I have dabbled in family ancestry over the past few years but have never stuck with it long enough to get past a few generations. I have not found proof that I have Cajun ancestors, but I know they are there somewhere! Cajun cuisine is my absolute favorite food! I’ll pick it over a steak dinner any day!
I have not shared a Cajun recipe in a while, so it is long past due. This jambalaya recipe is super easy and comes together fast. I used a new spice blend from Legion of Spice called Bayou Blue. Legion of Spice is a new company offering wonderful rubs and spice blends. Their products contain no salt, no MSG, no fillers, it is Gluten free, all natural and made in the USA. If you live in the US, you can get your very own FREE sample packs by visiting their homepage, www.legionofspice.com and signing up for their monthly newsletter. While on their website use coupon code “LEGION” for 15% off because you will for sure want to pick up a jar of Bayou Black for this delicious jambalaya!
Hillshire Farms has a Cajun Style Andouille Smoked Sausage that tastes great and works well in this recipe. My family loves the shrimp, but you can substitute boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes if desired.
Shrimp and Andouille Sausage Jambalaya
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. andouille sausage, cut into ½-inch rounds
- 1 lb. peeled and deveined medium shrimp
- 1 lg. yellow onion, diced
- 1 lg. green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 lg. fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. Cajun or Creole Seasoning
- 1 c. uncooked long grain rice
- 2 c. chicken broth
- 1 bunch green onions, green part only, chopped
- 1 bunch chopped fresh parsley leaves
- In a large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until lightly browned, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from pot and set aside.
- Add a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil if the pan needs it. Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, and celery to the Dutch oven and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, 7 to 10 minutes.
- Add shrimp and sausage, tomatoes, garlic, seasoning, rice, and chicken broth to the pan. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cover. Simmer until rice is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
- Stir in parsley and green onion just before serving.
To use chicken instead of shrimp: Add 1 lb. chicken that had been cut into 1-inch cubes, to the Dutch oven with the sausage. Cook until lightly browned. Chicken does not have to be cooked through, it will continue to cook in the last 20 minutes of cooking.
We were in Pensacola recently for a long weekend. It was fun and relaxing! We went to the Crawfish Festival, met up with some old friends, visited a favorite antique shop, went to a few of our favorite restaurants and drove by our old house. Most were unchanged, except for some major road work in front of the subdivision and some horrendous apparatus on the back of my house! Yes, my house! We put everything we had in that house, completely changing the floor plan, going out to the site every day, & picking out every single thing that went into it. Miranda Lambert even wrote a song about it! If you’ve built a house, I’m sure you know. It made me a little homesick. I can still call it home, right? After all, there’s a piece of my heart in every city that I have ever lived. We have been fortunate to live in some outstanding places, and I have wonderful memories of each and everyone, not to mention awesome friends.
Our trip would not have been complete without a visit to Joe Patti’s! We loaded up the cooler and have been able to indulge in some wonderful seafood since we returned to the farm. I have taken a very simple Shrimp and Grits recipe and changed it up by using smoked Gouda. This recipe is fast and simple enough for a weeknight dinner, but serve it to guests at your next dinner party and they will be asking for the recipe.
Leftover smoked Gouda grits make a special breakfast treat. I like to heat the grits in the microwave for about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on high. Then stir in a small amount of water, the amount will depend on the amount of grits you have leftover. Warm another 1 to 1 1/2 minutes and top with a sprinkling of cooked and chopped bacon, chopped tomato, chopped scallion.
Smoky Gouda Grits and Shrimp
- 32 oz. chicken broth
- 1 c. uncooked quick-cooking grits (not instant)
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 2 c. (8-oz.) shredded smoked Gouda cheese
- 6 slices bacon, chopped
- 2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- 6 green onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Bring chicken broth to a boil over medium-high heat; stir in grits. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in salt, pepper, butter, and shredded Gouda. Stir until the cheese melts. Set aside and keep warm.
- While the grits are cooking, start cooking the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp; remove bacon from pan.
- Cook shrimp in the same pan over medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until almost pink, stirring occasionally. (I do this in batches)
- When all shrimp are to the almost pink stage, add all back to pan, if you have removed any to cook in batches. Add lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, chopped parsley, green onions, and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes. Stir in bacon.
- Spoon grits onto individual serving plates or shallow bowls; top with the shrimp mixture. Serve immediately.
I welcomed spring by working in the yard. It is looking great after its first cutting, my hummingbird feeders are filled and awaiting visitors, I’ve pulled weeds and I plan to do some planting this week, if weather permits. I love working in the yard this time of year, when it’s starting to warm up but we haven’t hit the 90’s yet. Before the gnats and mosquitoes and before I see the first dreaded snake.
With warm weather I need quick and easy meals, especially during the workweek. I want something that the whole family will eat, and that I can prepare without a lot of fuss. I have made this Lemon Chicken for years and even though I have a few that are “lemon picky”, this has always been a family favorite. In fact, I often double the recipe in order to have leftovers.
This dish does not have a strong lemon flavor so I serve it with extra lemon slices for those who want an extra splash of lemon. I usually cut my chicken halves in half and add a few boneless, skinless thighs for the dark meat lovers in our house. This can be baked in the oven or cooked in a skillet on the stove top. We like this dish served with rice pilaf or mashed potatoes and a green vegetable.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- ¼ c. chopped onion
- 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 c. chicken broth
- 3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 to 2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper the chicken on both sides. In a shallow bowl, dredge chicken in flour, reserving extra flour in the bowl.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Brown chicken on both sides. Remove chicken to a plate and set aside if you plan to cook the chicken in the skillet, or add the chicken to a baking dish if you plan to cook in the oven.
- Add the butter to the oil, melt, then sauté onion until tender. Add reserved flour and whisk. Gradually add chicken broth and lemon juice, whisking to blend. Bring to a boil, whisking, and cook for a couple of minutes until thickened.
- Add the chicken back to the skillet if you plan to cook in the skillet, or pour the sauce over the chicken in baking dish. Top each piece of chicken with a slice of lemon, if desired.
- Cover and simmer on low or bake in a 350°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is done through.
I remember my grandmother’s chicken pies. They were simple, with no vegetables and a biscuit like crust, and oh so delicious! Bo (that’s what we called my grandmother) would often make them to take to “dinner on the ground” at church. What I wouldn’t give to have one of her chicken pies today!
Honestly, I haven’t made many chicken pies over the years. Savannah and I love them but Wes and Greg did not care for them until recently. However, do you remember me telling you about a wonderful $1 thrift store cookbook find a couple of weeks ago? I posted the Brown Sugar Pie from the book. Well, this is another recipe from the same cookbook! It is truly turning out to be a treasure! The name of the book is A Love Affair with Southern Cooking by Jean Anderson, and it could be the best $1 I have ever spent!
The gravy in this pie is spectacular! The addition of sage and thyme are simply delicious. Sage can be a bit overpowering, but this 1/2 teaspoon is perfect for this size pie! I dare to say, this pie may even be better than Bo’s. I have changed the original recipe slightly to better suit our taste. This recipe, like Bo’s, does not have peas or carrots. I made individual pies but you can make one big pie. I added a sprinkling of frozen peas and some cooked carrots to Savannah’s pie. You may notice that two different crusts are pictured above. I used puff pastry, brushed with egg wash and sprinkled with salt and pepper for a couple of my individual pies. For the other pies I made a biscuit crust and added about 1 1/2 teaspoons of everything seasoning, brushed with egg wash and sprinkled additional everything seasoning on top. Use your favorite biscuit recipe or make half of the Homemade Biscuit recipe, also found on NJSD. Add 1 1/2 tsp. of the everything seasoning blend to the biscuit mixture (recipe below), and roll to between 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick. (We love everything seasoning on omelets, pretzel dogs, rolls, and biscuits!)
- 1 stick butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery rib, trimmed, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced
- ¾ c. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. rubbed sage
- ½ tsp. dried leaf thyme, crumbled
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 5 c. hot chicken broth
- 5 to 6 c. bite-size pieces cooked chicken
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tbsp. water
- Puff Pastry or Homemade Biscuit Crust
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Cook chicken as desired. Set aside to cool, then pick off bones.
- Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add the onion and celery, and cook, stirring often for 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are limp.
- Blend in the flour, salt, sage, thyme, and pepper, then whisking hard, slowly add the hot broth. Cook, whisking all the while, for about 5 minutes or until thickened. Set the skillet off the heat, cool for 15 minutes, then fold in the chicken.
- Beat egg with 1 tbsp. water, set aside.
- Scoop the chicken mixture into individual dishes or one 9 x 13-inch dish. Brush the edge of dish with egg wash. Ease the crust of your choice over the top of chicken mixture. Allow crust to overhang the sides slightly. Brush with egg wash (you will not use all of the egg wash), sprinkle with salt and pepper or everything seasoning. Cut a few slits in the crust to vent.
- Slide the pies or pie onto a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until browned.
- Cool the pie/pies for 10 to 20 minutes before serving.
- 2 tbsp. dried minced garlic
- 2 tbsp. dried minced onion
- 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp. poppy seeds
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt
- Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container.