Linguine with Clam Sauce


Foods can evoke memories in a major way.  Every single time I smell this dish cooking, I’m immediately transported back to our kitchen in my house growing up.  I can hear “All Things Considered” on NPR coming from the radio as my dad prepared dinner for us.  My mom died when I was 10, and my brothers were six and four.  Somehow my dad still cooked well balanced meals for us pretty much every night as we grew up.  Sure, sometimes it was semi-homemade things like Hamburger Helper but looking back with only one child of my own and an extremely helpful husband, I truly don’t know how he did it.  When Mom found out her illness was terminal, she started planning and preparing and doing things to help us after she wasn’t around anymore.  One of those things was to go through all our family cookbooks and put notes on the recipes that we kids liked.

This recipe comes from a now out of print cookbook that our family enjoyed.  It still has Mom’s post-it taped to the cover (as many of our cookbooks do).  The author hosted an old popular cooking show called The Frugal Gourmet that my mom found very amusing.  I remember watching it with her even though I had no interest in cooking at the time, and I thought it was funny too.  I had never considered sharing this recipe before because it didn’t seem blog-worthy.  I mean, it takes about 15 minutes and uses canned clams for Pete’s sake.  But, this is where I share all the recipes I love, easy and complex, fancy and decidedly not so, so I’m sharing it here.  We love this dinner in our household, it holds a special place in my heart, and that’s all that matters to me!

Linguine with Clam Sauce
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Ingredients:
12 oz. linguine pasta
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 (6.5 oz) cans minced clams, juices reserved
½ cup heavy cream (or half-and-half)
Salt and pepper
Grated Parmesan, for serving

Directions:
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Cook pasta according to the package directions until al dente.  Drain well.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet or saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat until the butter is completely melted.  Add the garlic to the pan and sauté until golden and fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add the reserved clam juice to the pan, bring to a simmer, and reduce by about half.  With the heat on medium-low, stir in the clams and the heavy cream.  Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Portion the pasta into warmed serving bowls.  Spoon some of the sauce over the pasta and top with grated Parmesan, if desired.  Serve immediately.

Source: The Frugal Gourmet Cooks with Wine by Jeff Smith

Shrimp Enchiladas


Filled with chicken, veggies, or straight up cheese, enchiladas are always an awesome meal.  This version in particular is one of my favorites and I’m excited to have revamped the recipe a little bit.  Why?  I found a way to make this meal more efficiently while using less dishes.  I think that’s cause for celebration!  I also played around with the filling to add a few more veggies because that never seems to hurt.  Now, I’ve never been one of those that thinks enchiladas must be covered in sauce before baking to be delicious, but if you are of that camp, you can increase the quantity of sauce and reserve some for pouring on top.  I love these as they are though – creamy, just a tad spicy and packed full of flavor.  I actually think they would be too much with additional sauce on top.  Depending on how quick you are in the kitchen, these can definitely be suitable for a weeknight meal.  The process goes much faster with assistance from my helpful shrimp peeler, Ben.  These also make excellent leftovers and make a lunch I can really look forward to.

Shrimp Enchiladas
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Ingredients:
3 tbsp. butter, divided
1 lb. medium-size shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 red bell pepper, diced
¾ cup onion, diced
¼ tsp. oregano
¼ tsp. salt
Dash garlic powder
Dash cayenne pepper
2 tsp. all-purpose flour
6 tbsp. heavy cream or half-and-half
¼ cup sour cream
6 oz. shredded cheese (such as Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, etc.), divided
1 cup tomatoes, seeded and diced
8-10 (8-inch) flour tortillas
Cooking spray

Directions:
In a large sauté pan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the shrimp to the pan in an even layer and let cook without moving, about 1 minute.  Flip the shrimp over and continue to cook until just pink and opaque, 30-60 seconds longer.  Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon and set aside.  When the shrimp is cool enough to handle, roughly chop into bite sized pieces, if desired.

Melt the remaining butter in the pan.  Add the diced bell pepper and onion, and cook until just tender, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the oregano, salt, garlic powder, cayenne and flour to the pan; stir well and cook briefly until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds.  Lower the heat to medium-low and add the heavy cream to the pan, stirring to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Cook just until slightly thickened, 1-2 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat.  Stir in the sour cream, half of the shredded cheese, and the tomatoes.  Return the shrimp to the pan as well, and mix everything together until the sauce is well blended and the cheese is melted.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.  Scoop 1/3 cup of the filling and sauce mixture down the center of a tortilla.  Sprinkle lightly with some of the reserved cheese.  Roll the tortilla tightly around the filling and place seam side-down in the  prepared baking dish.  Repeat with the remaining filling, tortillas and cheese.  Spray the tops of the finished assembled tortillas lightly with cooking spray.  Bake uncovered for about 30-35 minutes, until lightly browned.  Let cool at least 5-10 minutes before serving.

Source: adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

White Fish Tacos


It seems fish tacos are quite a popular dish.  I see them all over the blogosphere and on lots of restaurant menus, but for a long time they just sounded kind of gross to me.  I think part of it was my childhood fear of seafood rearing its head – growing up in Indiana and being served lots of things that should definitely not be called seafood, I think the fear was justified.  Now that I know where to get fresh, good quality seafood, I keep experimenting with things and do my best to keep an open mind.  Well let me just say this dinner wowed us both.  Actually, it wowed us all – Andrew included.  He ate more than one plate of deconstructed taco!

And, this is another one of those dinners that is a triple threat – it is quick, easy, and healthy!  I came home from a long, rough work day and despite my exhaustion and less than stellar mood, these came together in no time.  In fact, they completely turned my mood around (well, the margarita probably played a part in that as well.)  You marinate the fish briefly and while it is doing its thing, you can prep all the toppings and the sauce.  I used halibut for these because it is my favorite type of white fish but you could also use tilapia or cod (or some other variety of white fish I am less familiar with).  Try these soon for a healthy, colorful delicious meal.

White Fish Tacos
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For the fish:
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 tbsp. minced cilantro
¼ tsp. cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 lb. white fish (halibut, cod, tilapia, etc.)
Salt

Ingredients:

For the cilantro cream sauce:
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp. cilantro, minced
6 oz. nonfat greek yogurt (sour cream is fine too)
1 clove garlic, minced
Pepper, to taste

For serving:
Cherry tomatoes, quartered
Green onions, chopped
Red cabbage, shredded
(Or whatever sounds good to you!)
6-inch flour tortillas

Directions:
Combine the lime juice, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, cilantro, cumin, and garlic in a pie plate or shallow dish.  Whisk together until well blended.  Place the fish in the mixture, turning to coat.  Let marinate 15-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the cilantro cream sauce.  Combine the lime juice, cilantro, greek yogurt, garlic and pepper in a small bowl.  Mix until well blended.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Place the fish in the pan and cook without disturbing, 3 minutes.  Flip the fish and cook on the second side 2-3 minutes more.  Remove to a plate, season with salt as desired, and let rest for a few minutes.  Shred the fish into bite-sized pieces with two forks.

Assemble tacos on flour tortillas with shredded fish, cilantro cream sauce and toppings as desired.

Source: adapted from The Way the Cookie Crumbles

Salmon with Strawberry Salsa


I mentioned not long ago that I wasn’t a big fan of fruit and meat, etc. combos but it seems I’m coming around.  This dish totally blew me away.  Honestly, I was expecting this to be so-so for me, and maybe something Ben said he liked to be polite.  But no, we both devoured it.  And so did Andrew!  Even better, it’s incredibly simple to prepare, quick, and healthy to boot.  How can you say no to a meal like that?  I think this would be great for entertaining because it is easy, certainly unique and the bright colors make for a beautiful presentation.

Salmon with Strawberry Salsa
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Ingredients:
For the salsa:
2 cups fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
4 scallions, white and green portions, sliced thin
1 tsp. fresh parsley, minced
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Drizzle of olive oil
Drizzle of honey
Salt and pepper, to taste

4 salmon fillets (about 6 oz. each)
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
To make the salsa, combine the strawberries, tomatoes, scallions, parsley, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl.  Mix well to blend, then cover and refrigerate while you prepare the salmon.

Preheat the broiler.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Place the salmon fillets on the foil.  Squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice over each fillet, and season with salt and pepper.  Broil about 6-8 inches away from heat source (in my oven, this is upper middle rack).  Cook about 10-12 minutes, depending on your oven and the size of the fillets, checking for doneness.  Transfer the salmon to serving plates and top with strawberry salsa.  Serve warm.

Source: barely adapted from Good Things Catered

Spicy Shrimp Po’ Boys

I’ve been on a serious sandwich kick lately.  It seems as soon as the weather warmed up, I’ve just been all about them.  In fact, when planning my menu recently I almost decided to do a week’s worth of sandwiches just because I have so many I love and so many I would like to try.  I nixed that idea for the sake of diversity, but rest assured you’ll be seeing a lot of great sandwich ideas in the near future.  Now, let’s talk about how fabulous this sandwich is.  I’ve made spicy pork po’ boys before, which are a favorite and frequent repeater in our house.  This is the first time I’ve tried the shrimp version and oh, we devoured them.

The shrimp are spicy thanks to the Cajun seasoning and the spicy remoulade sauce is so good, I kind of want to slather it on everything.  I did think the mustard to mayo ratio was a little to strong for my preferences, so I added a few extra spoonfuls of mayo to balance it out.  I enjoyed these so thoroughly that I ate a leftover sandwich for lunch the following day at work, even though our department had provided free pizza for all employees.  (It probably also had something to do with the fact that the pizza was Donato’s – gag me.)  But really, I’d take this over free pizza just about any day.

Spicy Shrimp Po’ Boys
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Yield: 4 sandwiches
Ingredients:
For the remoulade sauce:
½ cup plus 2 tbsp. light mayonnaise
2 tbsp. stone ground mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1½ tbsp. pickle juice
½ tsp. prepared horseradish
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. hot paprika
Dash of hot sauce

For the sandwiches:
1 lb. medium-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. Cajun seasoning blend
1 baguette (or 4 sandwich rolls)
Shredded lettuce
Sliced tomato

Directions:
To make the remoulade sauce, combine all of the sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.  (If you don’t have a blender or food processor, you can just mix it in a small bowl with a spoon.)  Adjust seasonings to taste.  Chill until ready to use.

To prepare the sandwiches, combine the shrimp with the olive oil and cajun seasoning in a medium bowl.  Toss well to coat the shrimp.  Heat a grill pan to medium-high and grill the shrimp just until opaque, about 2 minutes per side.  Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.

Slice the baguette into 4 servings, and cut horizontally to open the bread.  Spread some of the remoulade sauce onto both pieces of the bread.   Layer the bottom slice of bread with shrimp, then top with lettuce and tomato as desired.  Top with the remaining piece of bread and serve immediately.

Source: adapted from Ezra Pound Cake

Seafood Gratin

I have a major thing for lobster.  I would say my feelings for lobster are on par with my feelings for chocolate.  Whenever we’re at a nice restaurant that is fit to serve great lobster and it is mentioned while the specials are being read, my brain shuts down.  My choice is made – lobster it is.  This year for Valentine’s Day I learned how easy it is to make lobster at home (easy!) so I was ready to do more with it.  This dish combines lobster, shrimp and cod pieces in a rich, flavorful cream sauce baked with a seasoned bread crumb topping.

Certainly more expensive and decadent than our average meal, I have had this earmarked in my mind for the occasion of selling our house.  I’ve been waiting for months to try this dish but it did not disappoint.  It received rave reviews from everyone who tried it and I think it really is the perfect entrée for special occasions.   This was ideal for entertaining because I did all of the prep and assembly (minus the breadcrumb topping) early the day of our party and just refrigerated them until I was ready to bake them.  It was very convenient.  A reader mentioned this would be a nice dish for Mother’s Day and I think that sounds like a wonderful idea.  Think Andrew can learn his way around the kitchen in time?

Seafood Gratin
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Yield: about 6 servings
Ingredients:
1 cup clam juice
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup plus 3 tbsp. white wine, such as Chablis, divided
3 tbsp. tomato puree
1 lb. raw shrimp (26-30 per lb.), peeled and deveined
8-10 oz. raw cod, cut into 1-inch chunks
10-16 oz. cooked lobster meat, cut into 1-inch chunks
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. pepper
2 cups thinly sliced leeks, white and green parts
1 cup peeled, shredded carrots
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:
Combine the clam juice, cream, white wine and tomato puree in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and add the shrimp.  Let cook 1-2 minutes, the flip over and cook the other side until pink and opaque.  Remove to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon.  Add the pieces of cod to the stock mixture until just cooked through, about 3-4 minutes.  Remove to the same plate with the shrimp using a slotted spoon.   (Once the shrimp have cooled enough to handle, cut in half if desired and return to the bowl.)  Add the cooked lobster to the bowl.

Continue to cook the sauce until reduced by half, about 12 minutes.  Combine 1 tablespoon of the butter in a small bowl with the flour and mash together with a fork.  Whisk the butter-flour mixture with the salt and pepper into the sauce and continue to simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Set aside.

In a medium sauté pan melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat.  Add the leeks and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened.  Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of wine and season lightly with salt and pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes more.

Add the cream sauce and cooked vegetables to the bowl with the seafood and toss to blend well.  Divide the mixture between individual gratin dishes.  If not baking right away, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

When you are ready to bake the gratins, preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  Place the filled gratin dishes on a baking sheet.  Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a small bowl.  Add the Panko, parmesan, parsley and garlic to the bowl and toss with a fork to combine.  Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the prepared gratins.  Bake 20 minutes, until the top is browned and bubbling.  Serve hot.

Source: adapted from Smells Like Home, originally from Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten

Shrimp Tempura

In the last year or so I have really taken a liking to sushi.  I hadn’t tried it much before that, but the more I try it, the more I like it, love it, can’t get enough of it.  Each time I try different types of rolls, but the one I can’t live without is shrimp tempura roll.  I am dying to try making it at home but first things first, I had to figure out how to make the shrimp tempura itself.  This recipe is from an issue of Cook’s Illustrated from last summer and now I am totally regretting not trying it sooner.

We were both crazy in love with this dinner.  The batter coating the shrimp is light, crisp and delicious.  According to the people at Cook’s Illustrated, the vodka is critical to the texture of the coating so it should not be omitted or replaced with a substitute.  On the whole this was actually a pretty quick dish to throw together and I would say the most time consuming part is waiting for the oil to come to temperature.  I served this with slices of grilled pineapple and stir-fried bok choy.  A ginger-soy dipping sauce recipe is included with the shrimp, but I must say that I personally wasn’t a big fan of it.  It didn’t even taste bad per se, it was just really overpowering to the flavor of the shrimp.  This was a fantastic meal all around, and one we will surely be enjoying again and again!

Shrimp Tempura
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Ingredients:
1½ qts. vegetable oil, for frying
1-1½ lbs. jumbo/colossal shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cornstarch
1 large egg
1 cup vodka
1 cup seltzer water
Kosher salt

For the dipping sauce (optional):
¼ cup soy sauce
3 tbsp. mirin
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 green onion, finely chopped

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 200˚ F.  Place a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.  This will be used to keep the first batches of shrimp warm while the remaining shrimp are being fried.

Fit a large Dutch oven with a clip-on thermometer and fill with the vegetable oil.  Heat over high heat until the oil reaches 385˚ F.

While the oil is heating, whisk the flour and cornstarch together in a large bowl.  In another bowl combine the egg, vodka and seltzer water; whisk to blend.  Wait until the oil comes to temperature before proceeding.

Once the oil reaches 385˚ F, pour the egg-vodka mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture and whisk gently just until combined.  Add half of the shrimp to the batter and submerge completely.  Using tongs, remove shrimp from the batter one at a time, allowing excess batter to drip off.  (The temperature of the oil should now be at 400˚ F. )  Carefully place the coated shrimp into the oil.  Fry until the shrimp are light golden brown, 2-3 minutes, stirring to prevent the shrimp sticking together if necessary.  Using a skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle lightly with salt.  Once the excess oil has been absorbed by the towels, transfer to the wire rack and place in the oven to stay warm.

Return the oil to 400˚ F and then repeat the process with the remaining shrimp.  Serve immediately.

(To make the dipping sauce, whisk together all ingredients in a bowl.)

Source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, May/June 2009

Shrimp, Feta and Fresh Herb Mac and Cheese


Ever since discovering my love of Greek food last year, I have been all about feta cheese.  I like it on salads, I love it with shrimp – I just think it’s great.  When I ran across this version of mac and cheese that featured feta, I was instantly a fan.  The combination of the shrimp, lemon zest, and fresh herbs made for a unique spin on mac and cheese that sounded just perfect.  This was just as good as I was expecting, and I think the flavors make it ideal for spring.


I made  a few small changes to suit my own preferences, including reducing the amount of milk to produce a cheesier sauce and chopping up the shrimp so there was some in almost every bite.  I also decreased the amount of lemon zest because zesting two whole lemons just seemed like overkill, and I thought the lemon was still quite prominent even with my change (but in a good way, not a pucker-your-lips way).  Delish!

Shrimp, Feta and Fresh Herb Mac and Cheese

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Ingredients:
1 lb. pasta shapes
1 lb. raw shrimp (31-40 ct.), peeled and deveined, cut in half (if desired)
10 oz. feta cheese, crumbled and divided
Zest of 1 lemon, divided
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped, divided
5 tbsp. butter, divided
4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
2 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
8 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper

Directions:
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Cook the pasta until al dente according to the package directions.  Drain well; set aside.  Add the raw shrimp to the warm pasta and toss together.  The heat from the pasta will partially cook the shrimp.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  In a small bowl, combine a handful of the feta, a pinch of the lemon zest, the panko, 2 teaspoons of the parsley and 1 tablespoon of the butter, melted.  Toss with a fork to combine; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat.  Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour  to form a paste.  Cook 1-2 minutes, whisking constantly, until light golden brown.  Whisk in the milk.  Continue to heat the mixture, stirring frequently, until it bubbles and thickens, about 5 minutes.  As soon as the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat and stir in the remaining feta, Gruyere, remaining parsley, remaining lemon zest, dill, salt and pepper.  Pour the mixture over the pasta and shrimp; toss well to coat.

Transfer the mixture to a lightly greased 2½ or 3-quart baking dish.  Sprinkle the breadcrumb-feta mixture evenly over the top.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbling.  Remove from the oven and let cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

Source: adapted from The Perfect Pantry via the 30 Days, 30 Ways Mac and Cheese Blog

Shrimp Scampi

Aaahh, shrimp scampi.  One of my favorite go-to simple meals.  There are many reasons why I love it so much.  First, it tastes delicious – I think this goes without saying.  It’s a minimalist shrimp pasta dish with a lemony, garlicky light butter/olive oil sauce.  Yum!  But almost just as importantly, it is a very nice meal that can be thrown together in next to no time, with mostly ingredients I tend to have on hand.  Whenever I want a meal that requires little effort, this is where I turn.  Occasionally I add a splash of white wine to the sauce if I happen to be drinking some while making dinner.

Just a couple comments regarding the recipe.  I usually tend to omit the lemon slices but if you are a lemon enthusiast then by all means, add them!  You may want to increase the amount of butter and/or olive oil slightly if using a full pound of pasta, rather than the 12 ounces called for, just to make sure there is enough sauce to adequately coat everything.  If you were looking for a quick and tasty Friday night meal, here it is.  Enjoy!

Shrimp Scampi
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Ingredients:
3/4 lb. linguine
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves minced garlic
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. pepper
3-4 tbsp. chopped flat leaf parsley
Zest of ½ a lemon
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ lemon, sliced thinly into half-rounds
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

Directions:
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet or sauté pan, melt the butter and olive oil together over medium heat.  Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute, just until golden and fragrant.  Add the shrimp to the pan in an even layer and season with the salt and pepper.  As soon as the down-facing side of the shrimp turns pink, flip with tongs to cook the second side evenly.  As soon as the shrimp is pink and opaque, remove the pan from the heat.  Stir in the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices and red pepper flakes.

As soon as the pasta is cooked and drained, return to the pot.  Add the sauce to the pot, and toss to combine.  Serve immediately in warmed bowls.

Source: adapted from Ina Garten via Food Network

Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya

I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but here in Indiana it is just so.dang.cold every day.  Most days the only time I actually feel warm is while I’m blow-drying my hair (on the hottest setting, mind you), so I’ve really been in need of some hearty, warming soups and stews to get me through these last winter months.  This one-pot meal was a welcome addition to our menu.  With chicken, shrimp and andouille sausage, it reminded me of a deliciously chunky risotto.  I think the use of chicken thighs added a ton of flavor to this dish, so though I often try to substitute chicken breasts when possible, I think the thighs are important in this recipe.

This recipe makes good use of the food processor to significantly decrease prep time by pulsing the vegetables, rather than chopping them finely by hand.  You can certainly do it by hand if you wish, but I really appreciate any little time-saving step.  (Plus, Andrew loves to shout “GO!” before I turn on the food processor.)  Different varieties of andouille will have different levels of spiciness, so you may need to adjust your spices accordingly.  It seems the version sold at our butcher shop is on the mild side, so I seasoned with a Cajun spice blend just before serving and that did the trick.  So settle in, make some spicy jambalaya, and let’s wait out the cold together 🙂

Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya
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Ingredients:
1 medium onion, trimmed and quartered
1 rib celery, cut into quarters
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and quartered
5 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tsp. vegetable oil
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
8 oz. andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into ¼-inch chunks (or crumbled, if in delicate casings)
1½ cups long-grain white rice
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. fresh thyme leaves
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained (¼ cup of juice reserved)
1 cup bottled clam juice
1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 lb. shrimp (31-40 per lb.), peeled and deveined
2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley

Directions:
Combine the onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse until chopped fine, about six 1-second pulses, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice.  Be careful not to over-process.

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken to the pot, skin-side down, and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Using tongs, turn the chicken and cook until golden brown on the opposite side, about 3 minutes longer.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.  Lower the heat to medium and add the andouille.  Cook, stirring often, until browned, about 3 minutes.  Transfer the sausage to a paper towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon, and set aside.

Lower the heat to medium-low and add the chopped vegetables to the pan.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 4 minutes.  Add the rice, salt, thyme and cayenne; cook, stirring constantly, until the rice is coated with the fat, about 1 minute.  Add the diced tomatoes, reserved tomato juice, clam juice, chicken broth, bay leaves and cooked sausage to the pot.  Stir to combine.  Remove the skin from the chicken pieces and place the chicken on the rice so that the side the skin was just removed from is now facing down.  Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.  Stir once, keeping the chicken in the same general position, and continue to simmer until the chicken is no longer pink inside, about 10 minutes more.  Transfer the chicken to a clean plate or cutting board and set aside.  Scatter the shrimp over the rice, cover, and continue to cook until the rice is fully tender and the shrimp are opaque and cooked through, about 5 minutes more.

While the shrimp are cooking, shred the chicken into thin strands.  Once the shrimp are finished cooking, discard the bay leaves, stir in the chicken and parsley, and serve immediately.

Source: The New Best Recipe from the editors of Cook’s Illustrated