You may have heard of the the "low country" in the southeastern part of the US: the areas in and around coastal South Carolina and Georgia.. When it come down to food, this is where we get into the ever-popular line of cuisine called "cajun". According to Wikipedia, the food from this area is a combination of several nationalities including African and Caribbean. It's also very popular around the New Orleans area. Because of the availability of fresh fish in those areas, there are numerous main dishes that include it.
That brings me to the recipe I'm sharing, which is for "Cajun Jambalaya". This is a great dish that enables the cook to bring the taste of the low country to the dining room! This recipe contains three types of meat: chicken, shrimp and smoked sausage. Combined with several vegetables and seasonings, along with rice, it's a gourmet treat, especially if you'd like to serve something impressive to company.
You'll see by the recipe that it calls for Cajun seasoning. This can be found in the spice section the grocery. You'll also see that it calls for fresh shrimp. If you can find it fresh, go with that. Otherwise, use the frozen version. In case you're not sure how to devein a shrimp, it can be done easily by slitting the outermost curvature of the shrimp with a small knife, lift out the vein with the knife tip and discard it.
To go along with this special treat, how about something for dessert? While we talking about the Carolinas its food, I did a story a while back on a recipe that came from New Bern, NC for "St. Timothy's Coffeecake." Here's the link so you can get it, if you haven't already:
Gather your favorite friends together some evening and bring the flavor of the low country right to the table with this very dish!
- 3 chicken breast halves, skinned
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 3/4 lb. fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 lb. smoked sausage, sliced in thin rounds
- 1 large green pepper, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 can (28 oz.) tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 cup regular-cooking rice, uncooked
- 1-1/2 cups water
Place chicken in a lightly greased baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the Cajun seasoning. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Drizzle melted butter over chicken and bake an additional 20 minutes or until tender. Cool and coarsely shred the chicken. Set aside. Saute shrimp in hot oil until pink and set aside. In a Dutch oven, saute sausage until browned. Add green pepper, onion and garlic and saute until tender. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper and the 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning. Simmer for 20 minutes covered. Add rice and water. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Uncover and cook 10 more minutes or until rice is done. Stir in the shrimp and chicken and heat through. Yield: 6 servings.