You have heard about how I grew up on a dirt road in North Georgia surrounded by family. My grandfather originally owned the land, and as each of his children married, he gave them a piece of property to build on. It turned out pretty good for my brother, my cousins and me because we had instant friends and playmates. Our favorite thing to do was to play outside. We would ride bikes and play in the woods around our houses from dusk until after dark if our mamas would let us. It didn’t matter how mad we got at each other we had no choice but to make amends. It was like having extra brothers and sisters. We were kin, and we were stuck with each other. Only looking back, being stuck with each other was a blessing. They say it takes a village to raise a child and that is exactly what we had on our little dirt road. A “village” of relatives keeping all of us kids in line.
Being outside is still one of my favorite places to be. These days I’m usually working, though. It’s been quite a while since I’ve romped through the woods without a care in the world. Still, my family enjoys a nice bonfire, cookout, or low country boil, especially during the spring and fall. This low country boil recipe is Greg’s perfected recipe. We like to use fresh Georgia shrimp or Florida Gulf Coast shrimp when available. Also, fresh Silver Queen corn is the best and Conecuh sausage is our choice. Conecuh sausage is available in several varieties in most of our local grocery stores, but if you have a problem finding it in your area, it is available online.
Low Country Boil
- 5 lb. shell-on shrimp (16 - 20 count)
- 5 lb. sausage, cut into 3-inch lengths (we like Conecuh brand sausage)
- 6 ears corn, shucked and cut into thirds
- 5 lb. small red potatoes
- 1 to 2 pkg. shrimp boil seasoning, depending on taste
- 2 lemons, sliced
- In a large stockpot, bring water to a boil with seasoning, and lemons.
- When the water is boiling add the potatoes and sausage and cook for 20 minutes.
- Add the corn and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes.
- Drain and serve with cocktail sauce, butter, and sour cream.
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.
I have the pleasure of bringing you this recipe from Destin, Florida. Greg and I are on a fall getaway. The last few years of my life, as a parent, has been an adjustment. With both of my kids in college, unless they need money, they don’t need us around anymore. Being able to pick up and travel without worrying about a school schedules or children’s activities is nice. Greg went deep sea fishing a few times, I have been able to do a little Christmas shopping, and we have had excellent seafood!
Because I am at the beach this week, I am sharing a fabulous ceviche recipe. Ceviche (“suh-vee-chey”) is a marinated seafood salad. It is typically made with raw fish or shrimp, cut into bite-size pieces and marinated in acidic fruit juices, such as lime, lemon, grapefruit and/or orange juice. The citric acid in the juice alters the structure of the proteins of the fish or shrimp and “cooks” it. This technique does not kill bacteria and parasites as well as heat, so it is important to start with the freshest cleanest fish or shrimp possible.
This particular ceviche recipe uses cooked shrimp. For convenience, you could even use thawed frozen pre-cooked shrimp. I used fresh shrimp and cooked them for just 1 to 2 minutes in boiling water. Serve with corn chips or saltines for an incredible light lunch or appetizer.
(This recipe appeared in The Courier Herald on October 28, 2015.)
- 1½ lbs. shrimp, peeled & deveined
- 1 mango, diced
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- ½ bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed & diced
- 4 limes, squeezed
- 4 lemons, squeeze
- ½ orange, squeezed
- ½ grapefruit, squeezed
- Salt to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add shrimp and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water, drain thoroughly and set aside.
- Squeeze juice of fruit into a large bowl. Cut shrimp into ½-inch pieces and add to juice. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
- Combine diced mango, onion, and pepper in a bowl, add chopped cilantro. Stir into shrimp and juice mixture. Add salt to taste. Cover and marinate for 2 more hours.
- Serve with corn chips or saltine crackers.
Best made the day before serving. However, drain off the citrus juice after the specified marinating time.
Here is a perfect summertime meal, shrimp tacos. They are light and flavorful, and one of my family’s favorite meals. The mango slaw is a great addition to these or any fish tacos. The seasoning blend adds the perfect spice to the shrimp, and the sweet chili lime sauce is delicious with the blackened shrimp. Every bite is a flavor explosion in your mouth!
Shrimp Tacos with Mango Slaw and Sweet Chili Lime Sauce
- 3 tsp. dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 3 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1½ tsp. onion powder
- 1½ tsp. garlic powder
- 1½ tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ground red pepper
- 2 lb. peeled and deveined large shrimp
- canola oil, divided
- Mango-Lime Slaw
- 1 (16-oz.) pkg. coleslaw mix
- 2 mangoes peeled and chopped
- 4 tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 6 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tsp. salt
- pinch sugar
- Sweet Chili Lime Sauce
- 1 c. plain yogurt
- 1 c. mayonnaise
- zest of 1 lime
- juice of 1 lime
- 4 tbsp. sweet chili sauce (Asian aisle of supermarket)
- Lime wedges
- 1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
- To make slaw, in a large bowl combine the coleslaw mix, chopped mangoes, lime juice, cilantro, salt and sugar. Toss to combine.
- To make sweet chili lime sauce, in a medium bowl combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, lime zest and lime juice, and sweet chili sauce. Whisk to combine.
- Combine brown sugar, salt, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and red pepper in a medium bowl. Sprinkle over shrimp and toss.
- Cook shrimp in batches by heating 2 tbsp. of canola oil at at time in a cast iron skillet over high heat. Add shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes, or until shrimp are done. Remove from skillet. Add more oil between batches.
- If you are using flour tortilla, warm before serving. If using corn tortilla; heat a small amount of canola oil in a skillet. Place corn tortilla in hot oil and fry for a few seconds on each side. Drain well.
- To assemble, top tortillas with shrimp, slaw, and sweet chili lime sauce. Serve with lime wedges and jalapeño slices.
I have mentioned many times in the past that I have seasonal recipes. I love chicken and dumplings, apple pie, and soup, but I usually prepare those dishes in the fall and winter. Salads are a favorite of mine, along with lemonade and ice cream. Those dishes are generally reserved for the summertime. I thought I would share some of my favorite recipes, already on NJSD, that I prepare throughout the summer months. To see the recipes, click on the recipe names below. Enjoy!
Strawberry & Blueberry Salad with Almonds
On of my all-time favorites, this salad is amazing!
If you are a fish lover you must try this dish!
This salsa compliments just about any grilled poultry, meat, or fish wonderfully!
Apricot-Balsamic Glazed Chicken
Delicious every time!
A refreshing treat for hot summer days!
Smoky Gouda Grits and Shimp
My new favorite summer dish!
Fruit with Wine and Mint
Customize this with fruit of your choice!
Garlic Grilled Tomatoes
I pick up Roma tomatoes every time I’m in the store, during the summer, to be prepared to make these!
Chili Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Ginger Glaze
Peach Ice Cream
Summer would not be complete without homemade ice cream!