Is it Cajun Stew or Cajun Jambalaya?
I’m not sure which it is, but whatever it is, it turned out fantastic! Slow cooking the vegetables and spices with the kielbasa made the soup come together in a rich flavored broth. There are so many goodies in this stew that every spoonful is a palate delight.
This is the first time I’ve used kielbasa or okra. My local market had a very sad sampling of fresh okra. They really should pull their sad and ugly okra offerings from their produce bin. Frozen okra stood in and it proved not to disappoint. I’ve made this twice during the last week, testing the timing and making some modifications.
I’ve cut the cooking time down by a full 1-1/2 hours. Also, added some small red potatoes, upped the garlic and added a few more large shrimp. Oh boy! Does it smell good throughout the house when it’s cooking low and slow! The kielbasa makes it salty enough, so for health reasons no additional salt was added.
This is a good recipe requiring minimal prep with a tasty and hearty delivery. Serve it alongside rice or some crusty bread that’s been brushed with olive oil and toasted in the oven. You’re gonna feel good all over, making this cozy stew!
Oh! Don’t forget that this weekend is Daylight Savings Time (in the U.S.). We “Spring Forward” – so set those clocks!
These modifications and adjustments are reflected in both the ingredients and directions of the recipe.
- Used beef kielbasa.
- Cut the vegetables in roughly a uniform, bite size so that they are comfortable to spoon when eating. Take care not to make them too small.
- If they’re not too expensive and accessible, the yellow bell pepper adds a nice visual interest to the stew. (Although, the red pepper is higher in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Beta Carotene than its green/yellow varieties.)
- Added 4 red potatoes.
- Omitted any addition of salt.
- Didn’t have canned, diced tomatoes so used whole stewed tomatoes and manually diced.
- Cooked on low. Made necessary adjustment of cooking time. Cooking on low for 6 hours. After six hours, added the shrimp and okra and continued to cook for another 30 minutes.
- For ease of eating, I cut the tails off the shrimp before adding to cook in the stew.
- Like it spicy and hot? Select a kielbasa or Andouille that’s spicy to kick it up a few notches.
- If you like cayenne pepper, it wouldn’t hurt to bump it up to a very generous 1/3 teaspoon.
- There are a lot of good ingredients in here already, but if you have some sweet corn on hand, adding a 1/3-1/2 cup wouldn’t hurt. If you do decide to add the corn, add it when the shrimp and okra are included.
- Whenever possible, use the lowest and slowest cooking times when slow cooking. I’ve been more happy with the flavors and texture of the ingredients when I’ve used the lowest temperature setting and slower cooking time (personal preference).
Kitchen Tools: Slow Cooker
3/4 pound kielbasa or Andouille, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 red onion, sliced into wedges
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1 red, green or yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped
3-4 red potatoes, scrubbed, halved and quartered (total of 8 pieces from each potato)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (red pepper)
1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined – about 12 shrimp. (Optional: Remove tails before adding to stew.)
2 cups frozen cut okra, thawed
In a 5 to 6-quart slow cooker, place the prepared sausage, onion, garlic, celery, bell pepper, and potatoes in the dish. Sprinkle the flour over the ingredients and toss to evenly coat.
Add the tomatoes, water and cayenne pepper to the dish.
Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender (about 6-7 hours on low).
Add shrimp and okra, cover and cook until the shrimp are opaque throughout (about 30 minutes -to- 1 hour on low).