First, some good news. I'm done with my fall exams! YAY! It's such a relief to not have to spend every waking minute thinking about torts or property or civil procedure. And now I get a week and a half off before classes start again. Lots of time for cooking!!
I got my new issue of Bon Appetit in the mail the day before my last exam and had to set it aside until after I was done with my tests. Today I picked it back up and immediately knew what I wanted to make. As of today, I'm trying to do phase one of South Beach, at least for the next week until I go on vacation with some friends to Vegas. The recipe I picked out for my dinner tonight, Andouille Sausage and Shrimp with Creole Mustard Sauce, isn't technically phase-one friendly because andouille sausage has a fair amount of fat. I made it anyway, though, and just had a smaller portion. Next time, I'm going to substitute hot Italian turkey sausage, which I think would work just fine with the flavors of this dish.
This recipe is great because it's a one-skillet meal. I love food that you can prepare in one dish so that you aren't trying to figure out the timing of finishing different components of a meal at the same time. Oh yeah, and this recipe is terrifically delicious. And it is SPICY! The recipe called for 1 Tbsp of cajun seasoning, and I cut that back to a teaspoon - and I was still crying as I ate. But it was worth it because even Steve, one of my most demanding critics, gave it two enthusiastic thumbs up.
This post is my entry for this week's edition of Weekend Herb Blogging because of the yummy fresh thyme that lends its unique flavor to this cajun-inspired meal. Thyme is native to the Mediterranean, but it is extensively used in creole cooking. Thyme is one of the few herbs whose flavor is actually enhanced when dried. The flavor of dried thyme and fresh thyme is actually fairly different overall, since fresh thyme has a softer and less smoky taste. Thyme is thought to have some medicinal qualities as well - it may help out with some chest and respiratory problems.
Some fun facts about thyme (courtesy of wikipedia): the ancient Egyptians used it in embalming, and the ancient Greeks burned it as incense in their temples because they believed it was a source of courage. In the Middle Ages, people slept with thyme under their pillows to ward off nightmares. It has even been placed on coffins to assure passage into the next life!
This week, WHB is being hosted by Sue over at Coffee and Cornbread, so make sure to check out the round-up of recipes when she posts it at the end of the weekend!
Andouille Sausage and Shrimp with Creole Mustard Sauce
(serves 2-3 hungry people)
- 1 lb. uncooked peeled deveined large shrimp
- 1 Tbsp (or, if you're a wimp like me, 1 tsp) Creole or Cajun seasoning
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
- 1 lb. andouille sausage, cut crosswise on diagonal into 3/4-inch-thick slices
- 1 large onion, halved, thinly sliced
- 1 large red bell pepper, cut into half-inch strips
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- 1 c. low-salt chicken broth
- 5 Tbsp Creole (or Dijon, if you can't find Creole) mustard
- 2 tsp red or white wine vinegar