Shrimp & Peppers Cajun Skillet

This shrimp & peppers Cajun skillet is great all by itself.  And it hit me after I’d made it a couple of times that it would make a mean shrimp fajita too, if thrown into a nice warm tortilla.  Barry flips every time I make this–definitely one of his favorites.  I make it a little too spicy for the kids so I make sure I’ve got some leftovers for them so I don’t have to be conservative with the jalapeños.

As an aside, we love this blackening seasoning so much that we’ve started making a double batch most of the time…that quantity fits really nicely into a regular sized spice container. For easy storage, I reuse another emptied spice container.

You could tone down the spices if needed – tips for doing that in the recipe below. I love the heat though. It tastes just like I imagined one of Justin Wilson’s dishes would have when I watched him with Pappaw as a kid.  Enjoy!  ~Robin

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Ingredients:

  • Four Sisters Dish blackening seasoning (see recipe below)
  • 12 oz. frozen container of deveined, peeled shrimp
  • 3 T. olive oil, extra virgin, Divided (EVOO)
  • 8 The Little Potato Company baby boomer fresh creamer potatoes, quartered
  • 1 white onion, cut into 1” wedges
  • 1 T. minced garlic (I use Spice World brand when I use jarred garlic – or fresh if it’s handy).
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (slice into rings, then half the rings*)
  • 1 bell pepper, green, cut into 1” chunks
  • 2 bell peppers, red, cut into 1” chunks
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt (sprinkle over veggies before add shrimp back to skillet)

Ingredients for Four Sisters Dish blackening seasoning: 

  • 1 3/4 tsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. garlic salt
  • ½ to 1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (1 ½ tsp. is VERY hot – most will want ½ tsp. — or 1 tsp. if you want to go pretty spicy.  I love spicy food but 1 1/2 was almost too hot for me – tissues needed nearby.)
  • 2 T. paprika (smoked paprika if making for lighter fish fillets; regular paprika for all other meats, shrimp included)

Instructions:

  1. Thaw shrimp; then pat to dry. Set aside.
  2. Mix up blackening seasoning (using regular paprika), stirring together all ingredients. Set aside.
  3. Begin heating a T. of EVOO in a skillet on medium heat.
  4. Coat a plate well with the Four Sisters Dish blackening seasoning. Place shrimp on the plate, then sprinkle the tops with the spice mixture as well so both sides are coated.
  5. Cook small shrimp on medium heat for 8 minutes (do not stir or they’ll lose the seasoning), turning to the other side halfway through cook time. When fully cooked, set aside.
  6. Do not wipe out the pan. The spices will help season your vegetables.
  7. Add remaining 2 T. of EVOO to the pan. Then add potatoes and onion; then lightly sprinkle them with blackening seasoning too (just to add a little flavor, not to coat them). Cook for 5 minutes.
  8. While the potatoes and onion cook, carefully remove the tails from your shrimp (be sure it’s cool enough before attempting).
  9. After potatoes and onions have cooked for five minutes, increase heat to medium-high and add jalapeño, bell peppers, & minced garlic. Sprinkle vegetables with 1 tsp. of garlic salt.  Cook for 9-11 minutes on medium-high heat until vegetables are seared and have picked up some of the spice flavors.  Be sure potatoes can be cut easily with a fork as well.
  10. Reduce heat to medium. Add shrimp back to pan, cooking another minute or just until shrimp is heated well.

Weight Watchers Info.: 4 SmartPoints (same on Freestyle plan) per serving; serves 5 (serving size: 1.5 cups).

*You could seed, then mince the jalapeño to make it less spicy.  However, if you don’t like things at all spicy, you could also use less than the whole pepper or none at all.

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Potato Bread

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This is a recipe Kathy has been using for a while.  It has never disappointed!  For a yeast bread it is quite easy.  It has great flavor and texture from the mashed potatoes.  Spread a little butter on it while warm and you will know why this is a family favorite.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cup warm water (baby bath temperature)
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1 cup prepared mashed potatoes (left overs work great; instant potatoes also work)
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 T butter, melted
  • 1 T salt
  • 4 ½ to 6 cups flour

Instructions:

Prepare potatoes and allow to cool. If using leftover mashed potatoes, allow them to come to room temperature.

Melt butter and set aside.

In large mixing bowl, combine warm water and yeast.

Allow the yeast to bloom for about 5 minutes.

Stir in potatoes, sugar, butter and salt; Mix well.

Stir in enough flour to make a soft dough. It will look kind of “shaggy”.

Turn dough onto floured surface and knead five to eight minutes, adding flour as needed to create a smooth, elastic dough.

Place dough in bowl, cover, and allow to rise for one hour.

Punch down and divide in half.

Shape each half gently into a rectangle.

Roll into loaf starting at the short end.

Place in buttered loaf pan and let rise 30 – 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Bake in preheated 350˚ oven for 30 – 35 minutes, until lightly browned.

Turn out of pan, butter the top, and allow to cool on wire rack.

Tips: 

I use leftover mashed potatoes so often there are pieces of potatoes and flecks of pepper you can see.

I have a plastic dishpan that I use only for bread making, instead of using a mixing bowl.  Works great even for large batches!

If you live at high altitude, start with 4 cups of flour adding flour as necessary. Generally above 5500’, you will need slightly less flour.

You can knead the dough in a stand mixer for about 4 minutes.

This recipe also makes great clover leaf rolls.