Thursday, May 23, 2019

Cajun Salt and Pepper Shrimp with Andouille

Fresh, wild American shrimp, pan seared and simply seasoned with salt and pepper, tossed with Cajun andouille sausage and a simple, light sauce made with tomatoes, okra, fresh corn stripped from the cob, the trinity and some flavorful seasonings. Serve over hot, steamed rice.

Cajun Salt and Pepper Shrimp with Andouille

There are all kinds of "salt and pepper" shrimp out there and this is probably not like very many of them. That's because I kind of threw this together with what I had on hand and wasn't sure what to call it. I settled on the name Cajun salt and pepper shrimp because of the one pot preparation and the customary base seasonings.

Asian versions of salt and pepper shrimp, which this is not, prepare the shrimp unpeeled, tossed very lightly with cornstarch and then deep fried in the shell, with the intent of eating the shrimp and the shells. Though I did include that variation in the Cooks Notes at the bottom of the recipe, that just didn't appeal to me. I'm sure I'll get around to at least trying it at some point - I'm game for just about anything food-related, at least once! For this, I really just wanted to keep it peeled, to a simple pan sear, seasoned fairly generously with some sea salt and freshly cracked peppercorns and of course, a little Cajun seasoning, Old Bay, and a few other delicious add-ins!

As always, the full recipe with measurements and instructions is further down the page, past the step by step pictures. Just swipe or scroll on down! Here's how to make it.

I'm using a bag of fresh Gulf shrimp from the freezer that we had picked up from the docks and froze. These were a medium size, shell on, headed bag (because that's how I measure them out), so look for a 31/40 count if you're buying frozen. I used my hand dandy deveiner tool to devein and peel them. I'm also using a spoon of bacon drippings to pan fry the shrimp, though cooking oil will also work if you don't happen to save bacon fat. Season them generously with salt and pepper.

I also wanted to include some spicy Cajun andouille, which I sliced in half lengthwise and then sliced into coins. Toss that in the drippings from the shrimp, brown and remove to the same plate with the shrimp. I included some classic Cajun seasoning veggies - sliced onion, chopped bell pepper and celery, plus some minced garlic - we call that "the trinity with the pope" down here - and then I thought, why not a little okra too?

Add some peeled and diced tomatoes with their juices, Cajun seasoning, Old Bay, thyme, some parsley, couple dashes of hot sauce and then, toss the shrimp and smoked sausage back in just to warm through. I had some fresh corn on the cob in the fridge so I used the no husk, microwave method to cook it, sheared it off with my other handy dandy corn zipper gadget and threw that in too!

Serve with hot, steamed brown or white rice and you've got one excellent meal y'all!

For more of my favorite shrimp recipes, check out the collection on my Pinterest page!

If you make this or any of my recipes, I'd love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish on social media or tag me @deepsouthdish on Instagram!

Recipe: Cajun Salt and Pepper Shrimp with Andouille

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 15 min

Total time: 30 min
Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 pound medium (31/40 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons bacon drippings (or cooking oil), divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black peppercorns
  • 1/2 pound smoked andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 cup halved and sliced Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet bell pepper (red, yellow, orange and/or green)
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 pound sliced, frozen okra, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1-1/2 cups diced, peeled tomatoes, juices retained
  • 2 ears corn, cooked and stripped
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 cups hot, steamed white or brown rice

In a large, cast iron or high heat pan, heat 1/2 tablespoon bacon drippings over high heat. In batches, add shrimp and sear, about 2 minutes per side, adding additional oil for each batch as needed. Season with salt and pepper and cook until no longer translucent. Remove and set aside.

Add additional oil as needed to skillet; add andouille and cook and stir until browned. Remove and set aside with shrimp. Add remaining oil to skillet and cook onion, bell pepper and celery until tender, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute; add okra and cook another minute. Add seasonings, tomatoes, corn and hot sauce; cook another 2 minutes, then return shrimp and andouille to skillet. Add parsley, taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Spoon over hot rice and serve with a salad and French bread.

Cook's Notes: This is best when made with freshly cracked peppercorns and a variety may be used - white, black, Sichuan, or any combination. I used some fresh garden tomatoes that I had slow roasted. May substitute one can of diced or stewed tomatoes, with juices.

Asian Variation: For a more crunchy Asian variation, use shrimp with shell-on and heads intact if possible. Increase oil to about 3 cups or enough to cover shrimp and deep fry. Toss shrimp in shells with 3 tablespoons cornstarch. Deep fry until crisp, then let drain on a wire rack placed over paper towels. Prepare remaining recipe as above, tossing shrimp back in at the end. Serve right away and eat, shells and all!


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