I served this tasty dish for our Mardi Gras dinner followed by our essential celebratory King Cake for dessert. It was festive and delicious.
I admittedly used Cajun seasoning instead of Creole Seasoning- gasp! After making the dish, I read about the similarities and differences between the Cajun and Creole cuisines. Both cuisines use a roux, the “holy trinity” composed of onions, bell peppers, and celery sautéed in oil, and both are from Southern Louisiana. Cajun food incorporates more smoked meats and rice, such as jambalaya, and is from more rural parts of the region whereas Creole cuisine, such as étouffée, is from New Orleans. I included the recipe for the homemade Creole seasoning below. (for next time!)
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Vallery Lomas. I modified the cooking times and doubled the garlic. I also used store-bought seasoning and omitted the dried basil. The shrimp was cooked perfectly.
Yield: Serves 4
For the Creole Seasoning: (Optional)
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less, if desired)
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
For the Shrimp:
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used large tail-on shrimp)
- 2 teaspoons homemade or store-bought Creole seasoning, divided (I used Slap ya Mama)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick / 4 T)
- 1/3 cup (5 T) all-purpose flour
- 1 medium or large yellow onion, finely chopped (I used a food processor)
- 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 4 to 8 garlic cloves, minced (I used a food processor)
- 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce (no salt added)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons hot sauce, to taste (optional) (I used Frank’s Red Hot)
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1/2 T fresh thyme)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1/2 T fresh oregano)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (or 1/2 T fresh basil)
- 2 dried bay leaves
- fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems
- steamed rice, for serving (I used white Basmati rice)
- Make the optional Creole seasoning: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir together. The seasoning makes about 1/4 cup; store it in a closed container in a cool, dry place. (Only 2 teaspoons are used in this dish.)
- Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels. Then toss the raw shrimp with 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning and set aside.
- In a Dutch oven or large, heavy skillet with a lid, melt the butter over medium-low heat. (I used a low and wide enameled cast iron pot.)
- Sprinkle the flour on top and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until a roux the color of peanut butter forms, about 5 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully- if the roux burns it cannot be saved.
- Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper, increase the heat to medium and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 8 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
- Stir in 1/3 cup water, then the tomato sauce, hot sauce (if using), sugar, thyme, oregano, basil (if using), bay leaves, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and the remaining 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low.
- Cover and simmer for 10 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally to make sure that the bottom doesn’t burn. (If needed, add more water.)
- Once the stew has thickened, add the seasoned shrimp and simmer until opaque and cooked through, about 5 minutes, turning each piece halfway through the cooking time. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes, uncovered.
- Serve over steamed rice sprinkled with sliced scallions and chopped parsley.
Posted in Holiday, Quick, Recipes, Shrimp, Soups, Stews, & Chowders
Tags: bell pepper, cajun, creole, dinner, hot sauce, Louisiana, mardi gras, New Orleans, rice, roux, scallions, shrimp, stew, tomato sauce
Charleston, South Carolina is a very special place for me. As a tribute, I make a lot of Southern food. 🙂 I also make shrimp and grits as part of our traditional Easter celebration.
We were lucky enough to travel back to Charleston recently and we brought home a couple of different types of grits. The fresh from South Carolina grits really made this dish extra special. I also baked the grits for the first time and the results were amazing. I used a blend of stone ground white and yellow grits for this dish, but, I also have special pink “unicorn grits” from Millers All Day which I’ll be sure to share with you in another dish.
This dish is from a Food and Wine “staff-favorite” recipe, contributed by Isaac Toups of Toups South in New Orleans. It was absolutely incredible. (We need to go to his restaurant!) It may be quite difficult to try a new version next year. I served it with roasted asparagus. Lovely.
- Preheat oven to 200°F, preferably on convection.
- Toss together shrimp and Cajun seasoning in a medium bowl. Cover; refrigerate until ready to use.
- Place milk and 1/4 cup butter in a medium ovenproof saucepan. Bring to a vigorous simmer over medium, stirring occasionally.
- Gradually add grits, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens slightly and grits are evenly suspended in milk, about 6 minutes.
- Cover saucepan; transfer to preheated oven. Bake until grits are tender, 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove from oven; stir in 2 teaspoons salt and remaining 1/4 cup butter. Cover to keep warm until ready to use. (I put the pot in a warming oven.)
- While the grits are in the oven, stir together vinegar, 3/4 cup water, sugar, and remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons salt in a saucepan; bring to a boil over high.
- Stir in mustard seeds. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, stirring occasionally, until seeds are tender, about 35 minutes.
- Add tomato and bell pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and mixture has thickened, 14 to 16 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Remove shrimp from refrigerator. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high until smoking.
- Add shrimp to skillet in a single layer; cook until opaque and lightly charred, about 1 minute and 30 seconds per side.
- To serve, divide grits among 4 bowls. Top evenly with shrimp and chowchow; sprinkle with sliced scallion.
Note: The chowchow can be made up to a week in advance.
Posted in Holiday, Recipes, Sauces, Seafood, Shrimp
Tags: apple cider vinegar, baked grits, brunch, cajun, Charleston, dinner, Easter, green tomato, grits, mardi gras, mustard seeds, New Orleans, shrimp, Southern, southern food
My entire family really looks forward to our Mardi Gras dinner. In all honesty, it’s because the meal is topped off with our traditional freshly-baked King Cake. Just writing about it makes me want some. 🙂
I typically make a Cajun main dish- usually shrimp jambalaya. This chicken and sausage version was incredible. My mother-in-law had just given us tons of fabulous Polish kielbasa as well. I was happy that my husband agreed to “sacrifice” it for our special dinner as it really added to the finished dish. This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Ian Knauer.
Yield: Serves 6
- 10 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
- coarse salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 10-12 ounces Andouille sausage or kielbasa, sliced
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 2 green bell peppers, chopped
- 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 6-10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 (28 ounce) can whole San Marzano tomatoes in juice
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup long grain white rice (I used Basmati)
- 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves
- Season the chicken with 1 1/4 teaspoons salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper.
- In a large heavy pot, heat the oil over medium high heat until hot. Brown the chicken, turning once, until golden, about 6 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
- Add the sausage to the pot and cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer the sausage to the plate with the chicken.
- Stir the onions, bell peppers, celery, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper into the pot.
- Cook vegetables, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 8 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, bay leaves and cayenne and continue to cook until golden, about 6 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes, rice, water reserved chicken and reserved sausage along with any accumulated juices and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes.
- Season the jambalaya with salt and pepper to taste, then sprinkle with the parsley and serve.
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Posted in Casserole, Chicken (Poultry), Holiday, Pork, Recipes
Tags: andouille, bell peppers, cajun, casserole, chicken thighs, creole, dinner, jambalaya, kielbasa, mardi gras, one-pot, rice, San Marzano, sausage
Our family tradition is to enjoy Jambalaya followed by King Cake on Mardi Gras– is it terrible that we’ve only had the first course so far? Mardi Gras snuck up on me this year! So, the King Cake has been delayed to the weekend…. it will be well worth the wait. (My family doesn’t mind as long as I make it!) 🙂 I modified this wonderful, colorful dish to include clams- and not just clam juice. I also used boneless, skinless chicken thighs and smoked chicken andouille sausage. This recipe was adapted from The New Best Recipe from the Editors of Cook’s Illustrated. Hope you enjoyed your Mardi Gras celebration too!!
Yield: Serves 6
- 1 large sweet onion, trimmed and quartered
- 1 medium celery rib, cut crosswise into quarters
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and quartered lengthwise
- 6 medium to large garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 5 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 8 to 12 ounces andouille sausage (I used 12 oz smoked chicken andouille sausage), halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice (I used basmati)
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
- 6.5 ounces canned clams with juice
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 large bay leaves
- 1 pound large shrimp (31 to 40 per pound), peeled and deveined, if desired
- 2 T minced fresh parsley leaves, optional, as garnish
- In a food processor, pulse the onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic until chopped fine, about six 1-second pulses, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Do not over process; the vegetables should not be pureed.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the chicken, and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, turn the chicken and cook until golden brown on the second side, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the andouille; cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the chopped vegetables, and cook, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon, until the vegetables have softened, about 4 minutes.
- Add the rice, salt, thyme and cayenne; cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is coated with fat, about 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes with juice, clams with juice, broth, bay leaves, and browned sausage to the pot; stir to combine.
- Place the chicken on the rice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir once, keeping the chicken on top. Replace the cover and continue to simmer until the chicken is no longer pink when cut into with a paring knife, about 10 minutes more. Transfer chicken to a clean plate and set aside.
- Scatter shrimp over the rice, cover, and continue to cook until the rice is fully tender and the shrimp are opaque and cooked through, about 5 minutes more.
- While the shrimp are cooking, shred the chicken with your fingers into thin strands. When the shrimp are cooked, discard the bay leaves.
- Off the heat, stir in the parsley, if using, and shredded chicken; serve immediately.
One Year Ago:
Posted in Casserole, Chicken (Poultry), Holiday, Recipes, Seafood, Shrimp
Tags: andouille sausage, cajun, chicken sausage, chicken thighs, clam juice, clams, creole, dinner, mardi gras, red bell pepper, shrimp, stew, thyme