A Little Cajun Inspiration for your Mardi Gras

Glad you guys were as excited about the fact that I got to feed a giraffe as I was! I mean, how often do you get to do something like that? I love fun little adventures like that! 🙂

Speaking of little adventures… yesterday was the Chinese New Year! I had plans for a giant feast like last year, but Christopher woke up super sick so he nibbled on crackers and sipped gatorade while I made a quick chicken stirfry for myself and tea eggs (a recipe I will share as soon as I get a chance to take a picture of the eggs today) for us to snack on this week. And speaking of things to celebrate… tomorrow is Mardi Gras! So I thought today I’d share a couple of our favorite Cajun recipes. 🙂

First up, my mom’s homemade jambalaya recipe! I can’t promise how authentically Cajun it is or isn’t, but I can tell you how delicious it is! This is the recipe I grew up eating and it is my absolute favorite! 🙂

Jambalaya

Ingredients:

1/3 cup oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb chicken, diced
2 lbs smoked sausage, sliced in 1/4″ pieces
12 cups chicken broth
2 cans tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp basil
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp salt
1 (400 grams) bag small shrimp
4 cups uncooked rice

Directions:

Sauté onion, garlic, peppers in oil. Sauté chicken in onion mixture. Add sausage and saute a couple of minutes. Add broth and tomato paste. Add seasonings. Mix well. Bring to boil then add shrimp. Bring back to boil then add rice. Turn down heat and simmer over low about 20-25 minutes or until rice is done.

And while I’m sharing my mom’s recipes… I’ll share her Low Country Shrimp Boil recipe too! She and my dad live close to the beach now so they get great fresh seafood! She has had plenty of opportunity to perfect this recipe! 🙂

Low Country Shrimp Boil 

1/2 lb. Keilbasa smoked sausage/ per person
1/2 pound medium raw shrimp in shell/per person
3 small red potatoes/per person
1 ear of corn/per person
2 Lemons
4 tbsp salt
4 cloves of garlic
Old Bay or Zatarain’s Seasoning

Optional:
1-2 crabs per person

Directions:

Boil about a gallon of water in a large kettle on stove or outdoor cooker. Season water with salt, garlic, and Zatarain’s flavorings along with the juice of 2 lemons. Add potatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Add sausage and corn. Bring back to a boil. When potatoes are almost tender, add crabs. Bring to a boil, then add shrimp. Cook only a few minutes until shrimp are just done – they will be pink in color. Drain and pour into a basket or onto platters.

And finally, from Cat Cora via Oprah… I give you Jerk Rubbed Pork Chops!

Jerk Rubbed Pork Chops

Ingredients:

4 pork loin chops, thin cut
1 lime, juiced and zested
2 tbsp preferred Caribbean jerk seasoning
1 tbsp olive oil
Lime wedges
Fresh cilantro sprigs

Note: I didn’t have Caribbean Jerk seasoning on hand so I made some using: 1 tbsp dried minced onion, 1/2 tbsp garlic powder, 2 tsp crushed dry thyme leaves, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground allspice, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp black pepper, and 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:

1. In small bowl, mix lime zest and lime juice with jerk seasons and oil. Rub both sides of pork chops well with mixture and set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Place pork chops on hot grill set to medium-high heat, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, running over once until brown on the outside and slightly pink inside.

3. Remove from heat, garnish with lime edges and cilantro and serve immediately.

Again, I’m not claiming any authenticity to these recipes, but I can vouch for them as far as how delicious they are! Hope you guys have a great Mardi Gras tomorrow! 🙂
Love Rach

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18 responses to “A Little Cajun Inspiration for your Mardi Gras

  1. Ohh the jambalaya looks so good!

  2. MMmmm..jambalaya!! I would love to try this recipe with vegan sausage and without the shrimp. Thanks so much for sharing :).

  3. We love Jambalaya!! In fact some much partially that we are heading to new orleans for a few days haha 🙂 I can’t wait to try this!!

  4. The shrimp boil looks so delicious! And Happy Chinese New Year!

  5. Yummm. I have never had jambalaya before.

  6. oh my gosh it all looks absolutely delicious!

  7. Yum! I live very close to Cajun Nation, in the heart of Louisiana! I love me some Cajun food!

  8. These recipes look delicious! We lived in Savannah, Georgia for a while and fell in love with the whole low country boil concept! My husband is really missing China right now, especially since the Spring Festival is going on. We wanted to do something special to celebrate, so we’re thinking we might send up a Konming light. 🙂

  9. Mmm it sounds delicious!

  10. I’ve actually never had jambalaya, as sad, as that may sound. but with your awesome recipe, maybe it is something I will give a try! looks delicious!
    xo Jessica
    http://www.NewlyLoved.com

  11. I love New Orleans food! My ultimate fave is the Muffaletta. Best sandwich ever.

  12. I’ve never had jambalya before, but it sounds sooo good. Actually, all of these recipes look delicious. 🙂

  13. I totally forgot that it was Mardi Gras today! All of that food looks delicious. I don’t think I’ve ever had any cajun type food before.

  14. yum!!! those look so good!!

  15. YUM! This totally makes me want some jambalaya for dinner 🙂

    Annie
    The Other Side of Gray

  16. Shrimp boil!! we love this over here on the east coast – yummmyyyy!!

  17. Yum, my stomach is growling now. Everything looks great!

  18. Pingback: The Nesting… |

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