Category Archives: shrimp

Gumbo with Chicken Sausage, and Shrimp


By now you know about my obsession errr love for soup. You also know that my dear boyfriend does not share this love with me. In fact it has gotten to the point that I don’t even mention I am making soup until the last minute. That way he can’t try to figure out something else to make for dinner! This little dilemma has led me to try to compromise a bit here and there. There either needs to be meat in the soup or I need to make something else on the side. 
Once I let this idea sink in (and stopped pouting because I wanted things to just go my way), I realized this wasn’t such a bad idea. I have been asked for more sandwich recipes, and soup and sandwiches is a nice casual dinner or lunch idea right? I mean I love going out and getting the soup and sandwich combos. So I started writing ideas and looking online and through my books/magazines for even more. Gumbo just popped into my head as a great place to start. I have been wanting to make it for one, and there is a ton of meat in it. I mean how could he argue with a meal that has chicken, sausage, and shrimp in it? Right, he can’t!

I found a recipe in Saveur (I love them) for a basic Gumbo, but I knew there were things I wanted to add. Mine might not be a “traditional” Gumbo, but it packed full of flavors with that little zing that we both love. I added shrimp and jalapeno, as well as some Franks Red Hot to boost the flavors. I already had andouille sausage and chicken thighs in the freezer so it was on!!

When Kevin came home from work the first thing he said when he walked through the door was “What smells so good?” YES….chalk one up for me!! Wow do I sound like a little kid or what? Oh well, I don’t care, I like winning hehehe!

Sorry for the awful pictures, this was taken right when we first moved and there were boxes everywhere and no place but the dimly lit kitchen to take the pic. 
Gumbo with Chicken Sausage, and Shrimp
adapted from a recipe in Saveur Magazine
½ cup canola oil
1 lb shrimp, peeled and cleaned

2 lb. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 oz. andouille sausage, cut into ½” pieces
4 slices bacon, cut into ½” pieces
1 cup flour
3 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 tsp. cayenne
1 28-ounce whole peeled tomatoes in juice, drained and crushed by hand
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
10 oz. bag of frozen sliced okra
4 cups chicken stock + more stock if needed to thin soup (can use water)
Several dashes of hot sauce to taste (I used Franks Red Hot)
Cooked white rice, for serving

Heat ¼ cup oil in an 8-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in two batches, season chicken with salt and pepper, and add chicken to pot; cook, turning once, until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add sausage and bacon, and cook, stirring, until their fat renders and bacon is browned, about 5 minutes; transfer to plate with chicken. 

Add remaining oil, and reduce heat to medium-low, stir in flour, and cook, stirring constantly, until this mixture is reddish caramel, about 8 minutes. Add celery, onion, and pepper, jalapeno, and cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Add thyme, cayenne, tomatoes, garlic, and bay leaf, and cook for 3 minutes. Return chicken, sausage, and bacon to pot along with okra and stock, and bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, okra is tender, and gumbo is thickened, about 30 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove and shred meat, and stir meat back into gumbo. Season with salt and pepper and hot sauce, and add shrimp. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until the shrimp is pink through. Serve with white rice on the side. 

Serves 4 to 6


Food Star Friday – Shrimp Fra Diavolo


Happy Friday my friends. I hope this week has been kind to you and that you are winding down and getting ready for this holiday weekend. You know Labor Day is a classic grilling day and right now there is much “debate” going on in my house about what and who will be grilling. There may be a compromise in sight though. I was thinking about trying a slow cooker rib recipe so if I do that and focus on side dishes the boys can argue without me over who gets to be master of the grill.
Anyway, when the dust from that debate settled I realized I had not planned a Food Star Friday meal. Dang it! So after browsing Food Network and The Cooking Channel I was still at a loss as to what I would make. That was when I got the idea to pose the question to my Facebook and Twitter followers. I asked people to give me the name of a food star and a protein. After several hours of responses the protein I would be using was quite clear – shrimp. OK I love shrimp so I was excited about that idea. But the food star was not as easy. I never really thought about how many food stars there are out there. Wow you all came up with some great people. It was a very close race but Giada was the winner. As soon as I realized she was the food star I knew exactly what I was going to make. I have watched the show that she makes this dish on several times and it always looked and sounded so good to me. Why I didn’t come up with this idea I don’t know, but I am sure glad that you all did it for me. It was fantastic!

Shrimp Fra Diavolo
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional as needed
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 3 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves

Toss the shrimp in a medium bowl with 1 teaspoon of salt and red pepper flakes. Heat the 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and saute for about a minute, toss, and continue cooking until just cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a large plate; set aside. Add the onion to the same skillet, adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan, if necessary, and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, wine, garlic, and oregano. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Return the shrimp and any accumulated juices to the tomato mixture; toss to coat, and cook for about a minute so the flavors meld together. Stir in the parsley and basil. Season with more salt, to taste, and serve.

Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta Cheese


This was the main dish for Elitia’s birthday meal. If you saw the last post for the Lemon Pepper Rice you will know that it was her 21st birthday and I wanted to make her something special for dinner. I knew she liked seafood so when I saw these shrimp in the store I immediately knew what I wanted to make. I had seen a recipe in Saveur for a shrimp dish that had feta cheese in it. Feta cheese you ask? Yup, feta cheese. I know many people think seafood and cheese don’t go together but I am here to tell you yes they do! Of course I am a huge feta cheese lover. The salty, the creamy, all I can say is just yummmmm! 
When I brought out the ingredients for the meal I had a head over my shoulder. 
Kevin – Ummm what are you making?
Me – Dinner
Kevin – Haha I mean what are you making for dinner?
Me – Shrimp
Kevin – *glaring* I can see that, but what are you putting with it?
Me – Peppers, tomatoes, and some feta cheese
Kevin – Feta cheese?
Me – Ummm yes that is what I said
Kevin – Okaaaay 
Me – Your faith in me is staggering
I just love our little chats over meals don’t you? He was also wondering why I was leaving the shells on the shrimp. I explained that it adds more shrimp flavor to the dish. If you don’t mind peeling shrimp it is great to cook them with the shells on. But it is just too messy for this dish so tails on is fine. Also, don’t stress about the amount of time the shrimp cooks. Kevin kept asking me over and over “Are you sure they should cook this long?” and yes they do cook a long time, but they came out fantastic.
I reduced the amount of oil and feta cheese that the original recipe called for to try and lighten it up a bit. I also used reduced fat feta for the same reason. I feel I could have used more red pepper flakes because we like heat, but Elitia and Dylan both said they liked it the way it was and with the Lemon Pepper Rice this dish is a winner!
Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta Cheese
adapted from Saveur Magazine
1 1/2 pound large shrimp, tails on
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 green onions, chopped
1 bell pepper (red, orange, or yellow), chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
4 ounces reduced fat feta cheese crumbles
3 tablespoons milk
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the green onions, bell pepper, oregano, parsley, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bell peppers soften, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and add the shrimp. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in the milk and feta cheese and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Serve over Lemon Pepper Rice.

Italian Style Garlic Shrimp


I picked up last night where we left off with the Italian Style Garlic Shrimp with Cherry Tomatoes and Thin Spaghetti (remember I didn’t have all the ingredients to make it the other day?). I have to admit I was a bit nervous that I would over cook the shrimp. I have done all kinds of fish, clams, muscles, scallops, but for whatever reason I get nervous when I cook shrimp. I know that if you overcook it they are rubbery and awful, so I just was a bit worried. But this is a recipe that, if you follow the directions, you can’t mess it up. It was great! My nerves gave way to a very hungry tummy as I was cooking.

I had a houseful last night. Kevin, Jessi, Seth, and Melissa were all here for dinner. Everyone gave this recipe their seal of approval, even Jessi, my pickiest eater. My Dad just doesn’t like seafood so he was out of this one. All of us, except Jessi of course, thought the addition of some red pepper flakes would be fantastic in this. But as it stands it is still a terrific meal. You know we just like things a bit hot in this house.

I actually followed the recipe very closely, believe it or not. Like I said I was nervous so no going crazy for me this time. The only things I did were, used two pounds of shrimp instead of one. Which if you do make sure and double the lemon zest and juice. I also used grape tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes because I think they are sweeter. I think I have told you that I am not the biggest fan of tomatoes, at least raw tomatoes, but grape tomatoes are great.

So in my wrap up here I will say MAKE THIS RECIPE!! This was a master recipe too and the variations sound just as yummy, Spanish Style Garlic Shrimp, and Greek Style Garlic Shrimp……stay tuned for those, I know I am excited!

Oh, and I know that you are not supposed to use cheese with seafood, but I sprinkled some Parmesan cheese on mine and it was fabulous!

Italian Style Garlic Shrimp with Cherry Tomatoes and Thin Spaghetti


  • 1 pound thin spaghetti
  • 1 pound small shrimp, deveined and peeled, tails removed
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest plus the juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 1/4 cup EVOO (4 times around the pan)
  • salt
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 4 scallions
  • 1/4 cup white vermouth or 1/3 cup dry white wine (eyeball it)
  • 2 handfuls flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 20 fresh basil leaves, torn or shredded
  • course black pepper

Heat a large pot of water for the pasta, when the water boils, salt it and cook the pasta al dente.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Season the shrimp with the lemon zest, lemon juice, and a little salt. Add the EVOO to the the hot pan and then the shrimp. Cook for a minute, then add the garlic, tomatoes, and scallions and toss, cooking for another minute or two until the shrimp are firm and pink. Add the white vermouth and the herbs. Turn off the heat. Drain the pasta well and add to the sauce. Toss and combine the sauce with the pasta and season with salt and black pepper.

Serves 4 (very very hungry people)

Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic Shrimp and Broccoli


I try to be a good girl but every now and then the little devil pops on my shoulder and whispers in my ear that she wants something rich and creamy and NOT low fat. I am obviously powerless when this happens because I immediately set out to find something to feed her evil craving. My daughter loves angel hair pasta so as soon as I told her I was thinking about doing a pasta with cream sauce she threw her vote in for angel hair. Now I am not a huge angel hair fan. I am more of a linguine girl but being the wonderful mother that I am I obliged her.

For my garlic fans out there, you will love this one. It calls for 6 cloves of garlic YUM! I really think it is darn near impossible for me to make something without garlic. I truly am addicted. Luckily my fellow housemates feel the same way or there would be trouble brewin’.

I only used 1 pound of shrimp in this recipe but, if your gang is anything like my gang when it comes to shrimp, you might want to double that or face “shrimp wars” over the pot. I also would have preferred linguine, sorry Jessi because angel hair just seems to clump up on me if it is mixed with the sauce vs pouring the sauce over the top. Could just be a chef malfunction though.

The sauce for this recipe is to die for! I just wanted to eat it right out of the pot, forget the dang pasta! And cooking the broccoli with the pasta made it perfect for us. If you like your pasta a bit crunchy you might want to reduce the cook time down to about 3 minutes. The angel hair pasta only cooks for 5 minutes so I cooked the  broccoli the same amount of time.

Bottom line, this is a really great recipe, very rich and creamy. The shrimp were fantastic in it and the broccoli let me fool myself that it was healthy-er than it really was! But heck, we all need a little creaminess once in awhile right?

Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic Shrimp and Broccoli

  • 1 package angel hair pasta
  • 3 tablespoons buttor, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons pesto
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced and separated
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Several dashes of hot sauce to taste (Recommended Frank’s Red Hot)
  • 1 pound fresh broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

Bring a large pot of water to boil, salt boiling water generously (water should taste like the ocean). Add pasta and cook to package directions for al dente. Add broccoli for the last 5 minutes of cooking time.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Add 3 cloves of the chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute or so, just to soften the garlic a bit. Whisk in flour for 1 minute, then slowly add the heavy cream and milk, whisking constantly. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, stirring constantly. Add the cheese, pesto, parsley, hot sauce, white pepper, and salt to taste. Reduce heat to low and simmer.

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter and add the garlic, shrimp and a good pinch of salt. Saute until shrimp are pink.

Toss shrimp and garlic with the pasta and broccoli, then pour the sauce over the top, stir to combine and serve.  

Summer Shrimp Rolls


Last week I was flipping through the pages of my Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine looking for ideas for this weeks recipes. I knew I wanted to find some seasonal things to cook since summer is almost over. I wanted to find a way to hold on to it as long as possible. So there I was flip……flip….flip…..TADA!! This recipe screamed at me MAKE ME MAKE ME, and my response was HECK YA! Some people talk to their pets, I evidently talk to food magazines. OK OK yes I talk to my pets too. Hey you have to find conversations wherever you can when you live in a very small town. Ya, I know, You are right, I am just weird *sigh*.

Anyway, off of my mental health issues and back to the food, this recipe calls for shrimp which I LOVE. I have wanted to try making lobster rolls but with lobster being soooo expensive, and this girl trying to cook on a budget, shrimp was right up my alley. What a nice surprise it was when I went to the store and the shrimp was on sale!

I hadn’t really shared my recipe plan with anyone here this week, so when I started to prepare this dish and the shrimp came out I had everyone’s attention. Well, not my Dad, but Kevin and Seth were both hanging over my shoulder to see what I was making. Seth’s response was OMG I am so excited! Kevin was intrigued but a little hesitant because he is not a big fan of pesto and this recipe calls for 1/4 of pesto. That made me a bit uneasy but the picture just looked so incredibly yummy it didn’t give me much pause to think.

I will tell you that this is the perfect meal for a warm summer day. They are cool and creamy and so tasty. Kevin ate three rolls himself! I guess he decided pesto wasn’t so bad after all.

I think these are so pretty with all the summer colors in them. The corn takes on a bit of shrimp flavor because you throw it in with the shrimp right as it is done cooking, and the green onions and red bell pepper give the rolls just enough crunch. I am telling you that before summer is over you HAVE to try these!

 Summer Shrimp Rolls

1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
3/4 cup fresh corn kernels (from about 2 ears of corn)
1/4 cup mayonnaise (can use reduced fat or fat free)
1/4 pesto, fresh or store bought
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
3 green onions, thinly sliced (whites and greens)
Salt and pepper
4 hot dog buns (I will tell you we had 6 with enough leftover for 1 more)
In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, until opaque, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the corn. and let cool.
In a medium bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, pesto, and lemon juice. Add the shrimp corn mixture, bell pepper and scallions, toss. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in the hot dog buns.

Margarita Grilled Shrimp with Cilantro Lime Rice


Merry Monday everyone. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We had a lot of family time. Saturday night Seth’s new girlfriend came over and after dinner we made a fire and just hung out talking and laughing. The problem is that when we do this we always end up staying up until 1 or 2 AM! That is pretty late for this girl so Sunday was a lazy day. Hot tub in the AM and then horshoes with the kids later in the afternoon. Kevin kicked my butt the first game, then Seth beat Kevin. Seth said the losers (which would be Kevin and I…Yay I’m a loser!) had to play and then the winner of that game would play him for the “finals”. Well, by the time it got to that game Kevin’s arm was tired and it was getting pretty warm outside. After an hour or so with no one winning I gave the game to Kevin with the score of 11 to 12. The finale was never played so I guess that will be saved for next weekend. That’s what we get for staying up so late!

Besides the laughter and family time Saturday night, the highlight was these wonderful shrimp. They are so good I was craving them again Sunday! You can up the heat with the crushed red pepper flakes if you want. Like you know, we love things spicy in our house but I double the recipe for 2 pounds of shrimp and added a bit more than a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes and they could have been spicier for us.

Margarita Shrimp with Cilantro Lime Rice

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 lime, zested and juiced
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon good quality tequila
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
good pinch of kosher salt
4 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 20 minutes
In a large ziplock bag add the garlic, lime zest and juice, oil, tequila, cilantro, crushed red pepper, salt, and shrimp. Seal bag well and toss the shrimp with the marinade. Let marinate 30 minutes.
Place bamboo skewers in a sink with water to soak.
Preheat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan over medium-high heat. Oil the grill lightly. Remove the shrimp from marinade and place on skewers. Cook until the shrimp turn pink, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Serve over a bed of Cilantro Lime Rice.
4 servings
Cilantro Lime Rice

1 1/2 cups white rice
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
a generous handful of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 jalapeno, cut in half lengthwise

To a medium sauce pot add rice, garlic, 1 tablespoon of the fresh lime juice, jalapeno, and chicken stock. Place a lid on the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat and remove the jalapeno. Stir in cilantro and fresh lime. Serve warm.