Rosemary Parmesan Crab Cakes

Inspiration: Crab cakes are a weakness of mine. I love, love, love them more than almost any other main dish. Since throwing my very favorite recipe to the curb for having too much bread involved, though, I’ve been on the hunt for a good low carb recipe for about two years. I was very happy to stumble upon this recipe at The Primal Palate that threw an egg into the mix as a binder. What a great idea! And since I’ve been adding rosemary to anything and everything lately (why can’t you just buy rosemary by the sprig?), a rosemary Parmesan spin sounded like a great variation to a more traditional or standard crab cake.

What We Loved: These crab cakes are lovely. They’re packed with a lot of crab as the main ingredient (always the best kind of crab cake); they hold together perfectly and have a nice, fluffy texture; the rosemary adds a unique earthy touch; and the Parmesan lends just a hint of an underlying nutty flavor.  These are perfect for a light meal, and they pair beautifully with a nice white wine.

Tips: I’ve made these a couple of times, and I’ve found that some of the egg runs out of the crab cakes onto the pan as they cook. This may be because I’ve used large eggs each time. It’s no big deal, though – just cut that extra egg portion off when you take the crab cakes off of the pan.

Rosemary Parmesan Crab Cakes
Source: Adapted from The Primal Palate

8 oz crabmeat
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 small egg, whisked
1 slice onion, minced
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
About 2 teaspoons or 1 scant tablespoon minced rosemary
Kosher salt and black pepper
Old Bay seasoning

1. Combine the crab, mayonnaise, egg, onion, Parmesan, and rosemary in a bowl, and mix well. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and Old Bay.

2. Using your hands, form the mixture into four crab cakes. Place the crab cakes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through.

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Poblanos Peppers Stuffed with Curried Shrimp, Scallops, and Andouille and topped with Carrot Puree and Creme Fraiche

Poblano Peppers stuffed with Curried Shrimp, Scallops, and Andouille and topped with Carrot Puree and Creme Fraiche

Inspiration: Growing up, my parents always let us kids choose whatever dinner that we wanted my Mom to cook for our birthdays. I always got so excited about that and loved the tradition, so I plan to do the same for my kids one day. For now, I keep the tradition alive by letting Brandon pick a special dinner, and for his birthday a few days ago, he chose quite the meal – this fabulous recipe from a local chef, Eve Aronoff. We just bought her cookbook from her old restaurant, Eve (so sad that it closed down!), and the recipes in that book all sound so good that I’m tempted to cook from no other source for a couple of months. I’m sure that the husband would not object. Happy 28th, Brandon!

What We Loved: Everything. There was not a single aspect of this dish that was anything less than perfect, so I don’t really even know where to start. The concept of the meal is awesome in its own right – a sort of Indian/Mexican fusion – and the end result has great components of each of those cuisines that work perfectly together. The poblano peppers have that spicy, earthy flavor that I’ve come to associate with Mexican food, and the filling is flavored with both Mexican and Indian spices. To top everything off, melted smoked mozzarella and creme fraiche bring back that Mexican feel, while the carrot puree is again something that I would more closely associate with an Indian dish. Fantastic! As for the flavors of the meal, we were completely blown away by all of the layers and how well everything worked together. The seafood was perfectly succulent and tender (which really surprised me – I was worried about the seafood overcooking since it is sauteed and then baked), the andouille provided just a little heat, and the rest of the seasonings and spices added this rich, intense flavor that I can only describe as a Mexican curry. The carrot puree on top was another surprising aspect of the dish, because it didn’t have a strong carrot flavor in the slightest (and for two people like us who don’t love carrots, that’s a great thing). Instead, it had a very mellow vegetable flavor that was very crisp and refreshing atop the stronger, bolder flavors of the stuffed peppers. The dollop of cool creme fraiche (I just love how it melted down into the hot peppers like it did!) was the perfect finishing touch. This meal as a whole is quite truthfully one of the best things that I have ever made.

Tips: The original recipe calls for two separate seasoning mixes. Instead of making the mixes in big batches as they’re written in the cookbook and having a lot of leftovers, I basically just sprinkled the spices into the pan in what I thought were the appropriate proportions (to total about 2-3 teaspoons of spice). I’ll list the spices below that I included, but as a general guideline I went heavy on the curry powder, chili powder, and paprika, with smaller sprinklings of the rest of the seasonings. I used the same method with the carrot puree, scaling everything down to make about 1/2 cup. I’ll list the approximate amounts that I used, but the amounts are very rough estimates. It would be best to taste test as you go along, and adjust the levels as you see fit.

Poblano Peppers Stuffed with Curried Shrimp, Scallops, and Andouille and Topped with Carrot Puree and Creme Fraiche 
Source: Eve The Cookbook

3 poblano peppers, sliced in half lengthwise, ribs and seeds removed
Extra virgin olive oil
1 cup onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small jalapeno, minced
Curry powder
Chili powder
Garlic powder
4 fresh jumbo gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined, finely chopped
4 large fresh sea scallops, finely chopped
1 andouille sausage link, finely chopped
1 cup smoked mozzarella, shredded
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
1 teaspoon sriracha
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Carrot lime puree, recipe follows
Creme fraiche

1. Drizzle the halved poblanos with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in a 425 degree oven until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.

2. Heat a pat of butter in a saute pan. Add the onions, garlic, and jalapenos, and cook for about 3-4 minutes on low until softened. Season with Kosher salt, black pepper, curry powder, coriander, turmeric, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, and oregano (to total about 2-3 teaspoons of spice).

3. Add the seafood and andouille, and saute until the seafood just barely loses translucency.

4. Remove the pan from the heat, and transfer the contents to a mixing bowl. Add the green onions and sriracha, and stir to combine. Adjust the seasonings to taste.

5. Divide the stuffing between the six poblano halves. Sprinkle each with shredded smoked mozzarella. Bake in a 425 oven for 15 minutes.

6. Serve topped with a dollop of carrot lime puree and creme fraiche.

Carrot Lime Puree
1/3 small green bell pepper, roughly chopped
1/8 – 1/4 cup onions, roughly chopped
Juice from 1 small lime
1 larger carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper

1. Place the bell peppers, onions, lime juice, carrot, and garlic in a food processor.

2. Slowly add the olive oil while the food processor is running to emulsify.

3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Fried Green Tomatoes with Crab and Remoulade Sauce

Fried Green Tomatoes with Crab and Remoulade Sauce

*Photo & post updated September 2011*

Inspiration: I have had this recipe bookmarked since the day that I ran across it last year, just waiting for some green tomatoes to grace my kitchen. Luckily, Brandon’s parents are awesome and stocked us up with a whole heap of amazing produce from their garden the other day, including three gorgeous green tomatoes. Brandon and I both adore them, so we couldn’t wait to use them. In fact, when we are able to grow a garden, I’m not sure how many tomatoes will ever make it past the green stage. They’re just such a fun/unique/delicious ingredient.

What we Loved: This was truly a fantastic supper because there were just so many flavors going on. The tomatoes were tart and sour, with a nutty crust made from hazelnuts and Parmesan; the crab added bright, fresh components to the meal; and the remoulade was rich, creamy, and decadent. As a whole, all of those ingredients combined together for one fabulous meal. We just couldn’t get enough of the sauce, and I was surprised with how well the hazelnut/Parmesan crust worked on the tomatoes. Not only did it adhere well, but it also provided a great, nutty contrast to the sour bite of the fruit.

Tips: I used my low carb version of fried green tomatoes in this recipe. Please look elsewhere or check out Kevin’s site below if you’re looking for a more traditional Southern version.

Fried Green Tomatoes with Crab and Remoulade Sauce
Source: Adapted from Closet Cooking

1 large green tomato, sliced
1 egg
1/4 – 1/3 cup nut meal (I used hazelnut meal)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
8 oz crab meat, warmed
Salad greens, if desired (I used baby arugula)
1 batch remoulade sauce (recipe follows)

1. Beat the egg in a shallow bowl. In a second shallow bowl, combine the nut meal and Parmesan.

2. Dip the tomato slices into the egg, then dip them into the nut mixture, patting the mixture onto the tomatoes to fully cover.

3. Heat enough butter in a saute pan over medium heat to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes, and let cook for 3-4 minutes, until browned. Flip, and cook for 3-4 minutes more.

4. Plate the tomatoes atop the salad greens, if desired. Top each tomato with some crab and some remoulade sauce.

Remoulade Sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon brown mustard
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon horseradish
1 small clove garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon capers
1 small slice onion, chopped
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika

1. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor, and puree until smooth.

Whitefish with Banana Salsa

Inspiration: I was browsing through Natalie’s blog when I ran across this recipe. Bananas are one of my favorite treats, but the thought had never once crossed my mind to try cooking with them. Is it just me, or is that idea incredibly different/odd/intriguing? I didn’t even have the patience to wait for a sunny summer day to throw this on the grill and eat outside with a nice cocktail, as I had originally planned. Next time.

What We Loved: The salsa in this meal is truly fantastic. It’s very mild, light, and fresh, with a creamy and sweet banana flavor. The jalapeños add a lovely kick of spice, and I always enjoy the fresh, clean herbal flavor of cilantro. All in all, the ingredients combine beautifully for a gorgeous, well-rounded topping for this fish. We served this with a hearts of palm salad (recipe to be posted soon) for a great meal that was just chock-full of tropical flavors. I can see this salsa being good in so many applications, including on its own as a salad or side dish.

Helpful Hints: The original recipe calls for the fish to be seasoned with chili powder, salt, and pepper. I chose to mix these seasonings in with coconut flour. It seemed like a good idea – doesn’t coconut sound great with the rest of these flavors? – but I wouldn’t recommend doing it that way. I had a terrible time getting the crust to crisp up (read – it didn’t at all), and the coconut flour didn’t do much in the way of actually sticking to the fish. So I would recommend either following the original recipe (saute the fish with the seasonings in a pan) or throwing the fish on the grill for a nice crispy, grilled crust. Also, Brandon loved this meal but remarked that he thought that the delicate flavors of the fish were just a touch overpowered by the salsa. If you’re worried about that, maybe use a little less salsa than I did. Or, I think that a thicker chicken breast would be also be a good match for this recipe.

Whitefish with Banana Salsa
Source: Adapted (slightly) from The Sweets Life, originally from Clean Eating Magazine

2 whitefish filets
Chili powder
1/2 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 banana, chopped
Handful fresh cilantro, minced
1 slice Vidalia onion, finely diced
1/2 jalapeño, minced
Kosher salt and black pepper

1. Mix together the black beans, banana, cilantro, onion, and jalapeño. Season to taste with Kosher salt and black pepper.

2. Sprinkle the fish with chili powder and Kosher salt, and cook as desired (next time, I think we’ll grill it until it has a nice, slightly blackened crust. The original recipe calls for cooking in a saute pan for 3-4 minutes per side).

3. Serve the fish topped with the salsa.

Salmon with Strawberry Salsa

Inspiration: Hurray for spring produce! The last time I was at the grocery store, I noticed the shift in produce variety that always comes with spring. Buh-bye butternut squash, hello strawberries! I have been saving this recipe since the end of last summer, and I just couldn’t wait to make it once I saw the huge batch of fresh, spring strawberries at the grocery store. What a lovely time of year.

What we Loved: As I hoped and expected, this dish really did taste just like spring. I truly felt the need to take my plate outside somewhere to enjoy the fresh sunshine and crack open a bottle of chardonnay, which I think would be the perfect pairing for this recipe. The strawberry salsa was so fresh and light, and we enjoyed the sweet and citrusy mixture of flavors. Atop a tender, buttery salmon filet fresh from the seafood counter and alongside some buttered snap peas, this really was such a unique and refreshing spring meal. And aren’t the colors gorgeous?

Helpful Hints: If I made this again, the only thing that I would change would be to use a sparing amount of sweet Vidalia onions or chives in place of the scallions. As it was, I thought they were just a touch overpowering, but I think Vidalias or chives would be just the right amount of that onion flavor.

Salmon with Strawberry Salsa
Source: Adapted from Annie’s Eats, originally from Good Things Catered

For the Salsa
1 cup strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and finely diced
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, finely diced
2 scallions, white and light green portions, sliced thin
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

For the Fish
2 salmon filets
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Butter and oil

1. Combine all of the salsa ingredients in a bowl, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

2. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the salmon, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a good pat of butter and a drizzle of olive oil in a saute pan. Add the salmon, and cook until it flakes easily with a fork, about four minutes per side.

3. Serve the salmon topped with the salsa.

Brazilian Shrimp Soup

Inspiration: A few years back, Brandon was lucky enough to go to Brazil with work, and he brought back some wonderful food experiences. He showed me how to make what is now my favorite summer time mixed drink, the caipirinha (Cachaca, limes, cane sugar, delicious), and he told me a story about getting to drink right out of a coconut at a bar. How fun is that? I don’t know how truly Brazilian this soup is (and I always hesitate to label things as a certain cuisine on my blog for that reason), but with the limes and the coconut and the overall tropical feel, this soup had me dreaming of the paradise that I imagine the beaches of Brazil to be. So I’ll leave the name as it is, and I’ll dream of summer time and sun and caipirinhas.

What we Loved: What a light and refreshing soup. Brandon simply adored it and labeled it as one of his favorite soups in a long time, and I have to agree. The broth is light and creamy with just an ever-so-sweet coconut flavor, which is complemented with bright and fresh flavors of cilantro, lime, and shrimp. It’s a very tropical combination of flavors, and it fits perfectly when you’re looking for a light supper or lunch. This will be going into our regular soup rotation for sure!

Helpful Hints: Our only qualm with this recipe is that since shrimp overcooks so easily, it’s very hard to keep the small shrimp pieces from overcooking while they are sitting in a pot of very hot soup. For the leftovers, the shrimp ended up being overcooked. Brandon suggested sauteeing the shrimp separately, then added them into each person’s soup bowls right at serving time, and that seemed like a great solution to me. That way, the shrimp never overcook. Or, another suggestion would be to replace the shrimp with chicken or even white beans – both seem like great options for this soup. And I don’t think that avocado slices on top would hurt, either!

Brazilian Shrimp Soup
Source: Adapted from Annie’s Eats, originally from Food and Wine

Extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
5 cups chicken stock
1 14.5 oz can unsweetened coconut milk
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cut in half horizontally
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
The juice from 1/2 freshly squeezed lime
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

1. Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium high heat. Add the onion and bell peppers, and cook until the vegetables are softened. Add the garlic, and cook for a minute more.

2. Add the red pepper flakes, salt, crushed tomatoes, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

3. Add the coconut milk, and return to a simmer.

4. Add the shrimp, and cook until the shrimp are just cooked through, about 3 minutes.

5. Remove the pot from the heat. Stri in the pepper, lime juice, and cilantro, and serve.

Spicy Shrimp with Guacamole and Lime

Spicy Shrimp with Guacamole and Lime

Inspiration: We’ve been on a total shrimp kick lately for sure. Isn’t it funny how one ingredient randomly starts sounding so good all of the time? And we’re always on a Mexican kick. The last time that we had shrimp with blackening seasoning, Brandon immediately came up with this meal idea, and it immediately went on the menu :)

What we Loved: The two main flavors in this dish – hot, spicy shrimp and cool, refreshing guacamole – really play off of each other very well. The shrimp are coated in plenty of blackening seasoning for a very spicy crust, and the guacamole does a perfect job of providing a cooling contrast. Blackening seasoning is really packed with a ton of flavor, color, and spice, and I love how such a simple spice mix can add so much to a meal. We loved a good squeeze of fresh lime juice atop everything, too. Something about fresh lime juice atop a Mexican-flavored meal just adds a bright and refreshing touch that always works so well and brings out the other flavors in the dish. We’ve added this new recipe to our (ever-growing) list of favorite Mexican-inspired meals.

Helpful Hints: This is one easy-peasy recipe. However, I think it’s always good to keep in mind that shrimp cook very, very quickly. Just a few minutes in a hot pan is all you need. As soon as the shrimp are just opaque, they’re done!

Spicy Shrimp with Guacamole and Lime
Source: Original Recipe to serve 2

1 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
Kosher salt
Blackening seasoning
Extra virgin olive oil
1 batch guacamole
Lime and cilantro, to garnish

1. Toss the shrimp in a bowl with a good sprinkle of Kosher salt and plenty of blackening seasoning (enough to generously coat the shrimp and give them a nice orange color).

2. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a saute pan. Add the shrimp, and saute until cooked through, only about 3-5 minutes.

3. Serve the shrimp with guacamole and topped with a good squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Shrimp in Jameson Cream Sauce

Inspiration: When Brandon and I lived in Cleveland several years back, there was this tiny little restaurant called Nighttown that I wish we had frequented more often. Being in college, we didn’t spend too many fancy nights out, but one night I had an English Department dinner at Nighttown that afforded us the opportunity to go there. Wonderful little images stick out in my head – a dark and cozy room, white table clothes, duck in orange sauce. When hunting around for a St. Patrick’s Day recipe for this year’s meals that was a little different than the standard fare that we always see here in America (though I love all of those dishes, too, as you can see from my previous posts), I was excited to run across a recipe from Nighttown for Dublin Lawyer, which is basically lobster in a butter, cream, and Irish whiskey sauce. Doesn’t that sound great? My wallet disagreed with me when I saw the lobster prices at the grocery store, though, so I decided that shrimp in a butter, cream, and whiskey sauce sounded pretty fabulous, too.

What we Loved: The flavors in this recipe are subtle but distinct. Fresh, succulent shrimp and a cream sauce that is both a touch sweet (from the whiskey) and a touch spicy (from the cayenne pepper). Before this meal, Brandon and I had never bought a bottle of Irish whiskey, and we were somewhat surprised with its sweet, creamy scent and flavor, which is very non-coincidentally reminiscent of the sweet and creamy alcohol flavor that is in a bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream. It was a very pleasant surprise and very different than other kinds of whiskey that we have tried. I always love the flavor of sweeter alcohols paired with seafood (such as sherry, marsala, or madeira), and this was another fine example of that pairing. With a good amount of cayenne and paprika in the sauce, too, there was also a great kick of heat that complimented the rest of the dish beautifully.

Helpful Hints: The only adjustment that I would make would be to add more butter (as was actually called for in the original recipe) and more Jameson. I think more butter would make the sauce slightly richer, which I think would be a good thing, and extra Jameson would make that sweet whiskey flavor just a little more pronounced. As it was, the flavors were great but a touch on the subtle side. I would maybe recommend 6-8 tablespoons of butter and 1/3 cup Jameson.

Shrimp in Jameson Cream Sauce
Source: Adapted from Nighttown Restaurant in Cleveland via Rachel Ray

4 tablespoons butter, softened
Scant 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or less, to preference)
1 teaspoon paprika
8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup diced onions
1 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup Jameson
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1. Combine the butter, cayenne, and paprika. Place into a saute pan, and melt over medium heat.

2. Add the mushrooms and onions, and cook until softened and slightly browned. Season well with salt and pepper.

3. Take the pan off of the heat, and add the Jameson. Return to the heat, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan for just a few seconds until the whiskey is nearly evaporated.

4. Add the cream, and cook until reduced by half and thickened.

5. Add the shrimp, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through.

(Rice-Free) Jambalaya

Inspiration: I’ve always loved the flavors of jambalaya and consider it one of my favorite dishes (…I say that way too often, don’t I?). For the past several years at Mardi Gras time, I’ve been trying to concoct the perfect recipe for us – which isn’t a traditional one by any means. We always skip the celery and green peppers because we don’t prefer their flavors, and we skip the rice. But I’ve never quite gotten a version that we love just right – until now.

What we Loved: One of the reasons that I love jambalaya in any form is because there is so much going on. Bacon, chicken, sausage, shrimp – what a great variety. Another reason that I love it is because of the heat. This is a spicy dish that pairs well with a nice tall glass of ice water. This particular recipe had both of those components, and then some. After cooking for a few hours, the resulting sauce was amazing. It was rich and somewhat thick, with a perfect blend of seasonings (Cajun spices, peppers and onions that seemed to have melted away, bacon fat, salt, and the juices from all of the meats) that formed a solid backbone for the dish. And I also want to note how much we loved the chicken in this dish. It was the first thing that Brandon mentioned – that the chicken was ridiculously tender. As you can see in the photos, it started shredded apart all on its own. And the pieces themselves were some of the most tender pieces of chicken that I’ve ever tasted. We both truly adored everything about this meal.

Helpful Hints: This is a very spicy dish, so you might want to use less seasonings to suit your preferences if you don’t love really spicy foods. The serrano, cayenne, chili powder, and Cajun seasoning all lend quite a bit of heat, so you could leave some of these out if you’d like (though not the Cajun seasoning, because that flavor is pretty essential to the dish). 

Rice-Free Jambalaya
Source: Adapted from Guilty Kitchen

Extra virgin olive oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced
6 slices bacon, diced
3 links Andouille sausage, chopped
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 serrano pepper, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
Kosher salt, to taste
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed

1. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil. Sprinkle the chicken well with Cajun seasoning, then add it to the pan. Cook until the chicken is just browned on the outsides. Remove and set aside.

2. Add the bacon to the pan, and saute until beginning to crisp. Add the andouille sausage and cook for a few minutes longer until the sausage begins to brown. Return the chicken to the pan.

3. Add the onions, red peppers, and serrano peppers. Cook for about 5 minutes more, until softened. Mix in all of the spices, stirring well to coat.

4. Pour in the tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Cook until thickened, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan occasionally, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

5. Stir in the shrimp and cook until just barely cooked through, about 3 minutes. Serve.

Cajun Shrimp in Andouille Cream Sauce over Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Shrimp with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Andouille Cream

Inspiration: Though I’ve never been to New Orleans (I will make it there one day!), I’m somewhat fascinated by the culture of the city. The people, the food, the drinks, the celebration – it all holds a certain magnetic quality. That being said, when Mardi Gras season rolls around every year, I like to cook about a week’s worth of New Orleans-inspired food. There’s no better way to celebrate a culture from afar than to enjoy its food, right? I do the same for St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo….there sure are a whole lot of great cultures out there and a whole lot of great foods.

What we Loved: I obviously only share recipes on my blog that we both enjoyed (and boy it’s the worst when I get good photos of a meal that’s just not blog-worthy), but this is one of those recipes that stands out above the rest. A lot. If you know me, you’ll know that this is exactly the kind of food that I love best, so I knew that I would enjoy this recipe going into it. But still. The sweet potatoes have the perfect creamy texture, with a wonderfully sweet cinnamon flavor. The andouille cream is rich and complex, with notes of garlic and spicy sausage. And the shrimp are fresh and buttery, coated in a fantastic spicy seasoning mix that has just the right amount of heat. All together, these three components of the meal really play off of each other and create the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. Not to overstate the case for how much we loved this, but we just might have to eat it every day from now on. :)

Helpful Hints: With blackening seasoning, you can get a nice black crust if you use very high heat, don’t flip the meat other than just once, and cook for just the right amount of time. Shrimp are so delicate and very easy to overcook, so I just coated them in the seasoning and sauteed them for a few minutes. Still delicious, and I won’t change that method the next time that I make this.

Shrimp with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Andouille Cream
Source: Adapted from Antony Field via Food Network

Sweet Potatoes
2 sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Kosher salt and black pepper

1. Bake the potatoes at 350 degrees until tender, about an hour.

2. Remove the skins from the potatoes. Place them in a small sauce pan, and then add the butter, cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well to combine. Keep warm over low heat.

Andouille Cream
Extra virgin olive oil
3 slices onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 link andouille sausage, finely diced
1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon butter

1. Add a drizzle of olive oil to a sauce pan. Add the onions, and cook until softened. Add the garlic, and cook for an additional minute.

2. Add the sausage and thyme, and cook for a few minutes more.

3. Add the cream, and bring to a low simmer. Cook until reduced by half and thickened.

4. Add the cajun seasoning and butter. Keep warm over low heat.

Extra virgin olive oil
1 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
Cajun blackening seasoning
Kosher salt

1. Place the shrimp in a bowl, and coat completely in blackening seasoning. Sprinkle with Kosher salt.

2. Heat a drizzle of olive oil and a pat of butter in a saute pan. Add the shrimp, and saute until just cooked through, about 3-4 minutes.

3. Serve the sweet potatoes topped with the cream and shrimp.