The past two weeks have been an uplifting time in our kitchen. John installed some shelves that our landlord gave us, and we turned my old CD rack into a spice rack. Now the spices live in the kitchen and the other stock items have more room in the pantry.
Last week, while en route to Kansas City, I bought this month's Cooking Light from an airport bookstore, too keep me occupied during my 2 hour layover in Detroit. This week, John and I made the Creole stew in the "20 minute meals" section (20 minutes! Eat your heart out, Rachel Ray!).
This stew is by far one of the most flavorful and colorful things I've made in a while - the pictures don't really do the colors justice, though the shrimp in this picture were just been added and still raw.
A couple of Canadianisms made this recipe more difficult than it would have been. Number one, I have yet to find a can of Rotel or anything resembling Rotel in the grocery store, not even the jumbo Superstore we go to (ok, ok - I haven't looked at Wal-mart yet, but it gives me a headache to go in there sometimes and it's far from our house). Instead, we used 2 on-the-vine tomatoes and added some cayenne pepper, in place of the chiles. We also added some broth, since our fresh tomatoes didn't contribute the liquid of the Rotel.
The number two problem made this recipe a little less light, unfortunately. Canadians do not seem to share our American affinity for smoked sausage, like Eckridge, etc. After wandering the grocery store aisles again and again, I finally found this:
Garlic Sausage. It's as close as I can come for now, and it worked fine, but I'm sure it upped the calories and fat in the stew. While looking for it, I also found this:
I'm not sure (yet) what I'd do with them, but I really want them!
But I digress...
The stew was a 4 star dish for both me and John. It made two satisfying portions for us both and it was simple to make...what more could I want?
Recipe: Creole Shrimp and Sausage Stew, from Cooking Light.
2 tsp olive oil
1 chopped green bell pepper
1 cup thinly sliced turkey smoked sausage (about 6 oz)
1 tsp bottled minced garlic (I used one fresh garlic clove)
3/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained (such as Rotel)
8 oz peeled and deveined medium shrimp
1 (15 oz) can organic kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbs chopped fresh parsley
1. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add bell pepper, sausage, and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until bell pepper is tender, stirring occasionally. Add broth and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Stir in shrimp and beans; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 6 minutes or until shrimp are done. Sprinkel with parsley. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 cup).