Posts Tagged shrimp

Cajun-Creole Jambalaya

jambalayaThis can loosely be called the Louisiana version of Paella. The only real difference is that I bake this in the oven to finish it off, as opposed to cooking it on top of the stove. This is a crazy good dish, a complete meal in itself.

Again, I first got turned onto Jambalaya on my travels to New Orleans in the eighties. Although the travels were for business, I never failed to tack on vacation time at the end of my business obligations to enjoy the food and culture of New Orleans. While a lot can be said about New Orleans crime and corruption, the one thing that is absolutely certain is that you will never be served substandard food and drinks in that town.

This recipe calls for Andouille sausage. I have never had a problem finding this in my local supermarket, but Tasso or some other kind of smoked ham is a great substitute here. Alternatively, buffalo chicken sausage is great also.

You will need a pretty deep baking pan for this. If your skillet is big enough and can handle oven cooking, you can simply work with that.

Ingredients

3/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces (about 2 cups)

2 cups Andouille sausage, cut in 1/4 inch pieces then quartered

1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 cup chopped onion, divided

1 cup chopped celery, divided

1 cup chopped green bell peppers, divided

3 tbsp minced garlic

1 28-oz can Italian whole tomatoes, undrained and broken up by hand

1 tsp broken-leaf sage

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp sea salt

2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 whole bay leaves

3 tbsp olive oil

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups long-grain rice (Basmati works well here)

Tabasco sauce (for the table)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat up 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the chicken and Andouille sausage, and cook until browned. (The meats do not need to be cooked through.) Remove and set aside.

Add another tablespoon of the olive oil and heat up. Add 1/2 cup each of the celery, onion and peppers, along with the cayenne pepper, sea salt, garlic, sage, basil, oregano and thyme. Cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Now, we move to the pan you’re going to bake in. Add the meats and shrimp. Then add the cooked vegetables and all of the juices that are left from that process. Add the rice, chicken stock, the remaining uncooked half cup of the celery, onions and green pepper. Add the tomatoes and the bay leaves. Stir everything together.

Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour on 350 degrees.

Serve with a full bottle of Tabasco sauce.

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Paella Mixta

Paella MixtaI just perfected my recipe over the weekend. We had a celebration dinner for my sister, who just finished up a grueling schedule of straight chemo and chemo/radiation, so I wanted to make something very special for her and those who have helped her get through this. Paella is the perfect dish because it combines both meat and fish. It originated in the fields of a region of Spain called Valencia, which is on the east coast.

When I went tooling around the web way back when I first started to think about putting this together, I found one person who complained about a recipe being nothing more than “rice with stuff in it.” I started thinking about this and determined that it’s a perfect description for Paella. So, frankly, I don’t know what his problem was. It’s also a great description for Jambalaya (which I promise to add very soon, since I have a great recipe in my head for that).

I would recommend you purchase a Paella pan. You could, of course, use a large all-purpose skillet, but a Paella pan is just perfect and can be used for other things…like Jambalaya!

Ingredients

1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs. cut in 1-inch pieces

1 lb jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

Kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

8 oz chorizo cut into 1/4-inch slices and peeled

8 oz Serrano ham, diced

1/2 lb squid rings

1/2 lb langostinos (Chilean lobster tails)

20 mussels, cleaned and debearded

1 cup red. yellow and orange bell peppers, seeded and chopped

1 Spanish onion, chopped

1.5 cups frozen petite peas, thawed

1 15-oz can diced tomatoes

2.5 cups short-grained rice (Valencia preferred)

1/2 cup dry white wine

6-7 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup lemon juice

3 dried bay leaves

1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro

1 tbsp smoked paprika

30 strands of saffron threads

2 tbsp minced garlic

Directions

Place the saffron threads and 1/4 cup of hot water in a bowl and all it it to sit for about 15-20 minutes to steep. Heat oil in a 15-18″ Paella pan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken and shrimp with salt and pepper. Add the chicken, shrimp, ham, squid rings, and chorizo to he pan and cook until brown, remembering to turn occasionally. You don’t want it to burn. Remove the shrimp and squid rings to a plate, leaving the meats in the pan.

Add the paprika, garlic, bay leaves, tomatoes, chopped peppers and onions to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions soften. This should take about 6 minutes. Add the wine, lemon juice, saffron broth and chicken broth and season with salt and pepper. Bring it to a boil over high heat.

Now, add the rice and distribute it evenly with a spoon. Add peas and return the squid rings to the concoction. Cook without stirring until the rice has absorbed a good portion of the liquid. This should take about 12 minutes. Your Paella pan will definitely be bigger than the burner, so it’s important that you turn the pan every couple of minutes to ensure that the rice cooks evenly. Do not worry if the rice “burns” a bit on the bottom. This is perfect. It’s one of the important things that happens with Paella. Adds to the incredible flavor.

Turn the heat down to “low” and add the reserved shrimp. Give the concoction one stir. Nestle the mussels into the liquid (hinge side down). Allow it to cook without stirring until the mussels have opened, the liquid is absorbed, and the rice is al dente. This should take about 5-10 minutes more.

Remove the pan from the burner and cover with aluminum foil. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes before serving. This is crazy good stuff.

 

 

 

 

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Grilled Tequila-Citrus Shrimp

SONY DSCMarinating shrimp before cooking it on the grill results in a wonderfully tasty experience. It makes the time-consuming and tedious job of cleaning and de-veining them, one of my least favorite cooking tasks, so much more worthwhile.

This recipe calls for large (or jumbo) shrimp, and you should marinate for at least four hours before firing up the grill. After that, it doesn’t take long before you’re enjoying the fruits of your labor. You just have to grill the shrimp until they turn pink!

 

Ingredients

1 lb large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 tbsp gold tequila

4 tbsp fresh lime juice

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tbsp lemon pepper

2 tbsp fresh minced garlic

2 tsp Sambal Oelek or red pepper flakes (optional)

Pinch of Kosher salt

Directions

Whisk all ingredients together and place in a resealable plastic bag with the cleaned shrimp. Marinate for at least four hours. Soak about 6 wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling.

Thread about 6 shrimp onto each skewer. Grill on both sides until shrimp are pink and slightly charred.

 

 

 

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Rib-Stickin’ Louisiana Gumbo

gumbo (1)Yes, it’s Mardi Gras time again. And this is Fat Tuesday, February 12. What could be better than a recipe for Gumbo? This is no time for “designer” New Orleans food. What we need here is the real deal, and Gumbo is about as authentic as it gets.

There are a lot of potential ingredients for Gumbo, like duck, chicken, crab, shrimp, oysters, crawfish and sausage to go along with the fresh vegetables included. Mine is made with chicken, Andouille sausage and shrimp. This is great on winter nights.

You need a decent size pot for this recipe.

Ingredients

1 lb medium or large shrimp, peeled and de-veined

1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 lb Andouille sausage, cut into bite-size pieces

1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp canola oil

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups chopped onion

1 cup chopped pepper (green, red, yellow or a mix)

1 cup chopped celery

3 cups sliced okra (if frozen, thaw first)

6 cups chicken stock

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes

1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper (optional; not everyone can take the heat)

1 tbsp Creole seasoning

1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tbsp minced garlic

2 bay leaves

Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Tabasco sauce (for serving)

Parsley, chives or scallions (for garnish)

Directions

Coat the bottom of a heavy pot with 1 tbsp canola oil. Add the chicken and Andouille sausage and brown over medium-high heat. Don’t worry about the pieces that may get stuck on the bottom of the pan. They will release themselves. These bits are critical to the deep flavor of the Gumbo. Remove the chicken and sausage from the pan and set aside.

Cut the onions, celery and peppers and set aside.

Now, add the 1/2 cup of canola oil and flour to the pan. Stir well and cook to make a roux. This is a critical step in the process. You should cook the roux until it is the color of a copper penny. Next, add the onion, celery and peppers and cook for about 10 minutes.

Add the chicken stock slowly and whisk well so that the roux and stock are well blended.

Add the chicken, sausage and the balance of the ingredients except the shrimp and okra, which is added towards the end. Cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes, then uncover and simmer on low heat for an additional 30 minutes.

Add the shrimp and okra, and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes.

Serve in bowls with plain white rice. Serve 1-1/4 cups of Gumbo with 1/3 cup rice. That’s about the right ratio for an authentic New Orleans feast! Feel free to garnish with scallions, parsley or chives! And it goes great with my recipe for Ass Kickin’ Greens, by the way.

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Spicy Thai Marinated Grilled Shrimp

Sriracha Grilled ShrimpThis is an incredible dish, and make no mistake about it…it’s all about the Sriracha.

I never understand recipes that call for you to marinate for two hours or overnight. Forget the whole two hours thing. It’s always overnight unless you’re up against the wall for time.

I suggest you plan properly because overnight marinating makes a huge difference in every single dish I’ve made. There is no comparison.

I don’t know how you feel about it, but when I buy shrimp that has been “cleaned,” they never seem to completely de-vein the shrimp. I always remove the vein even in the front of the shrimp, not just in the back. But hey, it’s up to you.

Ingredients

2 cups coconut milk

1/2 cup fresh Kaffir lime juice (Key limes are fine also)

1 tbsp lime zest

1/4 cup Thai fish sauce

5 tbsp Sriracha sauce (no substitute; it’s easy enough to get)

1 tbsp Tamarind paste

2 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp minced fresh ginger

1 tbsp pink Himalayan salt

2 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro

1 tbsp fresh chopped basil

24 jumbo shrimp (peeled and de-veined)

Olive oil for grilling

Bamboo skewers

Directions

In a non-reactive bowl (like glass), mix the first eleven (11) ingredients. Place the shrimp and marinade in a zip-lock bag and marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Prior to grilling, soak the bamboo skewers in cold water for at least one hour to prevent them from burning on the grill.

Brush the grill with olive oil to prevent the shrimp from sticking, then heat that baby up. Thread 4 shrimp onto each skewer and put the skewers on the grill. Baste liberally while grilling for 3 minutes on each side.

Serve hot with fresh lime halves.

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