Tag Archives: cajun

Cajun Pasta’laya

I’ve been in a Cajun influenced state of craving lately and was REALLY wanting a New Orleans staple…jambalaya!  My only problem (ok it’s not quite a “problem” but an annoyance of mine) is that I have two toddlers and when they eat rice, well it’s not a pretty sight.  I’d say they get 1 grain of rice in their tiny mouths for every 53 pieces on my floor.  

So hey!  Let’s substitute pasta noodles (MUCH easier for them to use a fork with or even fingers) and have ourselves some dinner!  It worked out great, wasn’t too spicy, wasn’t too mild.  The boys and hubby enjoyed it alike and guess what??  There was no damn rice all over my floor when dinner was over!  Happy momma!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1/2 lb chicken (Breasts or tenders), cut into pieces
  • 1 pckg large/extra large shrimp 
  • 1 pckg andouille sausage, cut into 1/2″ slices
  • 12oz penne pasta noodles
  • 1 15oz can of diced tomatoes (undrained)…I like one with cajun flavors of celery, onion, bell pepper
  • 1 each green & red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp+ of cajun seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Green onions, sliced (garnish)
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese (garnish)
  • Crystal, Louisiana or Tabasco sauce (garnish)  

Start this feast with a ‘kick’ by prepping all of your meats, shrimp and veggies.  In two large seperate bowls (1 for chicken & 1 for shrimp), add a hefty teaspoon of Cajun seasoning to each and toss to coat.  Set aside.  Mince, dice and chop up veggies and get the EVOO heated up over medium heat in a large pan.  Also bring water to boil in a large pot for the noodles. 

     Once the oil is up to temp, add in the seasoned chicken and begin to cook.  Once just starting to brown, add in the onion, bell peppers, garlic and sliced andouille sausage.  Cook till chicken is no longer pink and the vegetables are starting to sweat/soften.  Remove the cooked chicken, sausage & veggies and set aside. 

 Next, in the same large pan, (add in a bit of butter or oil if needed) add the seasoned shrimp.  Cook just a couple minutes on each side (don’t let them curl up completely up on you.  You want the appearance of the letter ‘C’, not an ‘O’ for perfectly cooked shrimp).  Remove from pot and set aside with the other cooked goodies. 

   *By now your pasta should be al dente (boil 1-2 minutes under package directions)!  Drain and set aside. 

 Back in that same large pan, add in the butter and flour while whisking away to form a rue.  While still whisking, incorporate the heavy cream until it’s creamy and smooth. 

       Next, add in the entire can of diced tomatoes (juice & all) and stir to combine.  Here you can taste for heat level and add in either/or another tsp or two of Cajun seasoning or a couple dashes of southern style hot sauce.  Once that is perfected, add back in all of the cooked veggies, meats and shrimp and toss in the cooked penne pasta noodles! *Add more milk/cream if it becomes too thick.

     Spoon into serving bowls and top with the freshly grated Parmesan and green onions!  Enjoy!!!  *You can also add the cheese and green onion to pan at the end if serving buffet style. 

 

Creole Gulf Shrimp

What do you make when you have an extra bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer and a few pantry staples?  Well let me happily tell you, because this creole seafood dish is a winner!  Another plus of this meal is that it’s ready in mere minutes and you can have a gourmet dinner for your family without even leaving your home!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 1/2 lb large/extra large shrimp, peeled & deveined 
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 stick butter, unsalted & softened
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp cajun/creole seasoning
  • Dash of Tabasco sauce 
  • Pinch each of ground pepper & kosher salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Garnish

  • Rice
  • Parsley
  • Lemon wedges
  • Crusty Bread (for dipping)  

Start this fun and delicious meal by peeling the shell off of the shrimp *I personally like to leave the tail on, looks ‘pretty’, but up to you. 

 In a large bowl, combine the minced garlic, cajun seasoning and the salt & pepper.  Add the shrimp to the seasoning blend and toss to coat. 

   In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil to medium-high heat.  Add the seasoned shrimp to the hot oil and cook till pink *about 2 minutes.  Remove the shrimp to a plate and set aside. 

   In that same sauté pan, add in the diced onion along the white wine, worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and tabasco sauce and cook till the onions are translucent. 

   Follow that with the softened butter and stir till combined.  

 

 Finally, add the shrimp back to pan and coat in the sauce. This creamy cajun inspired sauce would be good on a shoe…but luckily I had a baguette ready to go! Tear off a nice hunk and sop up that garlicky, buttery flavor! 

  

Before baking, I brushed a bit of melted butter overtop and sprinkled with some creole seasoning!

 
I like to serve ours spooned over rice with a bit of extra sauce to dip that warm baguette into!  Enjoy this cajun delight! 
 

Buffalo Shrimp Po’Boy

This is a naughty, messy and oh so tasty sandwich!  Toasted, crusty bread.  Spicy & smooth buffalo sauce.  Battered, fried shrimp.  Cool, tangy Bleu cheese spread.  Omg.  

The Starting Lineup

Shrimp

  • 15-20 Large shrimp, (cleaned, peeled, deveined)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning blend
  • 1 Tbsp creole mustard
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Canola oil
  • Crusty bread loaves
  • Mayonnaise 
  • Lettuce, chopped
  • Tomatoes, sliced
  • Celery, finely diced 

Buffalo Sauce

  • 1 cup your preferred hot sauce (Crystal, Franks, etc)
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Bleu Cheese Mayo

  • 1 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/2 cup Bleu cheese crumbles
  • 1/3 cup Celery, finely diced
  • Salt & Pepper

Batter

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 Tbsp+ Cajun seasoning blend  

Make sure to properly clean, devein and remove all the shell/tail from your shrimp.  ….and wash those hands!

In 2 shallow dishes…Dish A.  Combine the pepper, garlic powder, Cajun seasoning blend and salt.  Dish B.  Beat together the egg and creole mustard.

In a large freezer bag, have your cornmeal, flour and Cajun seasoning evenly mixed. 

Pour the spice blend over your shrimp and toss to coat..next up, the egg/mustard mixture.  Finally, after a thorough coating of all of that, place the shrimp into your cornmeal batter and shake.  Set aside while warming the oil. 

 

In a large heavy bottomed pot, skillet or your deep fryer, heat the cooking oil to 350 degrees.  Also set your oven broiler on.

While those are preheating, let’s prepare the garnishes!

  • In small sauce pan, simmer together the hot sauce, butter, lemon juice and garlic powder.  
  • On to our Bleu Cheese Mayo spread!  Super easy, just combine all of the ingredients (mayo, Bleu cheese, celery, salt & pepper).  Mix well, cover and refrigerate till time to use.  *If you do not like Bleu cheese, simply use just mayo or even ranch dressing. 
  • Chop, shred, tear, whatever…that lettuce.  Slice up your tomatoes and if you have any extra celery, finely dice up a bit more of that! 
  • Lastly, the crusty bread!  Slice in half lengthwise and slather a good amount of mayonnaise on the inside of each roll.  Lay (mayo side up) on a baking sheet. *yes, I said mayonnaise.  NOT butter.  Mayo will make it a golden brown with a crust, where as butter will make it too soggy and soft.  This sandwich needs to hold up to the buffalo shrimp.  Place the rolls into your oven about 6″ under your broiler.  Watch carefully.  These will brown in just a minute or two. 

Ok, that oil should be hot and ready to go!!  With about 1/3rd of the shrimp at a time, carefully place into the hot oil.  Cook the shrimp batches for 2 minutes on each side.  Set on a paper towel lined plate to drain any extra grease.

Assembly time!  Let’s make ‘dem Po’Boys!

Slather a good amount of your bleu-cheese-mayo onto your toasted roll.  Toss the now cooked & battered shrimp into your buffalo sauce and place an even amount on each sandwich.  Garnish each with a layer of tomato slices, shredded lettuce and a sprinkle of celery.  Dig in friends!!…you’ll also need a napkin or 5 for this tasty Po’Boy, enjoy!!!! 

Served with a side of Zapp’s chips of course!

 

Cajun Crawfish Cakes

I have had a hankering for seafood like you wouldn’t believe!  I also have been wanting to do a spicy crawfish boil…so naturally I combined the two!  You have the traditional crabcakes, but this version is amped the heck up with Cajun spices, real crawfish and a spicy sauce over a southern, savory rice.  It’s damn good!  I hope y’all enjoy as much as we did!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1lb crawfish tails
  • 2 eggs (or one extra large)
  • 5 Tbsp butter, divided (2 Tbsp/3 Tbsp melted)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced 
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced 
  • 1/3 cup green onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise 
  • 1 Tbsp creole mustard
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Old Bay Seasoning 
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil   

You know the drill…prep your veggies!! 

 In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion in the 2 Tbsp butter for 5-6 minutes.  Once softened, add in the red and green bell peppers.  Sauté for another 5-6 minutes.  Lastly, toss in the minced garlic.  Cook for 1 more minute and take thepan off heat allowing to cool down. 

 

While the veggie mix is cooling down, we’ll start the Cajun Crawfish Cake mix!  

In a large bowl, add in the mayonnaise, creole mustard, lemon juice, green onions, salt, ground pepper, crushed red pepper and Old Bay seasoning.  Taste 🙂

Next add in your eggs and whisk to combine.  Finally, add in the Panko, cornmeal, the cooled veggie mixture, the 3 Tbsp melted butter and that delightful crawfish!  Gently fold together with a rubber spatula. 

  

 

In the same skillet that I cooked the veggies in, I added 3 Tbsp of vegetable oil and heated to med/med-high (depending on your skillet). 

With an ice scream scoop, I formed the crawfish mixture into balls and then with my hand a gently formed into a patty shape.  I cooked about three patties at a time.  Do not overcrowd the pan. 

   

Cook the crawfish cakes for about 4 minutes (golden brown) on one side, CAREFULLY flip with a thin spatula and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Transfer to a serving dish as they finish.

I prefer to serve ours over a southern yellow rice and drizzle the Cajun Crawfish Cakes with a spicy remoulade sauce and extra chopped green onions!  Delish!!!   

*EASY REMOULADE SAUCE

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise  
  • 1 Tbsp horseradish 
  • 1 Tbsp hot sauce (I.e. Crystal)
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Dash of cayenne 

Whisk all together and done!! 

%d bloggers like this: