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Category Archives: Cajun

Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya

There was sausage. There was shrimp. There were Costco Ancient Grains. What can I make? Jambalaya!! What is that you say…

Jambalaya  is a Louisiana origin dish of Spanish and French (especially Provençal cuisine) influence, consisting mainly of meat and vegetables mixed with rice. Traditionally, the meat always includes sausage of some sort, often a smoked sausage such as andouille, along with some other meat or seafood, frequently pork, chicken, crawfish, or shrimp. The vegetables are usually a soffritto-like mixture known as the “holy trinity” in Creole and Cajun cooking, consisting of onion, celery, and green bell pepper, though other vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, chilis, and garlic are also used. After browning and sauteing the meat and vegetables, rice, seasonings, and broth are added and the entire dish is cooked together until the rice is done.

Jambalaya is similar to (but distinct from) other rice-and-meat dishes known in Louisiana cuisine. Gumbo uses similar sausages, meats, seafood, vegetables and seasonings. However, gumbo includes filé powder and okra, which are not common in jambalaya. Gumbo is also usually served over white rice, which is prepared separate from the rest of the dish, unlike jambalaya, where the rice is prepared with the other ingredients. Étouffée is a stew which always includes shellfish such as shrimp or crayfish, but does not have the sausage common to jambalaya and gumbo. Also, like gumbo, étouffée is usually served over separately prepared rice.

Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya (for TWO people, half the recipe!)

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces sausage, sliced into 1/4″ slices (Costco Kielbasa works just fine)
  • 2 cups of peeled, deveined shrimp
  • 4 cups of chicken broth or stock
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup of instant rice/ Ancient Grains
  • 2- 14 oz. cans of petite diced tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp of paprika
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt to taste
  • freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions

In a large stock pot on medium heat, add olive oil, onions, peppers, garlic and the bay leaf. Cook for 5 minutes covered.

Add tomatoes, sausage, chicken broth or stock and remaining seasonings and cook on medium heat for 25 minutes.

Add instant rice (here I used Costco’s Ancient Grains) and shrimp. Stir and cook for 5 minutes or until rice is tender and shrimp turns orange. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.

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Beer Brined Pork Chops

Okay, so I am a day late with the new posting…AGAIN! I had a great excuse this time as we were decorating the house for the holidays and putting up our Christmas tree…I know its early, but we were having company and all of the decorations were laying out on their bed… Anyways I have had this recipe for awhile and never got around to trying it until last night (yet another excuse for delaying the posting until we tried it). It is great!

Beer Brined Pork Chops

Ingredients
2 cups (500 mL) dark lager or bock beer or whatever brand you have
2 tbsp (30 mL) coarse salt
2 tbsp (30 mL) packed brown sugar
1 cup (250 mL) ice cubes
1 onion, sliced
4 bone-in pork chops, 1 to 1-1/4 inches thick (about 2-1/2 lb/ 1.125 kg total)

Spice Rub:
1 tbsp (15 mL) smoked paprika (if you don’t have it just use the regular)
1 tsp (5 mL) pepper
1 tsp (5 mL) garlic powder
1 tsp (5 mL) packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried thyme
Preparation
In baking dish, whisk together beer, salt and brown sugar; stir in ice cubes and onion. Submerge pork chops in mixture; cover and refrigerate for 12 hours. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)

Spice Rub: In small bowl, combine paprika, pepper, garlic powder, brown sugar, cayenne pepper and thyme.

Remove chops from brine; pat dry with paper towel. Rub spice blend onto both sides of chops.

Place chops on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and grill until juices run clear when pork is pierced and just a hint of pink remains inside, about 4 minutes per side.
Servings: 4

Serve with some fresh grilled asparagus. FYI..I did not do these on the BBQ, as I just used my stove top griddle…

Cajun Red Beans and Rice

Trying out a new look for 2015…hope you like it!

We were in Cuba in February and came to enjoy the red beans and rice. Looking for a similar dish, I found a recipe for Cajun Red Beans and Rice on my friend Kevin’s site www.closetcooking.com

I used a smoked pancetta as Andouille is not common down here. The flavour was great. This recipe makes enough for four hungry people!

Cajun Red Beans and Rice (adapted from http://www.closetcooking.com)
Ingredients
• 2 tablespoons oil
• 1/2 pound Andouille sausage or smoked Pancetta (cut into small pieces)
• 1 cup onion (diced)
• 1/2 cup celery (diced)
• 1/2 cup green pepper (diced)
• 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
• 4 cups chicken broth or chicken stock
• 2 (19 ounce) cans red beans (rinsed and drained)
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
• 1 teaspoon oregano
• 1 teaspoon thyme
• 2 bay leaves
• salt and pepper to taste
• 4 cups cooked rice (I like to go with Basmati)
Directions
1. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat add the sausage and sauté until lightly golden brown, about 5-7 minutes, and set aside.
2. Add the onions, celery and green pepper to the pan and cook until tender, about 7-10 minutes.
3. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
4. Add the stock, beans, sausage/pancetta, paprika, cayenne, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer covered for at least 1 hour
6. Remove the bay leaves.
7. Mash or puree about a quarter of the beans if desired.

If you feel there is too much liquid, just let it simmer down.
Just before serving add the cooked rice.