Spicy Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

I’ve never made any Cajun or Creole food, so I figured it was about time to experiment.  This is a Cajun-style recipe because the base of the gumbo is a dark roux and the aromatics are the trinity of onion, green pepper and celery.  This recipe is based off the “Spicy Seafood Gumbo” from Emily Ansara Baines’s “The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook,” although I added sausage, forgot to buy celery and the store didn’t have any okra.  Okra is an awesome vegetable, you should add some if you have it.  But anyways, this is a pretty easy and turned out pretty delicious. DSC_0298 Spicy Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 2 sticks celery, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup clam juice
  • 2 tbsp seafood seasoning, I used some crab/shrimp/crawfish boil seasoning I found at the grocery store
  • 2 tbsp Louisiana-style hot sauce
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (less if you want less spice)
  • 2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 sausage of your choosing, I used boudin sausage made of pork and pork liver
  • 1 box of rice, I used Zatarain’s brand Dirty Rice Mix

Start by boiling water for the rice and prepare per the box directions. Heat the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Take a wild guess at what I used… DSC_0284 THE DUTCH OVEN DUH. When the butter is melted, add the flour and stir with a fork or whisk.  I have this super nifty flat whisk and it rules at making a roux.  It’ll initially foam up a bunch like this: DSC_0285 So the tricky part about making a roux is that it’s so easy to burn it’s insane.  When you’re doing this part, make SURE you’re constantly stirring and watching it.  I stopped for 10 seconds to take a picture and ruined my first attempt; had the whole house smelling like burnt popcorn and you DON’T want that in your food, it’ll taste naaaasty. Just keep stirring.  Slowly it’ll start to get golden. DSC_0288 And it’ll get a little brownish… DSC_0290 Keep stirring constantly, you want your roux to be as dark as possible without having any burnt bits. DSC_0291 Keep going until it’s EVEN MORE brown.  DO NOT STOP STIRRING seriously it’s not fun to stir that long and burn it. DSC_0293 Continue reading

One-Pot Cheesy Chicken Pasta

Dutch ovens are probably my favorite cooking vessel.  You can do pretty much anything in them.  My mom recently bought me this giant Le Creuset pot and I want to marry it.  For real.

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Isn’t she gorgeous?! (THANKS MOM)

We’re going to do everything involved for this dish in this beautiful piece of cast-iron wonderfulness.  Although i guess you could cook the pasta in a different pot but I’m feeling lazy about cleaning and ONE POT YOU GUYS.

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One-Pot Cheesy Chicken Pasta

  • 1 box bowtie pasta
  • olive oil
  • 2-3 chicken breasts (sliced or diced)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine (or chicken/vegetable stock)
  • 2 cans whole tomatoes (or you can use marinara sauce for a faster result)
  • 1 tbs dried parsley
  • 1 tbs dried oregano
  • red pepper flakes
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • grated parmesan
  • basil (I forgot to buy this)
  • mushrooms (forgot to buy these too, womp womp)

Continue reading