I’ve always wanted to try making true Cajun food, and what better place to start than a big ol’ bowl of jambalaya!?!? I have to admit, I was a little skeptical at first, but I was amazed at how much flavor was packed into just one dish!
The type of sausage that is typically used for jambalaya is called andouille (an-do-ie) sausage. It’s got a kick to it, but also has a great smoky flavor as well. If you can’t andouille sausage, then hot Italian sausage works great, too. But the andouille goes really well with the succulent shrimp, smooth rice, and tangy tomatoes.
Gulf Shrimp Jambalaya (Anne Burrell)
- 2 pounds medium gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound andouille sausage, cut into rounds
- 2 green peppers, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 3 ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 4-5 scallions, diced
- 1 onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- Kosher salt
- Pinch crushed red pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cups long-grain rice
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 1 bundle fresh thyme
For the shrimp stock (I’ll do a whole post on this later!): toss the shrimp shells in a large pot and fill with water. Add whatever “trash” you have: scallion tops, celery leaves, onion peel and root, pepper stems, whole peppercorns, salt, and some bay leaves. Bring the water to a boil, turn off the heat and let sit for at least 15 to 20 minutes, although longer is fine. Strain out the shells and everything. Make as much as possible to freeze!
Coat a large, wide pot with olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Add the andouille and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the sausage starts to brown. Add the peppers, celery, and onion, and scallions to the pan, season with salt and a pinch crushed red pepper. Cook 7 to 8 minutes or until the mixture has softened and is very aromatic. Toss in the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Add the tomatoes and cayenne. Stir in the rice. Add 4 cups shrimp stock, bay leaves, and thyme bundle. Season with salt and taste it to make sure you are on the way to something delicious. Cover and cook over medium heat for 25 minutes. Stir in the shrimp and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink.
So I mentioned earlier that my family loves football, well we also love seafood! This was the perfect snack to munch on during the game because come on, I mean shrimp…wrapped in bacon…dipped in warm cheese sauce! What’s not to love about it?
Bacon Wrapped Shrimp (Claire Robinson)
- 8 jalapenos
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 8 pieces of bacon
- 16 peeled, de-veined shrimp
- 1 1/2 c grated monterey or chihuahua cheese
- 3/4 c half-n-half
Put the oven on broil. Slice the jalapenos in half, removing the seeds and ribs. Place them on a cookie tray and drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast them in the oven, flipping occasionally, until soft and the skin starts to bubble. Transfer them to a bowl and cut the bacon in half. Bake the half-pieces of bacon on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees. You don’t want to cook the bacon thoroughly, just until it’s pliable.
Now take the shrimp and wrap it in a jalapeno.
Insert a toothpick into the center to hold them together and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. Now to make the cheese sauce, you’ll need to see my Double Boiler post to make one, and melt the cheese and half-n-half together. Add a little salt and pepper and serve alongside the shrimp. Enjoy!