Thursday, May 10, 2012

Jalapeno cheddar chicken sausage in spicy cilantro alfredo with penne

On my most recent weekly shopping excursion to Kroger, I bought some jalapeño cheddar chicken sausage thinking I could make some sort of pasta dish with it.  Tonight I did just that, and I have to admit, it turned out amazingly good - jalapeño cheddar chicken sausage in a spicy cilantro Alfredo.

I based the sauce on this recipe with more than a few twists: jalapeño cheddar chicken sausage

Remember, save any liquid that remains in the pan after cooking the sausage, you'll need it for the sauce!

Ingredients I used:
Pan dripping/cilantro/garlic/chili pepper mixture
¼ cup butter
3 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ cup half & half
1 ounce heavy cream
3 ounces 2% milk
3 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
3 ounces Mexican cheese mixture (
1/8 teaspoon fresh coarsely ground black pepper
½ pound penne pasta
1 can (4 ounce) green chilies
2 cloves garlic
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro + 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro for garnish
4 links jalapeño cheddar chicken sausage (about a pound)

What I did:
           - In a large pan over medium low heat, brown the sausage on all sides. 
           -  Add ½ cup of water to the pan and cover, lower the heat to low and let simmer for 5 minutes. 
3         -  Remove the sausage to a plate and cover to keep warm. 
           -  Scrape fond from the bottom of the pan and put all of the pan drippings into a food processor 
           -  Add to the food processor bowl: green chilies, ¼ cup cilantro, cayenne, garlic cloves
          - Start the penne, cook per package directions. 
          While the water comes to a boil…
          - Run the processor  until the ingredients are  blended smooth.
          - Pour the mixture back into the pan with the heat on medium-low.
          - Add the butter to the pan and whisk until melted
         -  Add the cream cheese, whisk until melted and blended
         -  Add the garlic powder, whisk until blended.
         -  Add the black pepper and whisk…
         -  Slowly Add all of the dairy while whisking  and blending it together
         -  Add the cheeses, whisk to melt and blend.  Keep whisking and stirring.  Do not let it get too hot, as it could break.  As you stir, it will thicken up, too.
         - Slice the sausage, about ½ inch thick.
         - When the penne is al dente, drain it off and place it into the pan with he sauce, add the sausage and stir it all together.
         - Serve, garnished with cilantro and with a sourdough bread side.

          I have one photo of the dish, not a very good one.  It tasted way better than the photo lets on!  The family devoured it.  It was very rich, thick, creamy and spicy- delicious!

Jalapeño cheddar chicken sausage in a spicy cilantro Alfredo with penne