Saturday, June 2, 2012

Spicy Cajun Shrimp on Sauteed Kale and Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Chorizo Cream Sauce


Cajun spices and Mexican chorizo? Yep. They go together. They even compliment each other.

The contrasts in this dish are remarkable. I love the spiciness and succulence of the shrimp mingled with the sweetness of the potatoes and the earthiness of the kale and when it's finished with a healthy drizzle of the   chorizo sausage cream sauce, the flavor is knocked out of the park. Make no mistake, this is a spicy dish, but worth the heat.

Although there are several components, the dish comes together nicely since the kale and cream sauce can be made while potatoes are baking. The shrimp is done at the last minute.

Although the recipe uses kale, which I used, I think you could use any kind of greens you like, such as spinach, turnip or beet greens.

I started with the recipe Kevin posted at his blog, Closet Cooking, but I changed it up a bit and substituted Mexican chorizo for the Andouille sausage Kevin used.


Cajun Shrimp on Kale and Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Chorizo Cream Sauce

For the mashed sweet potatoes:
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
For the shrimp:
  • 1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
For the Chorizo Cream Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 to 1/2 of a 10-ounce tube of chorizo (not smoked) - depends on how much spice you like
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup celery, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup white wine or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
For the kale:
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400⁰F

Wash and dry the sweet potatoes and bake until tender, about one hour.

While the potatoes are baking, heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the chorizo and break up with a fork as it cooks. Saute the chorizo until cooked all the way through, about 4 or 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the onion and celery and saute until translucent, another 4 or 5 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and saute another minute. Add the wine or broth, scraping all the bits from the sides and bottom of the pan. Cook until the liquid is reduced by about half. Add the cream and simmer until it is reduced again by about half. Whisk in the butter, then remove the pan from the heat, set aside and keep warm.

Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven, cut them in half and scoop out into a bowl. Mash well with a fork, then mix in the butter and cinnamon. Cover to keep warm and set aside.

In a medium frying pan, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter for the kale. Add the kale and saute until tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

In a bowl, toss the shrimp, olive oil and Cajun seasoning together until the shrimp is evenly coated.

Melt the butter in another frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes on each side. Remove the pan from the heat.

To serve, divide the mashed sweet potatoes between four plates, top with a portion of kale, a portion of shrimp and drizzle with the chorizo cream sauce.

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