Chicken carbonara, big bang shrimp, gruyere scalloped potatoes


Winter is the time for comfort food.
Chicken carbonara
1/2 lb. pasta
Fresh diced parsley or dried flakes
2 C cooked/cut-up rotisserie chicken
1/2 C cream or heavy cream (whipping cream)
1/2 C of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1/2 lb. bacon fried crisp then crumbled
1 small onion finely chopped
1/2 C chopped mushrooms
In a large bowl, mix eggs, cream, Parmesan, parsley, salt and olive oil in a bowl and set aside. Next, in a large frying pan, fry bacon until just crisp, then crumble and set aside as well. With 1-2 tbsp. of bacon grease, saute onion in the grease until onion is translucent and golden, then add cooked chicken pieces in and stir to coat.
Drain pasta and while still hot, add to onion-chicken mixture and mix well. Finally, pour egg/cream sauce into pasta, and stir over low heat for one to two minutes until fully incorporated. Remove from heat and fold in the bacon, reserving some to sprinkle on top before serving.
Big Bang shrimp
1 lb of spaghetti or your favorite pasta of choice
1-1/2 lbs of medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (or 1 lb. boneless chicken, chopped)
1-1/2 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tsp. paprika
1 tbsp. fresh parsley
Black pepper to taste
For the sauce:
1/2 C of Mayonnaise
1/2 C Thai sweet chili sauce (in Asian isle)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. of lime juice
1/4 tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tbsp. onion powder
In a large bowl, mix all sauce ingredients together then set aside. Cook pasta, drain. Place uncooked shrimp or chicken in a medium bowl, add paprika, 3 cloves of garlic and pepper.
In a large skillet on medium high heat, add coated uncooked shrimp or chicken. Stir constantly while cooking until no longer pink – about 10 minutes, Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine pasta, shrimp/chicken and sauce mixture and toss well.
Gruyere scalloped potatoes
1 lb. bacon cooked and roughly chopped
3 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes rinsed and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic minced
4 tbsp. butter thinly sliced
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
4 sprigs fresh thyme divided
2-1/2 C Gruyere Cheese shredded, divided
1-1/2 C whipping cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook bacon until crispy. (Place on cookie sheet and bake for 18-22 minutes at 415 degrees.) Once cooled, chop into small pieces.
Slice potatoes using a mandolin for uniformity. Be careful to keep the shape of potatoes. When using a mandolin, it is best to slice potatoes right onto the cutting board (not into a bowl). Set aside.
Layer butter at bottom of cast iron pan. Carefully set potato slices (trying to keep shape of potatoes together) on top of butter.
Remove thyme leaves from stems. Use half on potatoes, reserve remaining for on top after done cooking. Top with minced garlic, salt, pepper, 2 cups of cheese (reserve 1/2 cup of cheese for later), and chopped bacon. Pour cream over top of dish. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.
Remove dish from oven and remove foil. Add final 1/2 cup of cheese and return to oven. Bake for an additional 30-40 minutes or until potatoes are tender and the top is golden brown. Remove from oven and add remaining thyme. Serve immediately.
She said, “Does anyone remember when teachers would warn you, ‘You won’t have a calculator with you wherever you go.’ Well I guess we showed them!”
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(Melanie Behrens –

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