California Pizza Kitchen Kids Curly Cheesy Mac

Today I have another secret recipe from our new cookbook, “America’s Most Wanted Recipes Kids’ Menu.”  This kid-friendly recipe (below) is for the curly cheesy mac served at California Pizza Kitchen.  To add a little more crunch and nutrition to this dish, try tossing this cheesy mac with steamed edamame.

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New Secret Recipe

California Pizza Kitchen Kids Curly Cheesy Mac

1 pound fusilli pasta, cooked according to package directions
½ pound Velveeta cheese, cut into small cubes
1 ½ cups whipping cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

In a large saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium heat and stir in the butter.

Reduce the heat and stir in the cubed Velveeta, a few pieces at a time.

When all the cheese has melted, stir in the cooked pasta and coat it well with the cheese sauce.  Serve hot.

Serves 6 to 8

Source: America’s Most Wanted Recipes Kids’ Menu
Until Next Time… Be Well!

Kind Regards,


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California Pizza Kitchen’s Chicken Tequila Fettuccine

Today’s secret recipe will unlock the mystery behind one of California Pizza Kitchen’s popular dishes.  Their chicken tequila fettuccine combines spinach fettuccine, onion, bell peppers and cilantro in a creamy jalapeño lime sauce.  At California Pizza Kitchen they say if you don’t love this dish, you haven’t tried it yet.

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New Secret Recipe

California Pizza Kitchen’s Chicken Tequila Fettuccine

1 pound dry spinach fettuccine
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
2 tablespoons minced jalapeño pepper, seeds and veins removed if desired
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons gold tequila
2 tablespoons lime juice (from about 2 limes)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/4 pounds chicken breast, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes, or according to the package instructions.

Drain, very lightly oil (to keep the pasta from sticking) and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, cook one-third cup of the cilantro (reserve the rest for garnish), garlic and jalapeño with 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat until aromatic and the garlic is golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the broth, tequila and lime juice. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until thickened to a paste-like consistency, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a small bowl, drizzle the soy sauce over the chicken pieces and set aside to marinate for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, heat the remaining butter over medium heat. Add the onion and red, yellow and green peppers, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have wilted. Stir in the chicken and soy sauce, then the tequila/lime paste and cream.

Bring the mixture to a gentle boil and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thickened, several minutes. When the sauce is done, stir in the fettuccine and remaining cilantro.

Serve the dish family-style or plate on individual serving dishes.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6

Source: L.A. Times
Until Next Time… Be Well!

Kind Regards,


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Copycat California Pizza Kitchen Garlic Herb Croutons

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 tablespoon dried granulated garlic
2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 loaf country-style white bread, cut into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes

Heat the oven to 225 degrees F.
In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Remove from the heat and stir in the garlic, basil, salt and cayenne.
Place the bread cubes in a large mixing bowl. Add the seasoned butter and quickly toss to coat the cubes evenly. Spread the buttered cubes on a baking sheet and bake until they are golden brown on the outside and crisp throughout, about 1 hour.

Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.


Copycat California Pizza Kitchen Carne Asada Pizza

Cilantro Pesto:
1/2 cup firmly packed cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon serrano peppers
1 1/2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 teaspoon raw minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
Kosher salt to taste
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup olive oil

Carne Asada Marinade:
1/4 ounce chopped cilantro
3 ounces lime juice
1 ounce olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic

2 to 3 firm, red ripe Roma (plum) tomatoes
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon minced serrano peppers
1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
Salt to taste

Carne Asada Beef:
1 pound raw beef (skirt steak)
Carne Asada Marinade

For the pizza:
1 recipe California Pizza Kitchen Basic Pizza Dough
Cornmeal, semolina or flour for handling
1 tablespoon cilantro pesto
1 cup Monterey jack cheese
20 to 25 half rings sweet white onion
1 recipe sliced Carne Asada Beef
1/2 cup canned Ortega brand chiles, cut into 1/4-inch strips, well drained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

To make Carne Asada marinade: Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside in the refrigerator for use with Carne Asada.

To make the Salsa: Dice tomatoes into 1/2 cubes. Combine salsa ingredients and set aside in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Place the salsa in a strainer to remove excess water. Set aside in the refrigerator.

To make the pesto: Blend all the ingredients in a food processor for about 2 minutes until smooth. Set aside in the refrigerator.

To make the Carne Asada: Prepare a hot grill. Combine Carne Asada marinade with the raw beef and keep under refrigeration for one hour.

Grill the beef for 4 to 4 minutes per side. When done. remove from grill and chill thoroughly. Slice beef into 1/4 inch thick strips. Set aside in the refrigerator.

To make the pizza: Place the pizza stone in the center of the oven and preheat to 500 degrees F, for one hour before cooking the pizzas.

Use a large spoon to spread 1 tablespoon of cilantro pesto evenly over the surface of the prepared dough within the rim.

Cover the sauced area with half the Jack cheese. Distribute half of the onions over the cheese. Distribute half of the sliced Carne Asada beef followed by half of the chiles.

Transfer the pizza to the oven. Bake until the crust is crisp and golden and the cheese in the center is bubbly, 9 to 10 minutes.

When cooked through, carefully remove the pizza from the oven. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro over the hot, cheesy surface. Slice and serve.

Makes two 9-inch pizzas