Greg Iles’ ‘Natchez Burning’ Is A Powerful Novel Everyone Should Read

Home in Natchez, Mississippi

Home in Natchez, Mississippi (Photo by Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment)

Greg Iles’ Natchez Burning is a deep, thought-provoking novel about what it was like to live in the South when the Double Eagles, a vicious KKK cell, were in power. Read more of this post

New Orleans Casts Her Spell Once Again

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Since we will move to Massachusetts soon, we began talking about the things we still wanted to do in the South before we leave. We’ve visited Amarillo, Dallas/Fort Worth, Natchez, Eureka Springs and even been to Southfork Ranch in Parker, Texas. But one place we haven’t been is New Orleans. This weekend, that changes. Read more of this post

Shrimp Jambalaya

Shrimp Jambalaya

Packed with veggies, meat and lots of spice, our Shrimp Jambalaya is a culinary trip to bayou country!

Growing up down South, I adored Cajun cuisine. When I visited New Orleans, I came to love restaurants like the Court of Two Sisters, Commander’s Palace and Broussard’s that serve up their take on traditional menu items like blackened fish, crawfish etouffee, bananas foster or pecan pie. Friends in NOLA also taught me how to prepare their own family’s recipes for gumbo, red beans and rice and more. It was all so good! When I moved to Cincinnati, I had to create these dishes myself and quickly introduced them to my new friends. Now I’m renowned for my Cajun cooking and am more often than not asked to prepare some of my trademark dishes whenever people come over. Until now, I’ve never revealed my secret recipes. But like good food, recipes are meant to be shared among friends. As with many Cajun dishes, my Shrimp Jambalaya is packed with veggies, assorted meats and lots of spice. So take a culinary trip to the bayou, treat your favorite folks to this awesome dish, and as we say in New Orleans, “Laissez les bon temps rouler!” (“Let the good times roll!”).

PREP: 20 minutes
COOK: 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE STOCK

  • 1/2 pound large shrimp in the shell
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups water

FOR THE JAMBALAYA

  • 1/2 pound spicy smoked sausage, sliced and quartered
  • 1 pound tasso (smoked ham), cut in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped, seeds removed
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in small diamonds
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun spices
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 1/2 cups long grain white rice
  • 3 scallions, chopped

DIRECTIONS

  1. FOR THE STOCK: Peel and devein shrimp, set aside. Place shrimp heads, shells and tails in a pan with onion, celery, wine and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes; strain.
  2. FOR THE JAMBALAYA: Heat oil in a large pan. Cook the sausage and tasso for 5 to 6 minutes; remove from pan. Add onion, celery and bell peppers to pan and cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Add tomatoes, Cajun spices and bay leaves; simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Return sausages and ham to pan and add rice and stock. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and cook until liquid is absorbed.
  4. Stir in shrimp and chopped scallions. Cook uncovered for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve.

TIP: Although this dish is hearty enough to serve on its own, it is great with cornbread, sweet potatoes, a mess of greens and iced tea.

YIELDS: 6 servings

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