I have a very loving and supportive husband. Someone who makes my journey through life so much more fulfilling, tolerates my idiosyncrasies, and most importantly, believes in me. Recently we were sitting on the sofa staring into each others' eyes when I declared, "I love you."
I tilted my nose in the air and made another declaration, "And that's the way it will always be, darling."
We bursted out laughing. If there's one thing Keefer can always rely on, it's my ability to make him laugh, and while the last one was a bit of a cruel back-handed slap, we both know that I love him dearly.
Like many of you, our work schedules can get overwhelming at times. We both try to do our best to ensure that there is a well-balanced home-cooked meal at the table each evening. It's been busier than typical for me, so much of the cooking responsibilities have been taken over by my husband. Recently he made a sensational dish that combined plump and succulent shrimp with meaty well-seasoned Italian sausages and smoky sweet and savory red bell pepper rice. The entire dish is complemented with a touch of spice and united with toasted nutty and buttery nuances. If he continues cooking like this, I may never be available to cook again. It's a superb recipe that features many of the exciting Creole flavors of jambalaya, but with a much lighter style. While there are several steps, it's actually an approachable recipe, one that integrates all of the separately cooked ingredients beautifully towards the end. We look forward to making this recipe again.
Shrimp and Sausage with Red Rice
(recipe from Williams Sonoma)
The recipe calls for roasting red bell peppers in the oven, but you can also do this very easily over the stovetop as demonstrated in this post. You may also use any chili powder you fancy, we enjoyed the smoky flair that ancho chili added.
- 1/2 cup apricot preserves
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 16 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 large red bell peppers
- 1 1/3 cups long-grain white rice
- 2 2/3 cups water
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 4 green onions, white portions and tender green tops chopped separately
- 2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 4 sweet Italian sausages, about 3/4 lb. total
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the preserves, oil, lemon juice and mustard. Bring to a boil, pour into a non-aluminum bowl and let cool. Add the shrimp, cover and refrigerate for 3 hours. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.
- Meanwhile, roast the bell peppers, you may do this either on the stovetop, or using in the oven. If you decide to use the oven, halve, de-seed and de-stem the bell peppers. Place the bell peppers, cut sides down, on a baking sheet. Broil until the skins blacken and blister. Remove from the broiler, cover with foil and let cool for 10 minutes, then peel away the skins. Chop the peppers.
- In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the rice and water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed, about 18 minutes. Keep hot.
- Preheat the oven to 425 F. Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the white portions of the green onions and sauté until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chopped peppers, chili powder, salt and broth. Cover and cook until the peppers are soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth. Return to the pan.
- In a fry pan just big enough to hold the sausages in a single layer, bring the wine to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, add the sausages, prick in several places with a fork and cook, turning once, for 4 minutes total. Transfer the sausages to the oven. Cook, turning once, until cooked through, about 5 minutes total.
- Meanwhile, cook the shrimp on high heat. Lay each shrimp flat on the saute pan, turning once, until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
- Slice the sausages, add to the red pepper puree and place over medium-low heat. Stir briefly, add the hot rice and mix thoroughly. Toss in the shrimp and the reserved green onion tops. Transfer to a warmed serving bowl, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.