When I want a meal on the table in minutes, I reach for shrimp.
They are just about the quickest food on the whole damn planet, don’t ya think? I mean, you can’t even microwave Ramen in the time it takes to make a handful of shrimp. The directions are simple – cook for approximately 2 minutes. Great! And while they’re cooking, I’ll just…well…stand next to them and wait for them to be done because there’s not really time for anything else!
On a side note, I’ve always wondered about the guy who first pulled these slimy sea-bugs out of the ocean, took one look at them and declared – “I’M GOING TO EAT THIS THING!” That was one brave foodie pioneer, my friends. I am eternally grateful that someone else got to be the guinea pig in that whole experiment, because shrimp are pretty freaky-deaky looking, don’t ya think? 🙂
Anyway, after many, many times smiling, nodding and choking it down, Eric finally admitted to me that he doesn’t care for shrimp and pasta together. At first I thought he jumped aboard the crazy train. Pasta – good. Shrimp – great. Pasta AND shrimp – Extra great! But since then, I’ve heard similar complaints from others – they like shrimp, but with pasta is their least favorite way to have it. I think it might be a texture thing – too much chewy/stringiness going on there. Although a properly cooked shrimp is neither chewy nor stringy (in my opinion, at least)…soooo yeah.
So, since shrimp and pasta are out, I’m always on the lookout for something other than your typical shrimp scampi to make them at home. I love them grilled – but that’s not a year-round thing here in these parts. So, sautéed/stir fried and over rice is the next best thing.
This sweet, spicy Andouille and Shrimp in Creole Mustard Sauce recipe is a refreshing change of pace. I love andouille. LOVE. Coarse ground, spicy, a nice snappy casing – it is the definition of sausage perfection. And since I hadn’t given in to my ever-nagging, constant craving for all things sausage in a while, I figured what the heck – let’s go crazy and go for andouille.
This is a really simple weeknight meal that tastes really impressive. I just loved all the flavors and textures going on throughout. Sweet and crunchy peppers and onions, snappy sausage, big juicy shrimp. Mmmm. And the sauce is so.freakin.good – silky smooth and flavorful with just the right amount of spice. The best part is it can be on the table in 30! That’s my kind of dinner!
A couple notes about the ingredients before I get to the recipe:
Check the heat level on your Cajun/Creole spice blend. I bought mine (a Cajun blend) from a little spice shop and wowee, does it have a kick! Smokin’! By comparison, blends I’ve bought at the regular grocery store are quite mild. If you’ve got a hot and spicy seasoning blend, you may want to cut the amount in half as the other ingredients will provide a spicy flavor as well. Don’t want it to be TOO spicy!
I couldn’t find a Creole mustard to use in the sauce so I subbed in a sweet/hot mustard – it’s like a kicked up Dijon with a subtle honey sweetness behind it. You could probably sub all Dijon or a mixture of Dijon and honey if you have trouble finding this ingredient. Regular yellow mustard or honey mustard would probably work great as well, if the Dijon is too strong for your tastes. Substitutions are allowed and encouraged here. 🙂 The full recipe calls for 5 tablespoons, but since I’ve never had Creole mustard and can’t attest to its heat level, I opted to use about half that amount of the sweet/hot mustard. Again, I didn’t want to overpower the dish with a flavor that’s too strong. I’d start with less than five (two to two and half), taste the sauce and decide if it needs more. I thought it was perfect after the addition of 2.5 tablespoons of mustard.
If you want to lighten it up a bit, you can easily cut back on the sausage. A pound is a lot – cut that amount it in half and chop the fat/calories without sacrificing the flavor. This is what I did and it worked out great!
Such a fun, spicy meal worthy of any Monday (or Tuesday, or Wednesday…)
ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE AND SHRIMP WITH CREOLE MUSTARD SAUCE (Recipe Source: Bon Appetit, February 2007 – via epicurious.com)
- 1 pound uncooked peeled deveined large shrimp
- 1 tablespoon Creole or Cajun seasoning
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 pound andouille sausage, cut crosswise on diagonal into 3/4-inch-thick pieces
- 1 large onion, halved, thinly sliced
- 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/3-inch-wide strips
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 cup low-salt chicken broth
- 5 tablespoons Creole mustard (such as Zatarain’s)
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- Cooked rice, for serving. (I used brown rice, per usual!)
Toss shrimp with Creole seasoning in medium bowl to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add sausage pieces, cut side down. Cook until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer sausage to bowl. Add shrimp to skillet; cook until browned and just opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl with sausage. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, onion, bell pepper, and thyme to skillet. Sauté until vegetables are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add broth, mustard, and vinegar. Stir until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Return sausage and shrimp to skillet. Simmer until heated through, stirring occasionally, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Server over rice. Makes 4 to 6 servings.