Category Archives: Cajun~Creole

Shrimp Po Boys~ Fat Tuesday

Although I have never attended any real Mardi Gras celebrations, I love the whole vibe. My most favorite thing is the spicy, colorful and savory foods that are prepared.I lived in Texas for a few years and they had their version of po boy sandwiches that were very tasty. I finally decided to recreate my version of a Shrimp Po Boy. Surprisingly, I had most of the ingredients on hand already, minus the shrimp and buttermilk. This is a delicious recipe for a  Mardi Gras themed lunch or dinner with friends, but really it’s great anytime… I figured if I can’t go to Louisina and enjoy the tasty foods during Mardi Gras, than I will do my best to bring the flavors of Mardi Gras into my own kitchen.
Shrimp Po Boy
Shrimp Po Boy
Everything in Place... Shrimp Po Boys
Everything in Place… Shrimp Po Boys

Ingredients

For Remoulade Sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1/2 tablespoon horseradish sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Seasoning For Shrimp
20 large/ extra large shrimp, cleaned and peeled
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper
pinch of salt

You will also need
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 cups of oil for frying ( I used equal parts olive oil and grapeseed oil)
Lettuce, shredded or just torn into pieces
Tomato slices, 2 roma
Dill Pickle slices
Hot pepper rings
4- six inch baguette style rolls

Crispy Shrimp for Po Boys or Toss in Buffalo Sauce!
Crispy Shrimp for Po Boys or Toss in Buffalo Sauce!

 

Directions

1. In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the remoulade sauce. Mix well to combine, taste for salt, cover and chill until ready to use.

2. After cleaning shrimp, combine all of the dried spices listed and mix well. Divide in half, using one half to season the shrimp, set aside.

3. Preheat 1 1/2 cups oil in a shallow pan for 5 minutes. Add buttermilk to one bowl . In another bowl combine flour , cornmeal and remaining spice mix from remoulade sauce.

4. Once oil is hot, dip shrimp into buttermilk and coat with flour/cornmeal mix. Carefully drop into hot oil and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Drain shrimp onto plate lined with paper towels or on a metal rack over a baking sheet.

5. When frying, try not to overcrowd the pan, cooking 6 to 7 shrimp at one time. Spread remoulade sauce on rolls, add lettuce, tomato slices, hot pepper and 5 pieces of shrimp. Yields 4 servings.

Tips~ If you are lacking in the spice department, just mix the mayo with some lemon juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper for a quick version of remoulade sauce.

Shrimp Po Boys
Shrimp Po Boys

Spicy Creole-Mex Chicken Stew~ It’s a Fusion Thing!

Spicy Creole-Mex Chicken Stew. For many years I have been fascitnated with the whole New Orleans vibe. Ok, Ok, it’s the food that really sparked my interest, I must confess. The history is vibrant and colorful, much like that of Mexico. The trend today and for a while now is fusion cooking. Some of the most popular restaurants and food trucks out there are serving up the most wonderful, complex and flavorful dishes.  I have experimented with a few recipes in my own kitchen, usually pairing Asian and Mexican. For a couple of years I was teaching cooking classes and my good friend Suwanee, who is from Thailand was also one of the teachers. She taught and shared some of the most delicious Thai recipes I had ever had. They were so clean and simple, but so delicious! During our time there, I realized that there were many ingredients that were very similar in our recipe. Even though mine were Mexican and hers were Thai, there were many similarities. The Creole recipes caught my attention because I found them to be similar to the low and slow stewed recipes I love so much from Mexico. A tomato based sauce with aromatics, herbs and spicy cayenne. Right up my alley! I had a few chicken drumsticks and andouille sausage that I smoked on my charcoal grill. Instead of just eating as is, I decided to create this spicy stew with both Creole and Mexican flavors.   

 

My friends at the “Trupp Cooking School” are creating and developing beautiful and tasty dishes.  Check out their line up of cooking classes by clicking on the link below.

The Melbourne cooking classes are available in ‘sit-down’ and ‘hands-on’ formats, with intimate classes being the norm.
A fusion of Creole and Mexican flavors with the bonus of smoked chicken and andouille sausage.
A fusion of Creole and Mexican flavors with the bonus of smoked chicken and andouille sausage.



Olive oil
½ cup celery, diced
½ cup red bell pepper, diced
1 cup sweet onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red fresno pepper, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
2 cups fire roasted tomatoes, crushed
2 cups chicken broth
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
6 large basil leaves, chopped
1 ½ teaspoons oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon dry thyme
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
12 ounces andouille sausage, sliced
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 green onions, sliced thin
1 large lemon
Hot sauce

Prep ahead, prep ahead, prep ahead..I cannot say that enough...
Prep ahead, prep ahead, prep ahead..I cannot say that enough…
Fusion cooking is one of my favorite ways to creat and develop new recipe. Creole ans Mexican flavors make up this rich and tasty stew.
Fusion cooking is one of my favorite ways to creat and develop new recipe. Creole ans Mexican flavors make up this rich and tasty stew.

TIPS *I smoked and grilled 5 chicken drum sticks and the sausage before adding it to the recipe. I also grilled the tomatoes (6roma), hot peppers, sweet onion and garlic before adding them to the recipe. It added so much more flavor!

Directions

1. In a large heavy pot, preheat 3 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Add the celery, bell pepper, onion, garlic, fresno and jalapeño. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 7 to 10 minutes.

2. Add the tomatoes, broth, cilantro, basil, oregano, thyme, cumin, worcestershire, cayenne, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Add the chicken and sausage and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning,

4. Add the butter, green onions and juice of half a lemon. Cook for another 5 minutes. Serve with rice. Garnish with hot sauce and lemon wedges.Yields up to 6 servings.

The perfect steamed rice with a touch of Sazon seasoning with annatto was perfect for this spicy stew.
The perfect steamed rice with a touch of Sazon seasoning with annatto was perfect for this spicy stew. Was not hot enough for me, so I had to add some of my quick pickled habanero slices.

 

It's a little Creole, it's a little Mexican...Spicy!
It’s a little Creole, it’s a little Mexican…Spicy!

Spicy Cajun Jambalaya

When I think of Spicy Cajun Jambalaya, I have visions of Mardi Gras, strolling the streets of New Orleans with all it’s wonderful sounds and colors. Jambalaya is traditionally made with meat, vegetables, stock and completed with rice. This dish is very close to the Saffron infused Spanish Paella. For this version, I decided to prepare it Cajun style, with no tomatoes and with an added twist of my own, fresh jalapeños. Influenced by the Caribbean  Islands and mixed with the Spanish culture there are many variations of Cajun Jambalaya. This is a great make ahead recipe. Taste much better the next day! And it’s freezer friendly too.

 

Spicy Cajun Jambalaya
Spicy Cajun Jambalaya

 

Ingredients 

1 pound smoked sausage, sliced
6 ounces pork side meat or thick cut bacon, diced
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced into 1 inch pieces
Salt
White pepper
Cajun spice blend
Smoked Paprika
Olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 large sweet bell pepper, diced (I used half orange and half green)
1 to 2 jalapeños, minced (removing seeds is optional)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried thyme or
1 tablespoon dried sweet basil
2 teaspoons ground sage
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon Cajun spice blend
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups Jasmine rice or long grain rice
1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Salt to taste
1/3 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 pound medium shrimp, cleaned and peeled ( seasoned lightly with salt,white pepper and Cajun seasoning)

Smpked Sausage, pork and chicken thighs...
Smpked Sausage, pork side meat or thick cut bacon and chicken thighs…
Prepping ahead is the key to a great recipe!
Prepping ahead is the key to a great recipe!

 

 

Directions

1. Preheat heavy dutch oven style pot to medium/high heat for a few minutes. Add the sausage and pork, cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until you get some good browning.

2. While the sausage is browning, season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt, white pepper, Cajun spice blend and smoked paprika. Drizzle with olive oil. Add the chicken to the pot and cook for another 10 minutes. If there is too much oil, drain off a little bit of oil.

3. Add the onions, bell peppers and jalapeños and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, basil, sage, pepper flakes, Cajun seasoning, white pepper and black pepper, stir well to combine.

4. Pour in the broth, bring to a boil and taste for salt. Add the rice, bring back up to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Cook for 15 minutes, lay the seasoned shrimp (if using) and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Stir the jambalaya to combine before serving. Yields 8 to 10 servings.

*garnish with lemon or lime wedges, the citrus really brings out all of the flavors!

Tips~ If you want to prepare a milder version of this dish, just save the Cajun seasoning for the end and omit the chile peppers. I added the shrimp at the last minute, but you could omit it as well if seafood is not your thing. I used dried herbs because that is what I had on hand, but fresh would be tasty!!

Spicy Cajun Jambalaya
Spicy Cajun Jambalaya

Spicy Cajun Jambalaya