Good Morning Everyone!!!
Did everyone have a good weekend? How many of you are digging out from the snow? It’s going to be sunny and 63 here in North Texas today!! Anyone want to trade weather?
I thought it would be fun to post a NEW recipe this week on Monday instead of my usual Tuesday Morning…. What can I say? I’m in the mood to spice things up a bit this week 😉
Things have been really busy here in Texas since we last spoke about Dark Chocolate Fudgey Texas Brownies (I only ate about have the pan before I froze the rest). Last week we were away at a fundraising conference in Orlando, Florida. It’s always fun to see all of our fundraising friends and catch up over a good meal. After we returned from Florida we then held a company meeting here in Texas with all of our “Big Kahuna Fundraising” reps to get them ready and excited about the new products for next year. This week its time to hit the ground running and start kicking off the “Spring” fundraising season. In fact, I’ve got my first “Spring” fundraiser kickoff assembly this afternoon. Like I said busy, busy, busy!
When things start to get crazy busy sometimes a girl just needs a little Southern Comfort in her life. Since February and Mardi Gras are just around the corner I’m looking for comfort at the bottom of a bowl of Spicy Cajun Shrimp, Sausage and Grits.
Spicy Cajun Shrimp, Sausage, and Grits
All good things start with a good spice blend…. Now time to clean out the spice cabinet 🙂
Spicy Cajun Spice Blend
1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika
2-1/2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
2 Teaspoon Oregano
2 Teaspoons Kosher Sea Salt
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1-1/2 Teaspoons Onion Powder
1-1/2 Teaspoons Dried Thyme
1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
Mix together and store in an air tight container. Sprinkle liberally on EVERYTHING.
Now for the Shrimp and Sausage…
This Spicy Cajun Shrimp and Sausage is easy to make and cooks up very quickly making it perfect for any weeknight. Besides the Cajun Spice Blend another ingredient I use to take this dish to the next level is the sausage… This isn’t just any sausage we are talking about, this is a BACON hot polish SAUSAGE and it is out of this world GOOD!!! Of course you could use any polish or kielbasa sausage you like, but this one has BACON in it.
This Spicy Cajun Shrimp and Sausage is wonderful served over pasta or rice, but my personal favorite way to serve this delicious shrimp and sausage has to be over a bowl of creamy, melt your little heart, Stone Ground GRITS.
Are you hungry yet?
NOTE: If you are going to serve these Spicy Cajun Shrimp and Sausage over grits BE SURE to start the grits first (recipe follows) as they take longer to cook than the shrimp and sausage.
Spicy Cajun Shrimp and Sausage
1 pound Jumbo (21/25 count) Shrimp
1-1/2 – 2 Teaspoons Spicy Cajun Spice Blend
1/2 Pound Sausage (I like to use Fricks Bacon Hot Polish Sausage), sliced
1 Shallot, minced
1 Jalapeno, minced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 Cup Red Bell Pepper, finely diced
1 Cup White Wine
1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
Juice 1/2 Lemon
Peel, devein, and rinse the shrimp under cold water then pat dry with a paper towel. Toss the shrimp and 1-1/2 – 2 Teaspoons of the Spicy Cajun Spice Blend in a bowl and set to the side.
Heat a large, non-reactive, skillet with a good drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and sauté the sliced sausage over medium heat until browned. Remove the sausage and set to the side. Reduce heat to low and sauté the shallot, jalapeño, red bell pepper, and garlic until tender. Pour in 1 cup white wine and reduce by half while scraping up all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Once reduced, over medium low heat add in the shrimp in a single layer. As soon as you see the shrimp turning pink flip them over, add the sausage back into the pan, cooking for one more minute. Promptly remove from the heat (there is nothing worse that over cooked shrimp) and add the juice of 1/2 lemon along with chopped parsley.
It seems to me like grits are going through a major renaissance right now doesn’t it? Growing up I didn’t know anyone who liked grits and the first time I ever tried them they tasted like cardboard. Years later I tried them again at a fancy restaurant and could believe I had been missing out on this my whole life.
For my Creamy Stone Ground Corn Grits I don’t waste money on something labeled “Grits” and I certainly don’t buy instant Grits. Nope, I just use a good quality course-medium, stone ground corn meal.
Creamy Stone Ground Corn Grits
2 Cups Chicken Stock or Broth
2 Cups + 1 Cup Whole Milk
1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 Cup Course Stone Ground Cornmeal
2 Tablespoons Butter (room temperature)
Splash of Cream
In a large pot bring 2 cups of chicken broth, 2 cups whole milk, and 1/2 teaspoon salt up to a simmer. Slowly whisk 1 cup of the stone ground cornmeal. Whisk continuously for about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook 15 minutes making sure to stir with a wooden spoon every 3-5 minutes. After 15 minutes stir in another 1/2 cup of milk (warm in the microwave for 30 seconds to get the chill off). Continue to simmer the grits for another 15 minutes stirring every 3-5 minutes. After another 15 minutes add in the last 1/2 cup warm milk along with the 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir until combined and simmer for 15 more minutes continuing to stir every 3-5 minutes.
Finally stir in a splash off cream and serve hot for Breakfast, Lunch Or Dinner.