Cajun White Beans with Shrimp

white beans with shrimp in a bowl with rice and parsley garnish
white beans with shrimp in a bowl with rice and parsley garnish
White Beans with Shrimp
Votes: 2
Rating: 5
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This is Cajun comfort food at it's best! Creamy, mellow flavored White Beans simmered in a rich stock with Cajun/Creole seasonings and succulent, tasty Gulf Shrimp. Serve over cooked rice with some crispy french bread and a green salad and you have a seriously comforting treat from the Bayou.
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
3 1/2 Hours 306
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
3 1/2 Hours 306
white beans with shrimp in a bowl with rice and parsley garnish
White Beans with Shrimp
Votes: 2
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
This is Cajun comfort food at it's best! Creamy, mellow flavored White Beans simmered in a rich stock with Cajun/Creole seasonings and succulent, tasty Gulf Shrimp. Serve over cooked rice with some crispy french bread and a green salad and you have a seriously comforting treat from the Bayou.
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
3 1/2 Hours 306
Servings Prep Time
12 Servings 30 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
3 1/2 Hours 306
This is What You Need
Herb and Spice Blend
This is What You Do
  1. Soak the beans. See Notes
  2. Peel, clean and rinse shrimp. Pat dry with a paper towel and combine with some creole seasoning and set aside. Chop and measure all other ingredients and set aside until needed.
  3. Starting in a cold dutch oven, saute the bacon until most of the fat is rendered.
  4. Leaving bacon in the dutch oven, turn down the heat and add the onions, bell peppers and celery. Saute slowly until starting to brown and caramelize, about 6 minutes.
  5. Turn up the heat and add the garlic and about ⅔ of the Herb and Seasoning Blend. Stir for 2 to 3 minutes until aromatic.
  6. Add the beans (after draining) and stir well to coat all the beans with the bacon grease, trinity and spices. Saute about 4 or 5 minutes.
  7. Add a little stock to deglaze the dutch oven (if needed), scraping up all the browned goodness on the bottom.
  8. Add the remaining stock and the liquid crab boil (see Notes); bring to a full boil, reduce heat to a heavy simmer and continue uncovered for about 5 minutes while all the flavors begin to come together.
  9. Lower heat to a simmer, cover pot and cook for about 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally so it does not stick.
  10. At about the 2-hour mark, start testing the beans to see if they are getting tender. Remove the cover intermittently if the beans need to thicken once they are soft.
  11. Once the beans are soft, taste for seasoning. Add the remaining Herb and Spice Blend and about 2 teaspoons of salt. The shrimp will absorb some salt so it's OK to be a little salty at this point.
  12. Add the shrimp by hand, a few at a time, and mix in thoroughly.
  13. Keeping the beans on a slow simmer, cover the pot and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  14. Remove from heat and let sit covered for about 5 minutes. Taste again for salt and add more if desired.
  15. Remove the bay leaves and serve over long grain rice.
Recipe Notes

The beans will soften quicker if they are soaked prior to cooking.  According to Camellia Beans, there are three easy ways to do this. I usually use the one-hour quick method. Read about them here.

Liquid Crab Boil is a liquid seasoning Zatarain's and used in boiling seafood in Louisiana. It is concentrated and very potent, so resist the urge to use more than called for until you taste the beans. I have ruined dished before by using a little too much Liquid Crab Boil. It's a unique flavor and cannot be easily duplicated. You can buy some here. Substitute some cayenne pepper to taste if you can't get the Crab Boil, you'll miss the distinct flavor but you'll get the heat.

This recipe was developed using Great Northern Beans, but it can be made with Navy Beans with no change in flavor or even Red Kidney Beans with a very slight change in texture and flavor.

This recipe is best if you can use some homemade shrimp stock. I realize not everyone has some in the freezer, so if you want to make some from the shrimp heads and shells, read this. If not, this recipe is still very good with some commercial chicken stock or seafood stock.  Just click those links and buy some.

I recommend not salting your beans until the end. There are a couple of reasons for this and you should check out my article on beans so that you can learn more about it.

 

Nutrition Facts
White Beans with Shrimp
Amount Per Serving
Calories 306 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 20%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 90mg 30%
Sodium 834mg 35%
Potassium 643mg 18%
Total Carbohydrates 24g 8%
Dietary Fiber 6g 24%
Sugars 3g
Protein 20g 40%
Vitamin A 9%
Vitamin C 16%
Calcium 8%
Iron 22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Homemade Shrimp Stock

3 home made chicken stock in quart containers
3 home made chicken stock in quart containers
Homemade Shrimp Stock
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Just about any dish is better when cooked with a rich stock instead of water. It's simple to make, easy to freeze and adds a flavor foundation that will elevate the entire dish.
Servings Prep Time
12 Cups 20 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
3 1/2 Hours 46
Servings Prep Time
12 Cups 20 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
3 1/2 Hours 46
3 home made chicken stock in quart containers
Homemade Shrimp Stock
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Just about any dish is better when cooked with a rich stock instead of water. It's simple to make, easy to freeze and adds a flavor foundation that will elevate the entire dish.
Servings Prep Time
12 Cups 20 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
3 1/2 Hours 46
Servings Prep Time
12 Cups 20 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
3 1/2 Hours 46
This is What You Need
Herb and Spice Blend-Tied in a Bouguet Garni
This is What You Do
Prepare the Ingredients
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place the margarine or butter in a pyrex measuring cup and melt in microwave.
  3. Spread shrimp shells and heads in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. (Use two baking sheets if necessary).
  4. Pour melted margarine over the shells and mix together so some margarine gets on all the shells.
  5. Place baking sheets in preheated oven and let roast for about 20 minutes.
  6. Quarter the onion and bell pepper-no need to peel or de-seed. Chop the celery into halves. Tie the herbs together in a Bouquet Garni and tie the bunch of parsley together. Place peppercorns in a small spice bag.
Make the Stock
  1. Remove the shells from the oven and add them and the resulting juice into a large stock pot. (If using two baking dishes, place shells from one in the stock pot, then add vegetables before adding remaining shells)
  2. Add all the cut vegetables, parsley, garlic, Bouquet Garni and pepper to the stock pot and mix together with shells.
  3. Add the cold water, the shells should be completely covered in water by about an inch.
  4. Place the stock pot over high heat and bring to a heavy boil.
  5. Immediately reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally to keep things mixed up.
  6. Remove the cover and maintain a low simmer for about 1 hour until the liquid has reduced down to about half of original volume.
  7. Turn off the heat and allow to cool so it will be easier to handle and the flavors continue to blend.
  8. Place a strainer or colander over a large bowl. Using a slotted spoon, place the solids into the strainer and allow to drain.
  9. Continue this until all the solids have been removed from the stock pot.
  10. Discard all the solids and return the drained stock back into the stockpot.
  11. Place some cheese cloth in the strainer or colander, or use a very fine mesh strainer, and pour the liquid through to remove any remaining solids.
  12. This can be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
  13. If the stock will not be used within a couple of days, place the strained stock in freezer containers, label and freeze for up to six months.
Recipe Notes

Roasting the shells prior to making the stock intensifies the flavor.

Not having a large batch of shrimp? Just freeze whatever shells and heads you do have when you peel shrimp, even if it's just a half pound. When you have saved enough in the freezer, make your stock!

Use fresh herbs if you can. If you tie them together using butcher twine it will be easier to pull them out when you're done.  If you are using dry herbs, place those, along with the peppercorns in a cheesecloth bag. Bundling your herbs and spices like this is called Bouquet Garni and here's how to make one

I never add salt when making stock. Remember the stock is an ingredient in your final dish...so wait and salt the final dish to your liking.  If the stock is salty, the final dish may end up too salty.

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Shrimp Stock
Amount Per Serving
Calories 46 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Sodium 65mg 3%
Potassium 124mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 1g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 15%
Vitamin C 41%
Calcium 3%
Iron 3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Cajun Thousand Island Dressing

cajun thousand island dressing with bacon bits poured over lettuce and tomatoes

It doesn’t get any better than homemade salad dressing and it doesn’t get any easier than this. Take a new look at the classic Thousand Island dressing…everybody loves it and they will love it even more when you give it a Cajun twist. Of course its great on all sorts of salads, but its also fantastic on sandwiches and burgers or just as a dipping sauce.

cajun thousand island dressing in a bowl
Cajun Thousand Island Dressing
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
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Wake up your salad with the Cajun cousin of this classic dressing. This creamy dressing has a slight kick and is so good you'll want to use it as a dipping sauce and on sandwiches and burgers. Its just that good.
Servings Prep Time
16 Servings 15 Minutes
Calories per Serving
60
Servings Prep Time
16 Servings 15 Minutes
Calories per Serving
60
cajun thousand island dressing in a bowl
Cajun Thousand Island Dressing
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Wake up your salad with the Cajun cousin of this classic dressing. This creamy dressing has a slight kick and is so good you'll want to use it as a dipping sauce and on sandwiches and burgers. Its just that good.
Servings Prep Time
16 Servings 15 Minutes
Calories per Serving
60
Servings Prep Time
16 Servings 15 Minutes
Calories per Serving
60
This is What You Need
This is What You Do
  1. MIx all ingredients together in a small bowl. Cover and set in the refrigerator for one hour up to overnight.
Recipe Notes

This can get kind of spicy. First, the Creole seasoning may contain cayenne pepper and raw garlic will have its own kind of heat, so give it a taste before you add the white pepper, the cayenne pepper or the garlic to make sure it's to your liking. Of course, if you like it spicy, go for it!

This recipe yields about 1 cup of dressing and is easy to increase.  I am using 1 tablespoon per serving.

You can serve this right away but its better to let the flavors all come together-at least an hour, four hours is better and overnight is best!

Nutrition Facts
Cajun Thousand Island Dressing
Amount Per Serving
Calories 60 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.005g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.004g
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 94mg 4%
Potassium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0.1g 0%
Sugars 1g
Protein 0.03g 0%
Vitamin A 1%
Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 0.1%
Iron 0.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.