I was born in Louisiana.
I didn’t stay here long.
By the age of 3 I was in San Antonio, followed by Topeka, Stillwater, Sacramento, and a score of other places as my family traveled. I think the longest we were anywhere was 9 months.

No, we weren’t running from the LAW, we were running with the Air Force.

It wasn’t until I was college bound that I returned to Louisiana to stay and it wasn’t until WAY {and I do mean WAY!!} after I was married that I learned to cook and appreciate the wide range of flavors found in Louisiana Cuisine. Mostly French with a little of everything else thrown in for color. I started with simple things from older Louisiana Cookbooks and have worked my way up to more complicated dishes. Like this one!

The Paella is not a regular Spanish Paella but rather that of the Isleños, immigrants from the Canary Islands, who settled around New Orleans in the late 1700s. They were an attempt by Spain, who controlled Louisiana at the time, to increase population and therefore power in the area. This is one of many dishes still made by the descendents of the Isleños living today in St. Bernard Parish.

Shrimp-Andouille Paella {Louisiana Cookin’ October 2012}

    1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
    1 pound andouille sausage, sliced {If you cannot find Andouille I would think any smoked sausage would work.}
    1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped .
    1 cup chopped onion
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    2 cups water
    1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
    1 (16-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
    2 chicken bouillon cubes
    2 teaspoons paprika
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
    Y2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1/4 teaspoon saffron
    1 pound medium fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
    2 cups frozen peas, thawed
    1 (2-ounce) jar pimientos, drained
    Garnish: chopped fresh parsley

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage, chicken, onion, and garlic. Cook until onion is translucent, about 8 minutes.
Add 2 cups water, rice, tomatoes, bouillon, paprika, cayenne and black pepper, and saffron. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
Stir in shrimp; cook, covered, another 3 minutes or until shrimp are pink and firm. Stir in peas and pimento. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Despite all the ingredients it is amazingly easy to put together in just one pot. Just one!!

IF you want to learn more about this cultural group that has colored the cuisine of Louisiana you can find more HERE!