We are FOODIES! This means that we love to eat, sample, and cook foods of all kinds. (Sidebar… they actually like frog legs?!?) However, Chef Jess pointed out to me recently that I have been lacking. “How so?” I asked? She replied that I don’t make hors d’oeuvres for them like I do when I am having a party for other people. Hmmm. Sigh… She was right! So, I decided to change this because I realized that, in her mind, “hors d’oeuvres” mean that the person visiting is really important. So, on a random weekday…. we made a charcuterie board for an extra special after school snack simply because I wanted my babies to know that they are more important to me than ANYONE else. 😉
It is super easy, and won’t break the bank! Pick out a couple of your favorite cheeses. Cheddar is a kid favorite, but venture out a bit and add another. They chose sharp cheddar, smoked gouda, and brie. Chef Jess handpicked the meats…Capocollo Salame, hard Salami, and Prosciutto. To round it out, Chef Fresh added grapes, blueberries, dried cherries, almonds, and soft garlic cheese.
Some school nights are more hectic than others. Last night was one of those hectic ones! Both chefs had TONS of homework, and the Sous chef had several work deadlines to meet. Despite the chaotic evening, we were able to make this amazing dish. What made it most delicious was Chef Fresh’s decision to add different elements to this classic comfort recipe. He really prides himself on being the seafood expert in this house. 🙂
Chef Fresh opted not to use cheddar in the grits (The Sous Chef’s go-to favorite), and instead used smoked guyere and camembert cheeses. The richness, creaminess, and the smokiness really complimented the spice in the shrimp and crawfish sauce….which was honestly good enough to eat alone like a fish stew. I (Sous Chef) was simply floored by how yummy it was, and was reprimanded for “taste testing” (aka, sampling) too much. LOL! While Chef Jess had a lesser role, she definitely made her mark by adjusting the Cajun seasoning and suggesting a touch of fresh basil.
You would honestly think that the chefs spent hours preparing this, but it took far less than an hour! Busy moms and dads can surely whip this up any day of the week. Who doesn’t love that? So, add this to your regular menu because your family and guests will definitely thank you!
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups vegetable Stock
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 cups shredded Smoked Guyere cheese
- 4 oz camembert cheese
- 1 tsp onion powder
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 cup stone-ground grits
- 1 pound of crawfish tails (Find in seafood freezer section of grocery store)
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp (deshelled and deveined)
- 1/2 lemon
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 6 bacon slices
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely-chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 TBSP tomato paste
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 3 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tsp chopped Basil
- 2 TBSP Cajun seasoning (or more. Add to your liking)
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 5 stems chopped green onion for garnish
- Hot sauce
- In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine cream, and stock; bring to a gentle boil. Add butter and onion powder. Slowly add grits, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the grits are tender. Finish by stirring in cheeses, and adding salt and pepper (to taste). Add additional stock if your grits begin to harden. The consistency should be creamy. Keep warm.
- Sprinkle crawfish and shrimp with salt, and pepper; set aside. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp. Remove from heat and coarsely chop. Put aside. Keep about 5 tablespoons bacon grease in the frying pan. Add onion, and garlic; saute 10 minutes or until the onion is transparent. Add tomato paste to pan and stir to coat onions. Add stock; stir well. Add paprika, Cajun seasoning, basil, parsley and lemon juice. Taste sauce to determine if it has the right level of heat. Add Cajun seasoning as desired, a little at a time. Turn heat down and add crawfish and shrimp. Allow shrimp to cook in the sauce. Do not overcook Remove from heat.
- To serve, ladle the grits into individual bowls. Spoon the crawfish/shrimp mixture over top the grits. Sprinkle with chopped bacon, and garnish with green onions.
- We are big fans of spicy food, so we add a couple dashes of our favorite hot sauce. However, you can easily omit this is your palate doesn't care for heat.
- 12 jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise, seeds and membranes removed
- 12 slices bacon
- 1/2 cup cream cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking tray with aluminum foil.
- Mix cream cheese and Cheddar cheese together in a bowl until evenly blended. Fill each jalapeno half with the cheese and green onion mixture. Put halves back together and wrap each stuffed pepper with a slice of bacon. Arrange bacon-wrapped peppers on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake in the preheated oven until bacon is crispy, about 15 minutes.