Big surprise, yet another Super Bowl-inspired recipe, but this time I’m skipping the Baltimore theme and sharing something with a Louisiana influence. This spicy creation is a cross between red beans and rice and Jambalaya, but because I know how crazy I get when I see someone call bell pepper-filled crab cakes “Maryalnd style”, I didn’t want to make that same type of food faux pas and offend anyone from Louisiana, hence my unimaginative yet overly descriptive name for this recipe.
And speaking of bell peppers, I know that they’re a staple in most Cajun-style recipes, but since nobody in my family will eat them, I never use them in anything. If you like them and want this to be more Cajuny (I know..I have a bad habit of making up adjectives) by all means throw some in with the onions.
If you’re not a fan of spicy foods this may not be the recipe for you..the Cajun seasoning is one of the key ingredients and it’s full of cayenne pepper (the one I use is Louisiana Style Cajun Seasoning from Spice Islands, but if you can’t find it you can use your favorite Cajun seasoning) , so go easy on it at first. When I made this last night I went a little over-board with it, not realizing how spicy it was, so I decreased the amount in the written recipe below. Start out with just a little and add more as you go. If you want just a touch of heat, start with a teaspoon of the Cajun seasoning and add a little extra garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika to give it some flavor without all that heat from the cayenne. Now if you can’t get enough heat, you can really put it over the top by adding some Tabasco sauce at the end, and maybe even tossing the shrimp in a little Tabasco. Just be sure you have a huge glass of water or some ice cold beer close by!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped (optional)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 1 14 ounce can low-sodium diced tomatoes
- 2-3 cups low-sodium chicken stock or water
- 1 cup long-grain white rice, uncooked
- 1 14 ounce can small red beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 andouille sausage links, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 pound large raw peeled & deveined shrimp
- Extra Cajun seasoning or salt to taste
- Dash of Tabasco sauce (optional)
- Place oil, onions, peppers, ½ tablespoon of the Cajun seasoning, and the remaining seasonings in a large, deep skillet and cook over medium heat until onions and peppers begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and heat for an additional minute, stirring so that the garlic doesn’t brown.
- Add the tomatoes and simmer until the tomato liquid has reduced by about half, about 2-3 minutes, stirring so that the tomatoes don’t burn or stick to the pan.
- Stir in stock or water, rice, and beans. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then immediately cover and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer 20-30 minutes until rice is done, stirring once or twice so that the rice doesn’t stick to the pan, and adding extra stock or water if needed.
- While the rice is cooking, in a separate skillet brown the sausage over medium heat, about 10 minutes. Remove sausage and set aside.
- Toss the shrimp with a teaspoon of the Louisiana seasoning and a pinch of salt and pepper. Using the same the skillet you browned the sausage in, cook the shrimp over medium heat until they’re pink on all sides, about 5 minutes. There should be enough fat left in the pan from the sausage, but if not, add a little olive oil for cooking the shrimp.
- Add the sausage, shrimp, and if needed, a little extra stock or water, to the cooked rice mixture, covering until the sausage and shrimp are heated through, about 5 minutes.
- Check for seasoning, and add additional Cajun seasoning and/or salt if needed. If you want it even spicier, add a little bit of Tabasco.