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
Here's What You Need
Herb and Spice Blend
Here's 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.

Cajun Shrimp and Cheesy Grits

Shrimp and Grits in a green bowl
Shrimp and Grits in a green bowl with parsley
Cajun Shrimp and Cheesy Grits
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Fresh shrimp, sauteed in a buttery, savory sauce of onions, peppers and garlic, with a touch of tomato paste and creole spices, ladled over creamy, cheesy grits. Heart warming goodness from the South!
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 20 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
20 Minutes 496
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 20 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
20 Minutes 496
Shrimp and Grits in a green bowl with parsley
Cajun Shrimp and Cheesy Grits
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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Fresh shrimp, sauteed in a buttery, savory sauce of onions, peppers and garlic, with a touch of tomato paste and creole spices, ladled over creamy, cheesy grits. Heart warming goodness from the South!
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 20 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
20 Minutes 496
Servings Prep Time
6 Servings 20 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
20 Minutes 496
Here's What You Need
Herb and Spice Blend
For the Cheese Grits
Here's What You Do
  1. Peel, de-vein and the rinse shrimp; pat dry; sprinkle on 2 tablespoons creole seasoning and set aside. Slice the onions and green peppers and chop the garlic. Measure out all other ingredients. Prepare the grits.
Prepare the Grits
  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a heavy boil. Grate cheese and set aside.
  2. Add kosher salt and gradually whisk or stir grits into boiling water, stir or whisk until grits are dispersed and not lumpy.
  3. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover pot and simmer for about 15 minutes. Get started on the shrimp while these cook.
  4. Remove the lid, stir well and taste. If al dente, add the butter and Gruyere cheese. Stir vigorously to combine all ingredients until smooth and creamy. If the grits are a little hard still, leave a low fir on for another 5 minutes.
  5. Replace the cover, remove from heat and let sit until the shrimp are ready.
Prepare the Shrimp
  1. Place a large saute pan or cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter until bubbly.
  2. Add sliced onions and peppers-sautée until soft, about 5–6 minutes
  3. Add garlic, green onions and about ¾ of the Herb and Spice Blend, mix well and continue to sauté until aromatic-about 2 minute.
  4. Increase heat to high and add the shrimp; sauté for about 2 minutes, turning over midway through.
  5. Add the tomato paste and mix it in very well while continuing to saute another 2 minutes (approximately).
  6. If needed, deglaze the pan with a little of the stock before moving on to the next step.
  7. Mix in about ½ to ¾ cup of the seafood stock (reserve the remainder), the lemon juice and the Worcestershire. When that's mixed in, add 2 tablespoons of butter. Shake the pan back and forth and continue to simmer as the butter melts and the sauce thickens slightly. Don’t over cook the shrimp, no more than about 5 minutes.
  8. Taste a few times to check if it needs more spices, remember the shrimp will soak up some spice so its OK to be a little over spiced at this stage. Add more of the reserved Herb and Spice Blend or stock, if needed.
  9. Stir the cheese grits vigorously then place a healthy spoonful in a shallow bowl or plate, spoon the shrimp over the cheese grits and serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

If you are buying head-on shrimp, you'll need to buy about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds to end up with 1 pound after the shells are removed.

If you can't find seafood stock, just substitute chicken stock and it will be just fine.

Substitute Quick Grits if you want them done a little quicker! Just follow the directions on the package.

Gruyere cheese is creamy when melted and a slightly sharp. Try some sharp or mild cheddar cheese if you prefer, or no cheese at all.

I always think its best if you grate your own cheese, but if you are crunched for time, or just prefer, use some pre-grated cheese.

Many commercial creole seasonings and stocks contain salt, some have quite a bit. This recipe was developed a stock that contains salt and a creole seasoning that does not contain salt. Whatever you use, make sure you taste while cooking before adding salt so you get it the way you like it.

Nutrition Facts
Cajun Shrimp and Cheesy Grits
Amount Per Serving
Calories 496 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 45%
Saturated Fat 17g 85%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 198mg 66%
Sodium 806mg 34%
Potassium 421mg 12%
Total Carbohydrates 28g 9%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 5g
Protein 30g 60%
Vitamin A 43%
Vitamin C 85%
Calcium 45%
Iron 22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Mirlitons Stuffed with Shrimp and Creole Tomatoes

Stuffed Mirliton with Shrimp and Creole Tomatoes and Roasted Carrots with Cane Syrup
Mirlitons Stuffed with Shrimp and Creole Tomatoes
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Mirlitons, stuffed with a shrimp filling made from sauteing the trinity (onions, celery and bell peppers) along with the mirliton fruit and sweet Creole tomatoes blended with fresh shrimp and creole seasoning. South Louisiana comfort food-hearty and delicious! Mirlitons, a peculiar looking squash, also known as Chayote or Vegetable Pear, is a Louisiana favorite-try this recipe and they will also be a favorite of yours!
Servings Prep Time Cook Time Passive Time Calories Per Serving
8 to 10Servings 30Minutes 60Minutes 30Minutes 236
This Is What You Need
Units:
This Is What You Need
Units:
This Is What You Do
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Boil whole mirlitons for 30–45 minutes until tender. Remove from water and allow to cool.
  3. When cooled, slice in half lengthwise at widest point and remove the seed; scoop out to the meat leaving about 1/4 inch of shell. Set Aside. (See Notes)
  4. Chop the mirliton meat and set in a colander over a bowl to allow the water to drain, retain the liquid.
  5. Peel, devein and rinse the shrimp. Pat dry.
  6. Coarse chop the shrimp, mix in some creole seasoning and set aside.
  7. Parboil the tomatoes then place in an ice bath. Peel, remove the seeds then chop the tomatoes. (See Notes)
  8. Melt butter in a heavy bottom dutch oven over high heat until frothy.
  9. Add the trinity-yellow onions, celery and bell peppers and saute until the onions are clear, about 8 minutes.
  10. Add the aromatics-garlic, green onions and the Herb and Spice Blend (not the sugar).
  11. Stir and saute until aromatic, about 4 minutes.
  12. Add the tomatoes and saute a couple of minutes.
  13. Add the chopped mirliton meat and sugar, continue to sauté, cooking most of the water out of the mirlitons. Mash mirliton meat with a spoon as it cooks-its OK to have some chunks. About 5 minutes.
  14. Add the chopped shrimp and stir to mix well.
  15. Sauté until the shrimp have turned pink, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  16. Add about half the bread crumbs and mix well.
  17. Add more breadcrumbs until the mix tightens up-cook about 5 more minutes.
  18. Remove the dutch from the heat and allow it to cool-about 15 to 30 minutes.
  19. Remove the bay leaves from the filling and stuff the filling into the mirliton shells, pressing to make sure all the voids are filled.
  20. Place the stuffed mirlitons onto a prepared baking sheet or oven-proof baking dish. When they are all stuffed, sprinkle some breadcrumbs and a little Romano cheese on top of each one. Place a small tab of butter on the top of each one.
  21. Bake for about 30 minutes in the preheated oven until golden brown.
Recipe Notes

A mirliton is a peculiar looking squash that is commonly known as a Chayote or Vegetable Pear outside of Louisiana. Once it's all cooked, the skin will be very soft-it's fine to eat, in fact, it's delicious!

To prepare the mirlitons, add them to about 10 cups of boiling water and boil until soft-for about 30 minutes. Check them by probing with a tooth pick. If they are soft and offer little or no resistance, they are done.  If they are still a little tough, continue to boil and check every 5 to 10 minutes.  Make sure to let them cool before handling-it will be much more pleasant.  Once cooled, slice the mirliton in half lengthwise at the widest part. Scoop out the seed and the white part around it, then carefully spoon or scrape out the fruit into a bowl, leaving about 1/4 inch of the shell. The soft skin is easy to pierce or tear-but even if it gets torn, it will still be good for stuffing!

If you start with 5 mirlitons, you'll end up with 10 halves (no extra charge for the math lesson!). However, stuff as much filling as you can in them even if you don't have enough for all 10 halves. I usually end up with 8 or 9.

If you don't have Creole tomatoes, use any ripe tomato-home grown are the best. The important part is to use ripe tomatoes, but if there are none available, canned diced tomatoes will work perfectly!

The easy way to peel and seed the tomatoes is to parboil them. Cut a shallow cross with a very sharp knife on the top, crisscrossing the stem.  Bring about 10 cups of water to a heavy boil. Working with one or two tomatoes at a time, place them in the boiling water.  Boil them for about three minutes after the water returns to a boil. (placing the cover over the pot will help bring the water back to a boil quicker). Remove the tomatoes immediately into an ice bath (a large bowl filled with ice and cold water).  This will stop the cooking process and make them easy to peel. Let them sit in the ice bath about 10 minutes. When you remove them, grab a piece of the curling skin between your thumb and the flat of a knife blade and pull. Continue until the entire tomato has been peeled. To get the seeds out, slice in half or threes across the tomato's equator and scoop the seeds out with your fingers or a small spoon. Sometimes you can squeeze the seeds out. Its OK if you don't get every single seed out. Next, chop the peeled tomatoes and they are ready for use.

Some commercial creole seasonings have a lot of salt, so make sure you taste the filling before you add more salt to it.

Nutrition Facts
Mirlitons Stuffed with Shrimp and Creole Tomatoes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 236 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 12%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 103mg 34%
Sodium 370mg 15%
Potassium 597mg 17%
Total Carbohydrates 25g 8%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 9g
Protein 17g 34%
Vitamin A 32%
Vitamin C 91%
Calcium 12%
Iron 15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.