We discovered a delicious Cajun restaurant nearby that has inspired me to experiment with some delicious Cajun cooking of my own. I started with a basic recipe I found online, but I increased the amount of vegetables considerably and added some craw fish. I also started the jambalaya with a peanut oil based roux that I find works very well with stews like these.
It was delicious! Our entire family gobbled it up, and this batch made a lot for leftovers or for freezing. The recipe below makes a big pot so cut it in half for a smaller batch. Personally, I love leftovers we can take for lunch at work!
Lily took a few bites and called this meal “exquisite.” I’m not sure what makes me happier – that she enjoyed it so much, or that she has such a budding vocabulary at age 5!
1 pound frozen peeled and deveined shrimp, defrosted
1 chopped onion, chopped
5-6 ribs celery, diced
2-3 bell peppers, diced
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup peanut oil
1/2 cup flour
3 cups chicken broth
8 ounces andouille sausage, diced or sliced
1 pound frozen craw fish tails, defrosted
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
Pour oil into large cooking pot and heat on medium for 2-3 minutes. Once heated, pour in the flour and whisk well. Continue whisking and stirring slowly as it bubbles and browns. Decrease the heat here if you have to so that you do not burn the roux. And don’t step away from it for more than 30 seconds!
Once your roux has turned a nice caramel color, add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic to the pot. Mix well and cook on medium low heat for about 5 minutes, until vegetables start to get tender. Add the remaining ingredients (except the shrimp) and mix everything together. Bring to slow boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes.
Add the shrimp and cook for 5 more minutes, until shrimp is cooked through and pink. Overcooked shrimp will ruin a good jambalaya!