Sunday, January 27, 2013

Chicken Alfredo - Cajun Style

My cute apron was calling my name and it felt like a Cajun cuisine kind of night. To my surprise, I had all the ingredients on hand, so I went for it. My Creole dishes of choice? Cajun Chicken Alfredo & Jambalaya.  

The Cajun Chicken Alfredo recipe is not a new one but it took me a little bit to rack my brain on how to make it. After some online recipe research, I was ready. What I do remember from last time is that I had a heavy hand with the cayenne and pepper spices. This recipe is a bit more mild, but feel free to add red pepper flakes or more cayenne to your blackening spice. 

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup of blackening spice (I made my own
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of minced garlic 
8 ounces of roasted cherry tomatoes (sun dried tomatoes work too) 
1 pint of heavy cream or half n half
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
1/3 cup sliced scallions 
16 ounces of cooked fettuccine 

Dredge the chicken breasts in blackening seasoning. If they are thick, filet them in two and dredge with the seasoning. Place in skillet over medium heat until chicken breasts are fully cooked. Set aside. 

Add two tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet and then add the minced garlic and roasted tomatoes. Sauté in the skillet for 2 -3 minutes. 

Slice the cooled chicken and add to the skillet. Pour white wine in the pan to deglaze and then add the heavy cream. Increase the heat to a simmer and reduce the cream sauce until you reach your desired consistency.  

Once the sauce's consistency is to your liking, add the 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Mix in the cooked fettuccine pasta, garnish with scallions and the remaining Parmesan.  


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Portland's Little Italy - Piazza Italia

I can't believe it has taken me this long to write about Piazza Italia. I seriously love this place. I am sorry  because my photos don't do it justice...I am working on perfecting my "food photos." It is a quaint and cozy restaurant in the Pearl District. When I say cozy, I mean it. They squeeze quite a few tables in this restaurant and it is always busy. The friendly employees take pride in their work and are passionate about the Italian culture. They truly make you feel like you are in Italy. Wine is served in carafes and the fresh baguette baskets never stop coming.

Now, the menu. Where do I start? One word...lasagna. It is a bubbling, cheesy shallow dish full of goodness and I always seem to find a way to devour the entire thing. Their pesto is fresh and always has great flavor so you can't go wrong with that either. Check out the menu to get your mouth watering.


Next time you are window shopping in the Pearl, have a special occasion or just feel like some Italian food, please check out Piazza Italia! You will not be disappointed. 

1129 NW Johnson Street
Portland, Oregon

open seven days a week | 11:30 - 3pm | 5pm - close 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Portland Pizza: Lovely's Fifty Fifty

Another adventure to North Portland led us to Lovely's Fifty Fifty on N. Mississippi. It is a small, cozy restaurant with cute curb appeal. The wood-fired oven warms the whole place and is a perfect spot for a casual night of wine and pizza. I have heard wonders about their ice cream, but we didn't leave enough room to enjoy it. That will be for next time.
The restaurant can accommodate groups, at least up to ten people. We had to wait for a table but that is typical in Portland on a Friday night (don't think they take reservations either). We started with a bottle of wine, something red and Italian, recommended by the waitress. With good company and tasty pie, it didn't really seem to matter what we were drinking. Beer is also available but don't come for cocktails because they only serve brews and vino.

Now, for the pizza. There menu is seasonal-inspired so the vegetable toppings do change according to the season. We decided to share a variety of different selections because the pizzas are delivered to the table as they are ready. The oven only holds a handful of pizzas at a time. Two of our choices were the Meat Lover's and the Ricotta with Provolone & Gremolata. The cheese pizza was my favorite because they used non-traditional pizza cheeses. The ricotta was a nice touch, creamy and delicious.

Overall, it is just another great pizza spot in Portland....add it to your list!

4039 N Mississippi Ave
Portland, Oregon

open tuesday - sunday | 5 - 10pm

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The long awaited...Tasty n Sons

Happy New Year everyone! When thinking of my New Year's resolution, I found myself coming back to food-related goals. For example, try {insert outrageous number here} Portland restaurants or make {unrealistic amount} of new recipes each week. Let's be honest...I am horrible with my food goals. So, this year, I am going attempt to post more about my food adventures even if it is just a quick snapshot. It isn't exciting unless I can share it with all of you!

Let's start with Tasty n Sons. I could write a novel about this place and why I love it so much. One (ish) You don't have to ask me twice to share...especially for breakfast. There are too many delightful dishes to enjoy just ONE at a restaurant. I don't get out enough for that.

In the past two weeks, I have been here twice and I don't even live down the street. Like most Portland brunch spots, expect a 30-60 minute wait. Fortunately, they usually overestimate your wait time, so you are often surprised and seated earlier than expected! They have complimentary coffee for you to sip on while you wait. Not to mention, it is in cute North Portland with lots of little shops to see.

Now, for the menu. I won't list everything (even though I want to), so these are my top three choices. Start with the chocolate potato doughnuts and I don't care if you don't like doughnuts, you will LOVE these. Next, go for the Potatoes Bravos and either the Fried Egg & Cheddar Biscuit with Fried Chicken or the Tasty Muffin with boudin blanc sausage, fried egg, arugula & cranberry sauce. Okay, so that was four items.

You won't be disappointed with this brunch spot and if you have tried dinner, let me know what you think! Oh, and just one more thing (f you weren't sold already), this is the sister restaurant to Toro Bravo. Enough said.

3808 N Williams Ave
Portland, Oregon

open daily for brunch & dinner 9am - 10pm | happy hour 2:30pm to 5pm