LITTLE ROCK, Ark — You don’t have to visit New Orleans or Mobile to enjoy legendary Cajun and Creole flavors. With these Mardi Gras recipes from Debbie Arnold, every day can be a party! 

Instant Pot Jambalaya

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 pound smoked sausage, sliced into 1/4-in.-thick rounds (1 3/4 cups)
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 4), cut into 1 inch. pieces (1 1/2 cups)
  • 21/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (such as Slap Ya Mama), divided
  • 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (from
  • 1 large garlic clove)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes (or Rotel of your preference)
  • 2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (3/4 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 pound medium peeled, deveined raw shrimp (or crawfish)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Chopped scallions

Directions

  • Select SAUTÉ setting on a programmable pressure multicooker, such as Instant Pot. (Time, instructions, and settings may vary according to the cooker brand or model.)
  • Select HIGH-temperature setting, and allow to preheat 5 to 8 minutes
  • Add oil, and stir in smoked sausage.
  • Cook sausage, stirring often, until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, and set aside.
  • Add chicken to the cooker, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the Cajun seasoning.
  • Cook, stirring often, until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon, and set aside.
  • Add onion, celery, green bell pepper, bay leaf, and red bell pepper to the cooker, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes.
  • Add garlic, and cook, stirring constantly 1 minute.
  • Add broth, diced tomatoes, rice, bay leaves, thyme, sausage, chicken, and remaining 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, stirring well to combine ingredients.
  • Press CANCEL on multicooker.
  • Cover cooker with lid, and lock in place. Turn steam release handle to SEALING position
  • Select the MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK setting.
  • Select HIGH pressure for 7 minutes. (It will take 10 to 15 minutes to come up to pressure before cooking begins.) Toss together shrimp, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • When cooking has stopped, carefully turn steam release handle to VENTING position, and let steam fully escape (float valve will drop). This will take 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Remove the lid from the cooker, and stir in shrimp. Return lid to the cooker, and let stand until shrimp are pink and have cooked through 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Stir in parsley.
  • Garnish with scallions.

Stovetop Directions

  • Cook sausage in hot oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until browned. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon
  • Add diced onion and next 7 ingredients to hot drippings; sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  • Stir in tomatoes, next 3 ingredients, and sausage.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes or until rice is tender
  • Stir in shrimp; cover and cook 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink.
  • Stir in parsley.
  • Serve immediately.

To Freeze

  • Prepare the recipe as directed. Line bottom and sides of a 13- x 9-inch baking dish with heavy-duty aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides; fill with jambalaya.
  • Cover and freeze.
  • To serve, remove foil, return the casserole to original baking dish; cover and thaw in refrigerator 24 hours.
  • Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  • Bake at 350° until thoroughly heated.

Camellia Brand Great Northern Beans with Andouille and Shrimp

Serves 6 to 8

Served with some hot, fresh cornbread, this stew of Camellia Brand Great Northern Beans, a Louisiana favorite, spicy andouille sausage, and sweet, tender Louisiana shrimp will give your guests something to talk about, and give them a great start to their Mardi Gras celebrations. 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried Camellia Brand Great Northern Beans
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 12 ounces smoked andouille sausage, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 cup chopped sweet yellow onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning,* divided 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (or regular diced tomatoes or Rotel)
  • 3½ cups seafood stock or unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • ½ pound peeled and deveined large fresh shrimp
  • 1 cup sliced okra, optional
  • Garnish: chopped fresh parsley
  • Cornbread, to serve

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine beans and boiling water to cover by 2 inches. Let stand for 1 hour. Drain.
  • To start Instant Pot, press the Sauté button, and select Normal heat level.
  • Once preheated, add 1 tablespoon oil. Add sausage; cook with lid open, stirring frequently, until browned, 7 to 8 minutes.
  • Remove sausage using a slotted spoon, and let drain on paper towels.
  • To Instant Pot, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add onion, celery,  and bell pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic and 1½ teaspoons Creole seasoning; cook for 1 minute, scraping browned bits from the bottom of Instant Pot with a wooden spoon.
  • Add beans, sausage, tomatoes, and stock, stirring to combine. Add bay leaf.
  • Place lid on Instant Pot, and seal. Set the steam valve to the closed position. Press the Manual button, and select High Pressure; press the “+” button to increase time to 35 minutes. (The unit will pressurize and then begin counting down.)
  • When beans have cooked through the cycle, let the pressure release naturally for 20 minutes. Carefully turn the valve to venting to release steam. Press Keep Warm/Cancel button to select Keep Warm setting.
  • Sprinkle shrimp with remaining ½ teaspoon Creole seasoning. Remove tails, if desired.
  • Remove the lid from Instant Pot, and stir the mixture. Add shrimp and okra (if using), making sure they are fully submerged. Cook until shrimp are pink and firm, 6 to 7 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve with cornbread, if desired.

Slow Cooker Directions

  • In a large bowl, soak beans in water to cover while browning sausage in a large skillet; set sausage aside.
  • Add onion, celery and bell pepper to sausage skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender.
  • Stir in garlic and Creole seasoning; cook for 1 minute, scraping browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
  • Drain beans. Add them to the crock of a 6 or 8-quart slow cooker. Add onion mixture, sausage, and tomatoes to beans; stir to combine.
  • Cover with 4 cups of seafood or unsalted chicken stock. (Additional water may be needed as the beans cook.)
  • Cook on LOW 5 1/2 - 6 1/2 hours until beans are tender.
  • Turn slow cooker to HIGH. Add shrimp and okra and cook an additional 30-45 minutes until shrimp and okra are cooked through.

Mardi Gras Slaw

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme

Slaw:

  • 1/2 head red cabbage, cored and thinly shredded (6 cups)
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, cored and thinly shredded (6 cups)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 6 green onions, green stems only, thinly sliced (some reserved for garnish)

Directions

  • In a small jar, add oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic powder, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and thyme. Shake well to combine. Set aside.
  • Combine red and green cabbage, bell peppers, green onions.
  • Pour dressing over all and toss to combine.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving; overnight is better.

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