An Early Taste of Mardi Gras

Shrimp and Andouille Sausage Jambalaya 1When my son, Mike, called last Wednesday to say that he and his family were thinking of driving from Boston to Amherst for the weekend, I knew they were all angling for some home-cooked meals. Since Mike, his wife, and both kids all love seafood, I decided on a shrimp jambalaya for the first night. My husband and I both spent childhood vacations as well as our college years in New Orleans and so are longtime devotees of this dish.

Instead of a classic version in which the rice is cooked separately, then topped with a tomato-based sauce with shrimp, for this variation the rice and sauce are conveniently baked together in a casserole. The shrimp are arranged atop the spicy mélange during the last few minutes in the oven. I gilded the lily by buying mini-lobster tails on sale at Whole Foods last week. They were quickly steamed, their meat picked out and added as an extra garnish when the dish came out of the oven. Continue reading