Did I mention I am a cookbook and cooking magazine addict? My addiction is rather expensive, so I now have a lovely weeknight routine. One night a week I stroll (well drive after all I live in the burbs!) to my local Borders for a caffeinated treat and peruse the new cooking magazines and cookbooks (I also look at the art and design magazines which legitimizes this obsessive behavior as also beneficial for work!). This cuts down on paper and my expenses because I only buy the magazines where “I know” I am going to make at least 1 – 2 of the recipes.

Well on one such mission I discovered a series called Cuisine At Home. Have you seen this one? It is a totally fabulous recipe magazine and a series of mini-cookbooks. I find myself cooking out of them at least 2 times per week now. They are tasty and never take more than an hour to make.

They also include suggested side dishes and how to time everything so the meal comes together. I confess, this is a great lesson for me. I can’t tell you the number of nights I cooked dinner only to realize right before it is all ready that I didn’t really make a rounded meal. Inevitably I have forgotten a vegetable or starch. So the suggestions in the right column have been really helpful and have some really creative side dish ideas.

Everytime I make one of these recipes I think to myself, I totally should have thought of this! This recipe is no different, it is a great twist on the classic (but not a personal fave) beef stroganoff. I have never been a fan of the classic. I think it is a little too rich, heavy and maybe a bit boring. This version was everything the original isn’t. Spicy, creamy and a perfect mid-week meal. Go make this for your family tonight . . . I bet you have everything you need!

Cajun Chicken Stroganoff
courtesy of Cuisine at Home Weeknight Menus

1/2 lb dry wide egg noodles (I used linguine, wider noodles would have been better)
1/2 lb kielbasa, sliced (I used chicken kielbasa)
1/2 lb button mushrooms, quartered
1 1/2 lb chicken tenders (I cut these in half so they would be bite size)
1/2 tsp each cayenne, paprika, black pepper, salt, dried basil, dried thyme and dried oregano (I eyeballed it)
2 tbs AP Flour (I used wondra)
1 tbs tomato paste
2 tsp garlic minced (I used 2 cloves chopped)
1/2 cup dry sherry
3/4 cup chicken broth
1tbs Worcestershire
1/2 cup sour cream

Cook noodles according to package directions and set aside. Saute kielbasa and mushrooms in 2 tbs oil over medium-high heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl and set aside.

Combine chicken with seasonings, then dust with flour. (I did this in a bowl realizing later I should have done the ziploc bag method tossing in the mixed seasonings, shaking. Then adding the flour and shaking, which would have been a lot less mess!). Saute chicken in same pan with another 2 tbs of oil over medium-high heat until nearly cooked through, about 5 minutes. Push chicken to one side of pan. Add tomato paste and garlic; saute for 1 minute.

Deglaze with sherry, simmer until nearly evaporated, then add broth, Worcestershire and sausage/mushroom mixture. Bring to a simmer and reduce sauce by half (5 minutes). Off heat stir in sour cream and serve over pasta.

The recommended side dish was a tomato salad with a not too acidic vinaigrette. I did my version of this with balsamic vinegar, red onions and cucumbers . . . it was a nice side to the spicy entree. A creamy cucumber salad type dish would be lovely with this as well.

My boy loved this and after licking the plate from the first serving returned for seconds and a refill on his beverage. Remember he is a spicy food freak and this was nice and spicy. If you like mild food, I would back off the cayenne or serve with additional sour cream, but for our tastes this was really perfect. I was looking forward to leftovers for lunch the next day, but unfortunately their was very little left . . .

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