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!