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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Kickin' Cajun Shrimp with Couscous

The general consensus amongst the few that were home tonight was to have Cajun shrimp.  Where the heck that came from is beyond me, but it put me to work!  I must have read 50 different recipes for Cajun shrimp, looking for common and not-so-common ingredients.  Once I had a game plan, I got busy.

First things first.... cut up the celery, red pepper, and onion.  Quantities?  These ingredients don't need measuring.  I probably used about 5 ribs of celery, half of a red pepper, and maybe half of a Vidalia onion.  Saute them in a pan with a small amount of  olive oil until they are reasonably cooked and smell incredible.

Add one can of diced tomatoes.  I add my dish of seasonings:  1/2 teaspoon of Paprika and 1/4 teaspoon of the following:  onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, dried thyme, salt and pepper.  Also add about 4-5 cloves of garlic that have been chopped.  At this point, you can either add a 1/2 up of a good beer (like an IPA) or white wine, whichever you have on hand.  I shake about 5 drops of Worcestershire sauce in as well.  Throw in probably about a 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley.

At this point I taste my sauce and feel it needs more salt, some garlic powder and decide to add a tablespoon of sugar to cut the acidity.  Please taste your sauce and make it your own.  You decide what you are may not be the garlic!  You might like more onion, in which case add some onion powder.  There is no right or wrong.  You just want to taste all of the flavors.

Before adding your shrimp, prepare a pot of couscous, according to the package directions.   The only thing I change is substituting chicken broth for the water, and I usually add a little more butter than it calls for.  This should take about 5 minutes to cook!

The last ingredient to add are the shrimp.  I had cooked shrimp in my freezer, so I added them just before serving dinner.  If you are lucky enough to have some raw shrimp, just cook them until they begin to turn pink.  Please don't cook them too long....otherwise they will be tough.

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