Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Shrimp and Sausage Stew with a Creole Flair


There are times when I crave spicy food and nothing fills the bill better than a seafood and sausage stew with a little kick. When I think of seafood and sausage stews, my mind immediately goes to Louisiana with their rich jambalayas and fragrant, spicy gumbos. Louisiana is also where they catch some of the best sweet wild caught pink shrimp in the world, fresh out of the Gulf of Mexico. Perhaps I feel that way because I grew up in the south and all of our shellfish came from the Gulf. If pink Gulf shrimp aren’t available, feel free to use any wild caught shrimp. I’m also fond of the excellent quality wild caught shrimp caught off of the coast of North Carolina, one of my adopted home states.

If you were to ask me what my favorite food in the whole wide world is, I used to answer “shrimp.” Now, I answer the question with a qualifier – it has to be wild caught shrimp or I’ll pass. Personally I don’t like the iodine taste in the farm raised shrimp and thank you very much, I prefer to peel my own (no easy-peel for me). I also like ‘em even better if I have to remove the heads. So there, I’ve set the record straight about how I like my shrimp.

This recipe starts off with what is called the “holy trinity” in Louisiana Creole & Cajun cooking – an aromatic mixture of onions, celery, and bell peppers. It differs from a French mirepoix in that in Louisiana they substitute bell peppers for the carrots in a traditional mirepoix. The heat in this dish comes from a fiery mixture of canned tomatoes and chilies sold under the Rotel brand. This recipe, adapted from Cooking Light, serves 4, can be put together in 20 minutes, and is 191 calories per serving. It doesn’t have the depth of flavor you would gain if you were to make a Louisiana roux, but making a roux takes time and patience. I think you’ll find this quick version very satisfying. If you’re lucky enough to buy heads-on shrimp, add about 10 more minutes, but de-heading fresh shrimp is well worth the extra few minutes it takes. I think you’ll enjoy this spicy, simple Creole shrimp and sausage stew.


Creole Shrimp and Sausage Stew
Adapted from Best of Cooking Light Fast Healthy Meals in 30 Minutes or Less – serves 4

3 teaspoons olive oil
½ of a small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 small rib of celery, finely chopped
1 cup chopped sweet red bell pepper
1 cup thinly sliced low-fat smoked sausage, such as kielbasa or smoked turkey, about 6 ounces
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
¾ cup low-sodium, fat free chicken broth
1 (10 ounce) can un-drained diced tomatoes & green chilies, (such as Rotel brand)
8 ounces wild caught medium sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 (15 ounce) can dark kidney beans, rinsed & drained
2 tablespoons or more chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, sausage and garlic to the pan and sauté 3 minutes or until the bell pepper is tender, stirring occasionally and taking care that the garlic doesn’t burn. Season with a little kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add chicken broth and tomato/chilies mixture and bring to a boil. Stir in the shrimp and beans, cover, reduce heat, and simmer 6 minutes or so until shrimp are done. Divide among 4 bowls, sprinkle each serving with parsley, and serve right away with crusty bread to mop up the spicy sauce.

On a separate note, I thought you might enjoy seeing the beautiful oil painting that artist Carol Schiff painted. She used a photograph taken by my husband Meakin as her inspiration for her painting of the lighthouse on Elbow Cay in Hope Town. The lighthouse is in the Abaco Islands of the Bahamas, where we lived for ten years. The Elbow Cay lighthouse is one of the most photographed in the world. Here’s Carol’s beautiful rendition, which is available for sale at Carol Schiff Studios.


To see Meakin’s original photo, check out Island Time in Abaco. Didn’t Carol do a beautiful job?

58 comments:

  1. I like anything with a creole flair. Your broth sounds flavorful and those stewed shrimps are beautiful!

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  2. I must admit I've never combined sausage and seafood before. Not sure why... Will certainly remember this next time I'm in the mood for something spicy! And I do hope I get to taste a real Louisiana gumbo one day...

    Robyn x

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  3. The painting is gorgeous!!!

    And, the stew sounds delicious. What kind of sausage did you use

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  4. The dish sounds fabulous and we have our ration of seafood weekly here (or more!)... I love a roux-based dish but this one of yours is better for you and certainly quicker than stirring a dark roux.

    Carol is a wonderful artist/friend and this painting of hers really gives the feel of an island!

    Bises,
    Genie

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  5. Those are fabulous flavors! A tasty combination.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  6. Carol did a beautiful job and it looks like Meakin took a great photo. I agree with you about the shrimp. I enjoy the taste better on wild caught shrimp but wasn't able to place the taste but iodine fits very well.

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  7. Alas, I haven't seen a head-on shrimp since we left Charleston. I do, however, get the pink gulf shrimp at Whole Foods. I want the shells so that I can do shrimp stock. I think we are going to like your recipe. It's still cold here and we need a little warmth in a bowl.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  8. P.S. That's a wonderful painting from your husband's photograph.

    B

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  9. What a beautiful photo! I agree, that LA pink shrimp is delicious and this soup is bookmarked...even if I can't get those shrimp.

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  10. Bonjour Sam - love the painting with those gorgeous blue colourings!! I'm with you Sam I like to de-head and peel my own shrimp! Thanks for the lovely recipe.xx

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  11. Both are beautiful:) The dish and the artwork..the bread..just looks like an invitation to the stew doesn't it?:)

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  12. I love the feel of that painting. The dish looks devine! Ask me how much I am saddened by this new seafood allergy of mine. Not fair~

    Looking forward to that book! Have I said it enough? I hope you're working on it.. what a fantastic life experience!

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  13. Maybe it's because I grew up in NC, but I also prefer to peel my own shrimp. And yes, gulf shrimp is the best! Your stew looks amazing!-great picture!

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  14. I get both Gulf and NC shrimp and I love 'em both! This is a nice, light dish for a summer time party! Nice and spicy, too!

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  15. look absolutely wonderful Sam, love your painting! gloria

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  16. Hello,

    I have tried Creole cuisine and loved it. This dish seems amazing!


    ~ Gabriela ~

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  17. I love how picky you are with your shrimp. I have so many "food-things" that I can drive my family crazy. The creole gumbo is perfect - I like it light and brothy. And the painting is a dream - bet you'll never pass it without giving it a smile.

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  18. Sam, I am so with you on the way to buy shrimp. We used to live in Mobile and would go down to the gulf Bayou La Batre and get about 10 pounds, heads on fresh caught wild shrimp and it was to die for! I remember when that shrimp was 99 cents a pound!!

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  19. Ha! You like to work when you eat your shrimp :) I'm sure that makes it taste better. Awesome recipe. Creole anything is a good dish, as far as I'm concerned. Well done!

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  20. That looks delicious Sam! I agree with you about Gulf Shrimp. After living in Naples for many years, I miss the gulf shrimp.

    The painting is beautiful!
    Hugs,
    Penny

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  21. The shrimp look yummy. Will have to try that one. The painting is beautiful as well. My ex boss, has a house on Man O War. I still have not made the trip there. I really need to go!

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  22. Yes, that's a beautiful painting...so tranquil looking.

    Now about those shrimp and sausage...not so tranquil, just the way I like it!

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  23. I am with you on the shrimp likings, although my mom used to pull the heads off for me, them and crawfish!

    I love the closeup shot, and that painting is gorgeous!

    Glad your Easter was a lovely one!

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  24. Shrimp is also among my favorite thinsg to eat, Sam. I once had a shrimp effoute dish in on a Louisiana plantation tour lunch that was simple and good, yet the taste was so memorable. Your Creole Shrimp and Sausage Stew looks very delicious and and I love the lower calories without using a roux!

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  25. PS Carol's paintimg from your photo is beautiful!

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  26. Sam, your your Creole stew really sounds delicious and your photos make it really appealing. Heads-on shrimp are not locally available here, but we have them every summer when we are at Hilton Head. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  27. Can I come and join you, this is my favourite dish. Love the painting. Diane

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  28. Definitely reminds me of New Orleans, Sam. This is such a super combo. I know how you feel about the shrimp. Once you've had the best, nothing else will do.
    Carol did a lovely job with the painting!

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  29. Delicious Creole flavors here, I can do this with the Andoille sausage that I've got to use soon.

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  30. I must say Sam, this recipe really got my attention; we were in New Orleans a few years ago and I came back in love with that food. I do get Cooking Light; love that magazine and I keep them. I will be trying this but I know it won't be good like the real thing. Even the fresh shrimps we get around here is not...the same. Thank you so much for sharing this one; you brought back good memories.
    Rita

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  31. Sam - I can easily say that shrimp is one of my favorite things to eat too. I'm absolutely crazy about it. This recipe looks so good that I would probably have to indulge in 2 bowls. LOL!

    That is a gorgeous painting!

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  32. I've gotten there on shrimp - no more on-sale farm raised for me. Your stew looks delicious.

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  33. This sounds and looks delicious! And the painting from Meakin's photograph is beautiful. She did a lovely job.

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  34. What lovely pictures, both of the food and the bay! :-)

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  35. What beautiful vibrant colors, in the food photo and the painting! I'm craving spicy shrimp right now!

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  36. I am crazy about shrimp,also~you certainly brought out the best with this shrimp dish! What a great meal!

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  37. Sam, I cannot wait to try this wonderful recipe. Shrimp is my favorite also, and wild is the only way to go.

    Thanks so much for posting my painting and link, you are a doll.

    Hope to connect one of these days in WNC.

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  38. Shrimp and sausage are indeed a match made in heaven. Gorgeous photo of your dish, and thanks for sharing that painting from Meakin's photo!

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  39. Sam, this looks amazing. The Creole kick brings it all to a new level. Awesome.

    Velva

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  40. Sam, this looks delicious, and I love shrimp in any way, shape or form! I'll be making this dish this week. Thank you for a great recipe!

    Love the painting, it's beautiful!

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  41. Hi Sam, we are planning a trip to New Orleans and this post is inspiring;-)
    I want to give this recipe a try, it looks healthy, flavorful and just the kind of thing I would like for dinner;-)

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  42. I love how your dishes take me on a culinary journey that we just don't have down here in South Africa! I am a big Jambalaya fan and this dish looks truly wonderful.

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  43. Really beautiful! I agree with you regarding the shrimp! Amen!!!! I love the flavors in this dish!

    That painting is super beautiful too! It makes me smile :)

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  44. OH, Sam! This looks delicious!

    I adore shrimp and grew up eating Gulf shrimp. I like to peel my own, too, and I like them steamed, boiled, fried, and just about any way you can cook them.

    I wanted to drop by and let you know that I have some bloggers dropping by for lunch on Saturday. They are going to a crafts festival and then will come by here on their way home. I'd love for you to join us if you can. I know it's a long way for you, but I still wanted to extend the invitation. Would love to meet you! Not sure if you're back up north or still in Florida.

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

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  45. Yum! Sounds wonderful! We had a shrimp, sausage, chicken and yellow rice dish last weekend that was somewhere between Cajun jambalaya and Cuban arroz con pollo. Shrimp and sausage are a wonderful combo.

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  46. One of the things I miss here is good shrimp. We just can't get it. And after living in New Orleans, we became very spoiled!
    Looks like a great dish! I might have to try it with (gasp!) frozen shrimp.

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  47. What a lovely painting -- I could dive right in!
    Your stew looks delicious. Have you ever tried jarred roux? My Cajun friend who is a fabulous cook gave it her stamp of approval so now we bring it back from New Orleans and use it when we don't have the time or inclination to make our own.

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  48. Both the dish and the painting are feasts for the eyes! 8-)

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  49. Ooohhh sausage and shrimp sounds wonderful! Something about suasage and seafood always goes incredibly well together. I love all the fresh ingredients, too, they look so vibrant and beautiful in the plate :)

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  50. Looking at that Creole Shrimp and Sausage Stew makes my mouth water. Will have to try it. Nice job!

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  51. I fell in love with Creole and cajun food in the eighties with Chef Paul Prudhomme; then I was a bit concerned with the amount of butter that went into his recipes; this dish here combines the flavors but goes easy on the fat quotient and that makes it a winner in my book!

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  52. Creole food is one of my new favorites over the past few years. I'd love to make this but have the same problem with shrimp as you, I can only eat fresh shrimp.

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  53. what a wonderful stew and I am with you on loving the taste of wild shrimp better

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  54. What a plate of gorgeous colors! We love creole spices in our home... we night tame it down a wee bit, but it's one of our faves.

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  55. What a fabulous stew - and I'm with you all the way. My 6 year old grandson knows how special I feel about him when I declare, "I love you more than shrimp." That photo and painting are quite lovely, too.

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  56. This look fabulous! Now that our Galveston shrimp purveyor is coming back to the north every few weeks, I'd love to try this with fresh shrimp.

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  57. I always learn something when I read your posts - for this I thank you!

    My hubby and I are watery-mouthed over your yummy recipe, both being fans of Louisiana cooking. This is definitely a "will try" :)

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  58. Mmmm love Creole and absolutely adore seafood so this is one dish for me. And light? Yes! Looks perfectly delicious!

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I enjoy reading each and every comment. If you leave a comment with a question or that requires an answer, please leave an address or way for me to get in touch with you. I appreciate your taking the time to visit my blog and I hope you'll return again soon.
Sam