#DinnerDare
So a group of us science communicator types have been attempting to one-up each other's cooking skills on twitter, using the hashtag #dinnerdare , posting the recipes to our blogs. Since a recipe isn't exactly appropriate for my +Scientific American blog, I thought I'd post the recipe here of my entry from the other night (I tweeted a bad phone photo, here: https://twitter.com/#!/jgold85/status/179047549271945218/photo/1)

See the round-up of everyone else's recipes here: http://scientopia.org/blogs/blather/2012/03/14/beer-501-dinnerdare-pairings-the-first/

Shrimp, Chicken, and Sausage Jambalaya Pasta - adapted from a recipe of Emeril's that I learned a few years ago. Therefore, the measurements are less...precise.

You'll need:
1 pound penne
1 pound cooked large shrimp, tails off, dry.
1 really big (or 2 small) chicken breasts, cubed
3-4 andouille sausages, cut into half inch chunks
half a yellow onion, diced small
half a green bell pepper, diced small
some minced garlic (a tablespoon?)
~half a cup of chicken stock
~half a cup of heavy cream
1 can diced tomatoes
fresh thyme, chopped fine (a tablespoon?)
some parmesan cheese, grated
Oil
Salt, pepper, other spices as you like - Emeril uses his "essence" - I use some random combination of salt, black pepper, paprika, cayenne, garlic/onion powders, dried oregano/thyme to taste.

It sounds like a lot, but if you've got everything prepped, cooking it is a breeze (only about 20-25 minutes of cook time).

Cook the pasta until almost-but-not-quite al dente in salty water (it should taste like the sea). When it's done, drain but reserve a cup of the pasta water.

While the pasta is going, get some oil in your large saute pan and sear the shrimp, around a minute per side (with some salt and some of the spice combination you like). Remove the shrimp, add a bit more oil, and do the same for the chicken (around 3 minutes per side). Remove the chicken, add a little more oil, and drop in the sausage, onions, and peppers (and more of your salt/spices). Stir until the peppers are just browning and onions are turning translucent. Add the garlic, cook for about 30 seconds, and then deglaze with the chicken stock.

Dump in the tomatoes, fresh thyme, and (yes, again) more salt and spices. You are tasting as you go, right? Cook another 2-3 minutes, stir in the cream another 2-3 minutes. Return the chicken and shrimp to the pan, and then shortly afterwards add the almost-cooked pasta and the reserved pasta water. Cook, stir, etc until the sauce thickens a bit, and the pasta, chicken, and shrimp finish cooking.

Serve with some grated parmesan cheese on top. Om nom.
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