Friday, August 5, 2011

Sweet, Juicy, Spicy: Shrimp & Chicken Sausage Jambalaya

 Allright, everybody - show some love for Poppa Trix. He's been wanting to do another post here ever since he ate his way across Manhattan, his home town.  I could go on, but I don't want to be accused of Bogarting a post, so, without further ado ... give it up for Poppa Trix!!

About halfway through a recent spate of 100-degree days Trix declared that she was through with cooking. Hard to believe, but between the sweltering kitchen at home and the even hotter one at the cafe where she works she'd had enough. So it was decided that I would make our next blog-worthy meal and turn in one of my annual guest posts. But by the time I was ready to mise my place, Trix was back in business. It seems that even though she couldn't stand the heat you couldn't keep her out of the kitchen! So the following pile of Creole/Cajun goodness was truly a joint effort.



 It could have had something to do with the special ingredient we had lucked into at one of our local grocery stores: Real Gulf shrimp! We've been down on buying shrimp since learning about how most of the shrimp available in stores is farmed. (Look it up. Or better yet, don't.) But wild-caught Gulf shrimp is not only the sweetest, juiciest shrimp around, it's also among the more sustainably harvested.

Jambalaya is one of those dishes that everyone makes with their own twist  and ours ended up being a funny mix of real traditional elements (the Gulf shrimp, the trinity of celery, bell pepper, and onion) and our own input (apple-chicken sausage from one of our beloved local farmer markets, Trix's own Cajun seasoning blend). I won't write out a full recipe, since there are a lot online, although the one at Gumbo Pages  is helpful and Drick's recipe also has some great tips on technique.

But really it's about feeling your way through it. The key is to cook the rice long enough that you get a bit of crust on the bottom and to only add the shrimp at the very end so that it stays juicy and tender. Some recipes call for cooking the shrimp long enough that you'll end up with little blobs of pink mush. Our Gulf beauties didn't travel all that way to end up as mush!

Suffice it to say these shrimp came out perfectly. Plump and sweet, there's nothing like real Gulf shrimp. It's almost enough to tide me over until our next visit to New Orleans!





17 comments:

  1. I just made my first chicken sausage... stuffed it in the skins and everything and it was fantastic! I was looking forward to making something with my new product and this is a great way to start... Lovely recipe for hot summer weather!

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  2. I love your take on jambalaya and those pics of yours look amazing.

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  3. Great combined effort! It looks like the perfect meal to enjoy on the deck with a glass of vino. Theresa

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  4. It is rough, rough, rough to keep up your cooking mojo when the weather outside is frightful. You have to find a way to keep your cool and feed your belly. Nice job doing that!

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  5. oh my goodness Poppa, so glad you know about the difference in our sweet gulf shrimp and glad you were able to get some.... those are beauts all right, ya did them real good...
    and your jambalaya is fantastic, ya know I always like it when folks make a dish their own, this one looks mouth-watering... Trix is one lucky girl

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  6. Can't say I am sad about missing the heat, but the heat in this dish is more than welcome.

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  7. Wow, lucky to find that good sweet gulf shrimp. Sure hope it cooled down for you so cooking is more enjoyable - by the way, great team work on this dish!

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  8. Wow what fabulous looking shrimps, I usually get them at the local grocery stores, I was dissappointed to hear they just thaw the frozen ones they sell in a bag... I have to get some like these Drick knows his shrimp all right got to try this!

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  9. Good one, Poppa, you should guest post more often! That's guaranteed to keep Trix IN the kitchen...LOL. I must say, the joint effort clearly shows in the lovely jambalaya. I'm most intrigued by Trix's Cajun blend and that apple-chicken sausage. As for those Gulf shrimps, you were lucky to get them as they look so plump and juicy!

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  10. Very nice. And this Northeast girl agrees that Gulf shrimp are the best out there...

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  11. just peeking in one more time mainly to say thanks for the mention and for supporting Gulf Shrimp, after last year, our folks need a boost and the seafood is better than ever - thanks for supporting the waters that support Alabama - if I may leave a tag of interest - http://servethegulf.com/

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  12. Great looking shrimp!It has really hot where you are and then good winter has turned down under and gone super cold again

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  13. Awesome! Your presentation is exquisite, gorgeous pictures!

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  14. Great flavor profile and elegant presentation. Perfect execution on the cooking of the shrimp.

    Bravo!

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  15. I've never had a Jambalaya I didn't love. Your recipe and presentation are spectacular! Thanks so much for sharing with us.

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  16. I live in New Orleans and have never had jambalaya that looked as good as yours. Ever.

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