinness and chocolate (not unlike the Stout Cake I made last week) and many that contained Irish Whiskey. I found one that was from an Irish restaurant and was for a white bread pudding with a caramel whiskey sauce. This recipe was different than most of the other and I liked that it deviated from the popular Bailey’s Irish Creme, or Guinness and chocolate ingredients. It also stated that this recipe “was the best thing you’ll ever taste in your life” if that doesn’t sell you, I don’t know what will.

Start the recipe by soaking the raisins in whiskey and set that aside until the very end.

Remove the crusts from the white bread (I just used white sandwich bread, nothing fancy) and lightly brush with melted butter.

Toast one side under the broiler until it just begins to brown.

Remove from the oven and, once cooled, cut into cubes.

While prepping the bread cubes, combine the milk and heavy cream in a medium size sauce pan. Cut a vanilla bean lengthwise and use a knife to scrape out all the black seeds into the cream mixture. Put the vanilla pod into the cream and slowly bring to a boil, watch it carefully so that it doesn’t boil over.

Once it boils, immediately remove the pot from the heat (to avoid scalding the milk). Take out the vanilla pod and chill until cooled, about an hour.

Once the cream mixture is cool, whisk together the eggs and sugar.

Add in the cream mixture. Stir in the bread cubes and raisins and let the whole thing sit for about 15 minutes.

Pour the whole mixture into a buttered baking dish and dot more butter.

Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees until set, about an hour.

While that’s baking, make the caramel whiskey sauce.

Melt and sugar and water over medium heat stirring slowly until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Boil the mixture without stirring for about 30 minutes, until it just starts to caramelize (a hint of golden color).

While that’s caramelizing, warm the heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat.

Once the caramel is ready, add butter and whipping cream. Stir over medium heat until smooth, 1-2 minutes.

Remove from heat and cool. Now you can store in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it. Once its time to serve, add in the whiskey and more cream until the sauce reaches the consistency you want.

Drizzle sauce over a big piece of bread pudding.

I was told it tasted like Cinnamon Toast Crunch on a Saturday morning, as a child. And everyone had seconds on dessert. All in all, the bread pudding was a great success! Not to mention, it was pretty easy. We have some sauce left over and Eric just asked if I would make another batch to “finish up” the sauce.

Here is the link to the recipe I found online.

Irish Bread Pudding with Caramel Whiskey Sauce

Since we started this post with dessert first, I guess I’ll go back and tell you about the first two courses. We began at the first house with some home made Irish Soda bread and Irish Rarebit. Yep, I know what you’re thinking, “Do you mean rabbit? Did you eat rabbit?” Nope. That’s what I thought when they first said what they were serving, too. But in fact, there is no rabbit to be found in this dish, nor does it look like a rabbit. Wikipedia only had an explanation for Welsh Rarebit but it states:

Welsh rarebit is a dish made with a savoury sauce of melted cheese and various other ingredients and served hot over toast. The names of the dish originate from 18th century Great Britain.Welsh rarebit is typically made with Cheddar cheese, in contrast to the Continental European fondue which classically depends on Swiss cheeses.

The Irish rarebit includes Guinness and cheese in the sauce. We all forgot cameras so I’ll pull one from the internet so you can get an idea of what it looks like.

Rarebit Recipe

After some rarebit and beers, we moved on to the second house and the main course.

We enjoyed some delicious Shepards Pie. Again, photo stolen from Pinterest because we forgot to take pictures.

Individual shepards pie

Finishing with the bread pudding was perfect. We all felt happy and comfy, just like you should after eating an Irish meal because it’s probably windy and rainy outside the window.

Thanks again to all our dinner club couples for putting in a wonderful effort to making great dishes. Can’t wait for April!

Macaroni and Goat Cheese with Rosemary

I saw this picture on Pinterest a few weeks ago:

Post image for Mac and Cheese with Roasted Chicken, Goat Cheese, and Rosemary

And if you’re anything like me, your first thoughts when seeing something like this are, “mmm, I want to make that.” I clicked on the picture and found it belonged to a blog called My Baking Addiction. That author got the recipe from famous chef, Michael Simon (he’s an Iron Chef and is now on the new talk show, The Chew.)

The recipe combines cream, goat cheese, garlic, chicken and rosemary into a creamy and delicious sauce. I’ve never been a big fan of mac n cheese, sorry folks, I just never liked it. Let me explain. I grew up not really liking cheese in general. I’m not sure why, but even today its not my favorite. I cannot sit and eat an entire cheese course nor do I enjoy a snack of cheese and crackers. For me, cheese needs to be in a dish or on a pizza. One of my brother’s favorite meals growing up was my mom’s macaroni and cheese, we ate it pretty often. My mom did the whole make the cheese sauce and bake it thing, it wasn’t Kraft, but I still didn’t enjoy it much. It was too bland and too much of the same flavor for me. Naturally, this twist on that dish intriqed me. The ingredients were simple and since the recipe didn’t take long to make, it looked perfect for a week night meal.

To start the recipe, combine the heavy cream, garlic and rosemary in a medium sauce pan and place over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Watch so it doesn’t boil over and keep it at a low temp so that its still simmering and reduces by half. The recipe says this shouldn’t take too long, for me, it took about 40 minutes to reduce properly; plan accordingly.

While the mixture is reducing, cook the pasta and shred the chicken.

Once reduced, stir the goat cheese into the cream mixture until smooth and thick.

Add the roasted chicken to the mixture.

Combine the mixture with the cooked pasta and top with some fresh rosemary.

The flavors are subtly delicious, but this dish is extremely rich.

Another tip is to make only half of the recipe depending on how many people you’re feeding. It doesn’t reheat well because of the cream sauce and you never eat as much as you think because the sauce is so rich.

This recipe was simple and delicious, a mac n cheese I could get used to!

Here’s the recipe that I got from My Baking Addiction (her blog is really nice, be sure and check it out!):

Macaroni and Goat Cheese with Rosemary
Print
Author: Adapted by My Baking Addiction from “Live to Cook”
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound dried rigatoni
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, crushed
  • 8 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 cups shredded roasted chicken
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a rapid boil. Add the oil and rigatoni to the water and cook according to the directions on the package, 10-12 minutes.
  2. While you are waiting for the water to boil, pour the cream into a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the rosemary and garlic to the cream and bring it to a simmer – take care not to let it boil over. Allow the cream to reduce by about half.
  3. Stir in the goat cheese and chicken and continue cooking cooking it till the cream coats the back of a spoon.
  4. Thoroughly drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the sauce. Coat the pasta in the sauce and simmer over low heat for a few minutes. Serve hot.