Cajun Shrimp Casserole

Cajun Shrimp Casserole

 

Here in Louisiana, we love seafood and one of our favorite seafood staples is shrimp. Just like out of a scene from Forrest Gump, we like our shrimp fried, boiled, barbecued, and any way in between. However, sometimes life gets so busy that cooking an elaborate meal becomes difficult. Casseroles are a great way to make a large amount of food, with minimal cleanup and of course: a delicious taste.

Here at Slap Ya Mama, our seasonings can add the flavor you desire to any dish. This hearty Cajun dinner recipe is filled with shrimp, cheese, rice and its cajun flair with okra, bell peppers and Slap Ya Mama seasoning.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds peeled, large fresh shrimp
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen sliced okra
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of shrimp soup
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Slap Ya Mama original blend cajun seasoning (for those who like it hot, try our HOT cajun seasoning)
  • 3 cups cooked long-grain rice
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Garnishes: quartered lemon slices, fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs

How to Make It

  1. Peel shrimp; devein, if desired.
  2. Melt 1/4 cup butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and next 3 ingredients; sauté 7 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in okra, lemon juice, and salt; sauté 5 minutes. Add shrimp, and cook 3 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Stir in soup and next 4 ingredients until blended. Pour into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese.
  3. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and cheese is lightly browned. Garnish, if desired.
  4. (10-ounce) package frozen onions and peppers may be substituted for fresh onion and bell peppers.
  5. (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup may be substituted for cream of shrimp soup.

We love to hear feedback on our recipes here at Slap Ya Mama! If you try this delicious casserole and it was a hit with you and your loved ones, let us know in the comments. Happy Cooking!

Variations on Gumbo And Other Unique Recipe Ideas

A good gumbo is widely disputed, and there are so many different ways that it is served that some people might be confused about what is real and what is an imitator. You’re probably familiar with seafood gumbo as well as the classic chicken and andouille sausage gumbo, but there are many other ways to eat this popular dish than you may know. As restaurants around the globe try to imitate what is often sought out in Louisiana, let’s take a look at the different forms and variations of gumbo.

Creole Gumbo
What makes a gumbo creole is one extra ingredient: tomatoes. The roux that is made for this specific type of gumbo is also a light colored roux and usually paired with seafood. However, many locals would argue that tomatoes are NEVER supposed to come close to the gumbo pot.

Gumbo Z’herbes
As in most culinary cultures, religion has a great impact on the dishes of South Louisiana. In the predominantly Catholic region of Acadiana, meat is consumed sparingly during the Lenten season leading up to Easter. Gumbo Z’herbes, (gumbo of herbs), has become an alternative usually served on Holy Thursday or Good Friday and contains nine different kinds of herbs.

Egg Gumbo
Sometimes they are boiled, and sometimes they are poached. Either way, many people enjoy adding an egg or many eggs to their gumbo. Some people even drop in whisked eggs to make their gumbo similar to egg drop soup.

Gumbo with Potato Salad
When it comes to potato salad in gumbo, you either read this and knew exactly what we are talking about or thought that we had lost our mind. The gumbo potato salad has no eggs or pickles and is mostly mashed and is perfect for eating with gumbo, whether you scoop it right into the gumbo bowl, or serve it on the side. This concept is regional and comes from the most southern parts of Louisiana.

Gumbo with Okra
The word gumbo comes from the Bantu word “achinggumbo” which translates to okra. While it may be etymologically correct to say that all gumbos must contain okra, that isn’t always the case. Some Louisiana cooks have a distaste for okra and use other thickening agents such as filé instead of okra.

Here at Slap Ya Mama, we know all about Gumbo. We love gumbo so much, we have a prize-winning gumbo recipe of our own. We always love experimenting with new unique recipe ideas, so who knows which of these gumbos we will try next. Do you have a gumbo recipe that differs from the norm? Let us know in the comments!

Cajun Recipe Ideas For Lent And Beyond

A Recipe For Lent and Beyond
Here in Louisiana, Mardi Gras is over and the Lenten season has begun. This season has a curious effect on our diets where meat is not supposed to be eaten, but seafood can be enjoyed. Lent is a religious tradition observed during the 40 days before Easter and is an important period of the year for many Christians, specifically Catholics. It’s a time to pay respect to Jesus’ sacrifices, suffering, life, and death, through both increased mindfulness, prayer and adherence to certain practices.

Here at Slap Ya Mama, we are always exploring cajun recipe ideas with our wide range of delicious cajun seasonings, and seafood dishes are just as much fun. Here is a new delicious Cajun recipe for you and your family to enjoy during Lent. We are sure that you will love it so much you will eat it even after lent!

Spicy Cajun Seafood Casserole
Of course, after Mardi Gras season we are back to work and busier than ever. Here’s a Cajun favorite that is perfect for the Lenten season and easy for these busy days. This recipe includes shrimp, crawfish, and crab meat and blends perfectly with a spicy, cheesy sauce.

  • One onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup each, red and green bell pepper, chopped
  • Two stalks celery, sliced thin
  • Two tsp.’s garlic, minced
  • 1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced thin
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • One can cream of mushroom soup
  • One can cheddar cheese soup
  • One soup can half n’ half or milk, plus a little more if needed
  • 1/2 lb. each, fresh shrimp, crawfish tails, and crab meat
  • One tsp. or more Cajun seasoning
  • A few shakes of Slap Ya Mama pepper sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

Melt butter on medium heat, in large,  heavy skillet. Saute the first five ingredients in the butter and Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning, until soft. (about 10 minutes)  Add seafood, seasoning, parsley, and green onions, and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Add soups, half n’ half, and pepper sauce and mix well. Fold in the rice, mixing gently, but well. Transfer to a greased 13×9 inch baking dish and top with breadcrumbs and cheese Bake at 350 degrees, for 35 to 40 minutes or until bubbly and browned.

Do you have a special recipe that you love making during Lent? We would love to know! Post your recipe in the comments below.

Crawfish Boils: A Time for Experimentation

As we move towards Easter, there is a lot to be excited about. Here in Louisiana in the season of Lent, we look forward to crawfish boils the most. The basics of a crawfish boil are simple: a big pot, heat source, water, zesty seasoning, veggies, crawfish and a handful of newspapers.

Everyone’s family does Crawfish boils differently. While the standard crawfish boil recipe includes lemons, some people have branched out and tried orange slices as well as adding orange juice along with garlic puree. Others like to use pineapple and then make a pineapple salsa as an appetizer. The experimentation doesn’t stop there.

When it comes to a crawfish boil, some people rather just pour everything out of the pot and have a feast while others feature the crawfish as the main dish and take the other parts to make other recipes. Poking holes in canned vegetables that you plan to use to cook a side dish or putting them in bags allow these vegetables to soak in all of the flavors during the boil.

While the go-to vegetables for a crawfish boil are corn and potatoes, other vegetables include string beans, carrots, artichokes, edamame, beets, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, turnips, habanero peppers, okra, cauliflower, asparagus and even cactus leaves.

If there’s anything we love to put in anything in Louisiana: it’s meat. Sausage is a common staple for a crawfish boil while people have begun to boil chicken, turkey, pig feet and tails, frog legs, alligator and more in their boils to kick up the flavor.

Here at Slap Ya Mama, we know the best part about crawfish boils is spending time with your loved ones. Slap Ya Mama has a variety of zesty seasoning options that are perfect for your next crawfish boil, no matter what you put in the pot. Be sure to check out our Seafood Boil!

 

Warm Recipes for Cold Weather

The cold weather has been pretty harsh this year so far. Recently, an arctic blast visited New Orleans and set teeth chattering and forced people to bring out their space heaters and warmest blankets. In the south, we know the best way to counteract the cold and frigid temperatures: comfort food. There are similarities among most of our dishes in Louisiana: fresh cajun spices, delicious meat, and tons of flavor. If you are looking for dishes to prepare for your family to warm up this winter season, Slap Ya Mama has three must do dishes you should try!

White Beans and Sausage

We love beans here in Louisiana and red beans are a Monday staple. However, white beans are beloved just as much as if not more in the south and prepared in various ways. In addition to being delicious, white beans promote good healthy and wrinkle-free skin and deliver a hefty supply of antioxidants.

White Beans Recipe

Gumbo

Some people refer to cold weather as gumbo weather. Luckily, here at Slap Ya Mama we know a thing a two about gumbo and have a treasured recipe that has been passed down through our family. Check out our famous gumbo recipe!

Mama’s Gumbo Recipe

Grillades

This dish can be found on the menu at debutante balls and is definitely a staple during Mardi Gras. Grillades is a dish of smothered beef, slow simmered in a roux and tomato base and served over creamy, cheesy grits. This recipe calls for our very own seasoning!

Grillades and Grits

We hope that you are staying warm during these unnaturally cold spells that we have been having here in Louisiana and we hope that these recipes warm not only your belly but your heart. Happy New Year from all of us here at Slap Ya Mama!

The Best Cajun Spice Blend in Louisiana

You’ve heard our story– while running the Walker family deli, Anthony “TW” Walker started his search for the best cajun spice blend that had a real Cajun pepper taste without the heavy salt content of the national brands. When he couldn’t find one, he did what folks in this part of the country do best—he went to work and dreamed one up. Enlisting the help of his children to mix his seasoning during their playtime, the Walker & Son’s business took “family ran and owned” to a new level.

Everybody loved the Walkers’ Cajun seasoning so much, that pretty soon it needed a name. To the folks who came into the deli asking to take home the Cajun seasoning, TW would often proclaim,“When you use this seasoning, the food tastes so good, you will receive a loving “slap” on the back and a kiss on the cheek as a thank you for creating another great tasting Cajun dish.” Made with only ingredients of the highest quality, it’s no wonder our seasoning has made its way into the spice cabinet of everyone around here.

If you are ready to experience the three pillars of Slap Ya Mama that started it all, check out our Original Blend of seasonings, our Hot Blend of Cajun zesty flavors, and our White Pepper Blend for those who want a better kick outside of ordinary black pepper. Try them all today and start “slapping” your favorite meals with Slap Ya Mama Seasonings. Slap Ya Mama’s Cajun Hot Sauce delivers a rush of Cajun flavor to your favorite dishes. It’s the same great taste you love from our traditional Cajun Pepper Sauce but with a lot more heat for those spicy connoisseurs. We would love to hear how you use the best cajun spice blend in your household!

 

History of Cajun Spices

The history of Cajun spices is as rich and varied as the history of Louisiana. Cajun cooking comes from the native French-speaking Acadian descendants inhabiting Louisiana and parts of other Southern states. Like the area it comes from, Cajun flavor is spicy, rich, and really, really flavorful! This style of cuisine also borrows from African and Native American styles of cookery. A lot of people don’t know that the typical Cajun food was developed by extremely poor people. Refugees and farmers used what they had readily available to feed large families, which is one reason that rice is a staple in most Cajun dishes. Adding rice to a stew could stretch the food so that there would be plenty to eat for days. Rice is still added to Cajun food, even if it is for the love of the flavor, and not for necessity.

Since Cajun country is so close to the Gulf of Mexico, seafood is a main protein in most dishes. Favorites are crawfish, catfish, crabs, and oysters. Seafood was accessible and available, as there were a lot of fishermen. Cajun dishes almost always consist of three vegetables referred to as the “Holy Trinity:” bell pepper, onions, and celery. Parsley, bay leaves, and scallions are commonly used to season food, as well as garlic and cayenne pepper. Gumbo, a staple dish across all cajun kitchen tables, takes its name from the West African and Caribbean name for okra, which is often another main ingredient in many dishes.

Cajun food, despite its reputation, is not necessarily spicy hot. Cajun spice blends are often richly flavored without heat, although some cajun spices will certainly burn you! At Slap Ya Mama, we carry a selection of Cajun Seasoning and hot sauces ranging from original which has a pleasant moderate heat, to HOT, for folks who like the burn. For ways to use our cajun spices and blends, check out our recipes section. For the families who may not be Cajun through and through, we do have dinner mixes available with the seasonings already added so that you can experience the full flavor of the deep south no matter where you are!

Game Time Food

Its that time of the year again to put on your favorite jersey, gather with friends, prepare some incredible food and cheer on your favorite team. If you want to spice up your favorite dishes, try adding a little (Or a lot!) of Slap Ya Mama authentic Cajun seasoning to spice up your favorite game day food.

Slap Ya Mama CAJUN STYLE CRISPY ONION RINGS 4 slap ya mama Parmesan Grilled Corn Crispy Oven Baked Parmesan Garlic Fries Loaded Sweet Potato Skins game day food Slap Ya Mama Sliders image large

 

Italian Nice With A Touch Of Cajun Spice

In the late 1800’s, Sicily endured some rough times, causing many natives to leave the Italian Island. Sicilians took ships to the major ports of the United States, with many staying in the country’s second-largest port, New Orleans. Living on an island meant many Sicilians made their living as fishermen, and their diet reflected this. Being close to the sea is one of the reasons so many Sicilians didn’t move further inland.

The Sicilians brought their culture and cuisine with them upon immigration, particularly an Italian-style tomato sauce. Just as she absorbed the French and Spanish before them, New Orleans absorbed the Italians. New Orleanians took the idea of Italian-style tomato sauce and mixed it with roux, the flour-and-grease base for sauces. Over time, the classic “red sauce” became “red gravy,” called that to distinguish it from the “brown gravy” New Orleanians made for generations. To make the distinction between traditional cuisine and the modified style of Italians raised in New Orleans, some restaurants and restaurant reviewers began to refer to the modified style as “Creole-Italian” cooking.

An obvious homegrown Italian contribution to the cuisine of the Crescent City is the muffuletta, a hearty sandwich of salami and provolone topped with a distinctive olive salad. Muffulettas, found at delis across the country, originated at Central Grocery on Decatur St. in the Quarter, a store that is still selling them to this day. Another great example of Creole-Italian fusion is the change that happened to the classic Italian recipe for scampi. Since there were no scampi here, Italian cooks used the plentiful local Gulf shrimp instead. This dish evolved into a new dish: the spicy, buttery and misnamed “barbecue shrimp”. The dish spread to restaurants and homes and is now one of the most famous New Orleans dishes.

Slap Ya Mama is a big fan of the fusion between different cultures and our array of spices and sauces are excellent at bridging that gap. Add Slap Ya Mama Original Blend Seasoning to your favorite Italian dishes to create Creole-Italian fusion in your own kitchen or check out some of the recipes we have created. Let us know some of your favorite Creole-Italian fusion recipes in the comments!

Five New Ways to Use Hot Sauce

In Louisiana, we love hot sauce. Hot sauce originated in the early 1800s and is believed to have gotten its start in Cajun cooking, and now many selections of all-natural hot sauce come in different levels of spice and flavor. Food experts think that our love for hot sauce is all in our head, saying that spicy food does not actually cause any physical harm to a well-functioning digestive system. Our brain contains chemical molecules and excites the pain receptors on your tongue that are linked to the sensation of temperature. A study from the 80’s demonstrated a connection between enjoyment of roller coasters and a passion for spice and discovered that thrill seekers were more likely to enjoy spicy foods. If you’re a thrill seeker looking for that adrenaline rush in your food, here are five new ways to utilize hot sauce.

Mexican Hot Chocolate
Hot chocolate is the comforting milky and sweet, delicious beverage that we love when the weather gets cooler, but why not spice it up? Add a couple of dashes of hot sauce to your mug to get an extra kick.

Eggs
Bodybuilders and people looking to shed fat love this combination because of the low-calorie flavor that hot sauce provides. Adding hot sauce to your eggs gives your protein an extra dash of character and will be a staple in your home.

Popcorn
Popcorn is a popular snack with many varieties such as white cheddar, caramel, and the beloved butter flavor. Try adding a drizzle of hot sauce over your popcorn during your next movie night.

Pizza
If you’ve ever seen the movie Selena, you’ll remember the scene where Jon Seda douses his pizza with hot sauce. Sometimes, the tomato sauce isn’t enough of a kick.

Hummus
Hummus is delicious as a dip for veggies, pita, crackers and an excellent spread for sandwiches and wraps. Adding some hot sauce in your hummus will give you the kick that you need to amplify your hummus experience.

Here at Slap Ya Mama, we know that different people like different hot sauces and that’s why we have four different types of delicious all-natural hot sauce. Let us know in the comments what foods you love our hot sauce with. We would love to know more!

All About Gumbo

The Comfort Food of Louisiana

 

easy cajun dishes

 

Locals, transplants, and tourists alike know that Louisiana is known for its delicious and unique cuisine with gumbo being one of the most sought out dishes. Fall in Louisiana is a brief transition separating our warm summers from the relatively mild winters. It would be more appropriate to call this time of year gumbo season. Gumbo is a hearty, stew-like soup that is beloved across Louisiana. This dish crosses all class barriers, appearing on the tables of the poor and the wealthy, alike. The ingredients can vary widely from one cook to the next and from one region of the state to another, but two elements are constant: roux, a sauce thickener that is a mix of equal parts flour and fat, and the trinity, a blend of onion, celery, and bell pepper. 

To thicken a gumbo, filé (sassafras leaves ground into a powder) or okra can be added. There are no set rules as far as the primary meat, although the most popular versions of gumbo are either chicken and sausage based or seafood based. Gumbo is often cited as an example of the melting-pot nature of Louisiana cooking. The name itself is derived from the West African word for okra, suggesting that gumbo was originally made with okra. Dr. Carl A. Brasseaux of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette found in his research that the first documented references to gumbo appeared around the turn of the 19th century. Gumbo has influence from many different cultures including Choctaw, French, Cajun, Creole, and African. The stew-like soup is viewed as a mixture of all cultures and influences in one pot that everyone is bound to enjoy.

Walker & Sons has formulated an alternative to preparing your favorite Cajun dishes. When it comes to gumbo, many families take a full day out of their schedule to make this dish perfect. In 2017, it’s difficult to find the time to devote to this dish. Slap Ya Mama has perfected our dinner mixes so that you and your family can enjoy easy cajun dishes. In just minutes and with little effort, you can have great tasting, stove cooked gumbo for the entire family. Just add your chicken and sausage or seafood, bring to a boil, let it simmer and serve it.

Catch the Asian Cajun Wave

“To some, the mix of Asian and Cajun may sound bizarre but to people in South Louisiana, it feels like the next perfect step into culinary bliss. “

In the mid-1970’s after the fall of Saigon, a large wave of Vietnamese made their way down to New Orleans. There are a few reasons that made the incoming Vietnamese feel as if this could be the perfect place to call home. The top reasons were the very familiar subtropical climate and the large Catholic population in the New Orleans area. Yes, most of the Vietnamese in South Louisiana are Roman Catholic and were brought here by Catholic Charities. The Vietnamese community now makes up nearly 3% of the total population in New Orleans.

As the Vietnamese started into the local workforce, they began to work in a variety of businesses. Now the majority of the population is in the restaurant and seafood industry.  Vietnamese cuisine was heavily influenced by the French from the get-go, so the transition to Cajun was a no-brainer and the wave of fusion cooking has been steadily growing. It seems as if you can’t look for a recipe without seeing some type low-sodium fusion recipe or something titled Casian hot wings. The locals enjoying this fusion already have a taste for seafood and now most of them have grown-up with the large Vietnamese population, so it is a very comfortable mix. Whether it’s a bahn mi, a Vietnamese po-boy, or a steamy bowl of pho seasoned with low sodium Cajun seasoning that you are looking for, you don’t have to go far.  The local New Orleans people seem to love this fusion. The Vietnamese have also taken the beloved King Cake and made it a little better with the best king cake of 2017 award going to a Vietnamese bakery in New Orleans East.

If you are interested in trying a fusion recipe do not hesitate to add a Slap Ya Mama product like our fantastic hot sauce or one of our seasoning blends like the white pepper or low-sodium. You will be pleased!