Cajun Zydeco music with its uptempo and strong rhythm matches perfectly with the Cajun culture of robust and rustic food. Consider Cajun Shrimp and Grits for your next weeknight meal. It might sound a bit intimidating if you’re not familiar with the dish, but it’s one of the easiest and quickest weeknight meals you can make.
What is Cajun Seasoning?
The band leader in the kitchen is Cajun seasoning, spicy, peppery, and earthy. It’s bold and built to give your taste buds a cayenne pepper kick in the backside. This love of everything spicy is everywhere even in the sports team logo for the University of Louisiana in Lafayette mascot, the Rajn’ Cajuns. The apostrophe where the “g” would be in the word “rajn” is styled as a cayenne pepper.
What exactly is a Cajun? Good question!
Great Britain deported a group of people from the Acadia lands, a good chunk of which today is known as Nova Scotia in Canada, for refusing to bow to the British crown. Many of these deportees made their way to the bayous west of New Orleans where they learned to live off the land. The word “Cajun” is an evolution of the word Acadia.
The cuisine developed here in these wetlands are a mix and a mingle of all the local cultures inhabiting those parts, Indian, free people of color, enslaved Africans, and other immigrants from Europe and South America.
How To Cook With Cajun Seasoning
Cajun seasoning is a mix as versatile as it is taste bud tingling delicious. Liven up just about anything with Cajun spices:
- Coat a steak and grill it
- Sprinkle it on popcorn
- Dose your scrambled eggs with it
- Dust cut fruit with it
- Stir it into sour cream or yogurt for a party dip
- Fry up your veggies with it
Honestly, the better question is, what isn’t made better with a little bit of cajun seasoning on it?
Cajun Shrimp and Grits
Why not get started with my Cajun Shrimp and Grits?
Dust up your shrimp with my Cajun seasoning and sauté them with a bit of garlic. (If you’re not a garlic lover, leave this step out.) But because sautéeing your shrimp is a really quick process, like just a handful of minutes depending on how many shrimp you crowd into your pan, get your grits cooking first. Once those near completion, heat your skillet to rock and roll on sautéeing your shrimp.
Play a little Zydeco music while you’re at it. You and your taste buds can dance a jig while you cook.
My Parmesan Grits recipe is here.
Want to cook this recipe with a group? More info here.
Looking for another grits recipe? Try Chef Sandra’s Grits Breakfast Bowl.
Get the party started! This recipe is simple and easy for a delicious weeknight meal. If you choose to make it for company on the weekend, they will think you slaved all day.
- 4–6 pieces of shrimp per person, peeled and deveined (16-20)
- Chef Sandra’s Cajun Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon of sliced garlic, divided
Bell Pepper Garnish
- 4 mini bell peppers various colors, small dice
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley or 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1– 2 lemons
- kosher salt
- olive oil
- Heat cast iron skillet on high heat.
- Add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the skillet.
- Add the shrimp in a single layer to the skillet. Sauté the shrimp in batches if needed to avoid overcrowding the pan.
- As the shrimp sautés sprinkle with Chef Sandra’s Cajun Seasoning. (One packet will season 1 lb of shrimp. Add more or less seasoning depending on your taste preference.) Add 2 teaspoons sliced garlic to the skillet. (If you’re cooking large quantities of shrimp and you like garlic, prep the amount of slice garlic needed for each batch of shrimp.)
- Sauté just until shrimp curl and are cooked through. Depending on how how your skillet is, this may be only a couple of minutes for each batch of shrimp.
- Once finished with the shrimp, add the diced bell pepper to the skillet. If the skillet is dry refresh with olive oil as needed.
- Sauté the bell pepper with the remaining garlic, just until the bell pepper is tender, 1-2 minutes
- Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the red pepper flakes.
- Once the shrimp is plated and garnished with the bell pepper mixture, add the parsley on top.
The Cajun Seasoning will blacken as it cooks. If your preference is for Blackened Cajun Shrimp coat the shrimp with the seasoning prior to adding it to the hot skillet.
Serve Cajun Shrimp over Parmesan Grits – yum!
Adjust the amount of garlic as needed in this recipe to suit your personal preference.
Keywords: cajun shrimp and grits