Cajun Red Beans and Rice with Pepper-jack Cornbread

Cajun Red Beans and Rice with Pepper-jack Cornbread

I love red beans and rice. Strangely enough, what got me hooked on this wasn’t some fancy restaurant in Louisiana. It was Bojangles Chicken and Biscuits, a fast food restaurant. I don’t eat fast food anymore but if I did it would be at Bojangles. Their spicy fried chicken and their biscuits are awesome but what I really love is their sides. Back in the day, I would get a side of red beans and a side of their dirty rice (has chunks of spicy sausage) and I would mix them together. I’m telling you it is delicious. Not healthy by any means but delicious and that was the inspiration.

Comments on the Dish

You don’t need the shrimp. They were a safety precaution because my wife was afraid “just beans” wouldn’t be filling enough. I used canned beans. You can soak your own if you like, it would probably be better, but I’ve been there and done that. Also, I never made cornbread from a mix but my wife loves Jiffy. It is a little to sweet for me but she likes it and it is super easy. I recommend using 2 eggs (the recipe calls for one), which makes the muffins much more moist. I also use buttermilk instead of milk.

This one is going into the regular rotation. Tasty, fast and was great as leftovers. I recommend trying it. If you don’t eat meat, leave the andouille and shrimp out and add a little more seasoning.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 andouille sausage links (or 3 if you like), diced into 1/5 inch pieces
  • 2 cans red beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 1 small bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 celery stems, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I always prefer San Marzano if you can find them)
  • 2 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • Cajun or Creole seasoning (I prefer Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning)
  • 1 package of long-grain, brown rice
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • Crushed red pepper flake
  • 1 box Jiffy cornbread mix (don’t judge, my wife loves it)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup Buttermilk
  • 1.5 cup shredded pepper-jack cheese
Directions

  1. First the cornbread mix. Add the ingredients of the Jiffy packet, the 2 eggs, 3/4 of the pepper-jack cheese and buttermilk to a mixing bowl and fold together. Don’t over mix. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and add the andouille. Cook until browned and rendered, then remove. Next and the Holy Trinity (onion, bell pepper and celery) and cook until almost transparent and the add the garlic, Cajun seasoning and crushed red pepper (to taste). Continue cooking a few minutes until the garlic is fragrant. Add the tomato and 1/4 of the red beans. Using a spoon or masher, mash the beans. Mash them good. Add the remaining red beans, anouille and oregano and stir to combine. Add the chicken stock and reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir occasionally and add more liquid if needed. If you like it thicker, use less liquid. Taste and re-season if needed with salt.
  3. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Spray a muffin tin and fill each up about half way with the cornbread mixture. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake until the tops are brown.
  5. Cook the rice per the package, except I replaced half the water with chicken stock. I didn’t use the instant rice so it took 20 minutes.
  6. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Toss the shrimp in Cajun seasoning and saute until they start to curl and turn opaque. Don’t over cook.
  7. To plate, put the rice down, add your beans and rice and top with shrimp. It would have looked better if I would have had some parsley but oh well. Enjoy!
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Cajun Red Beans and Rice with Pepper-jack Cornbread

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