First thing’s first, I have a new nephew! Baby S, my brother and sister-in-law’s third, was born last week at a whopping 10+lbs. I couldn’t love the little chunker more and had a very hard time not nibbling on his cheeks for dinner and chin for dessert when I went to visit him in the hospital.
He was born mid last week and the family is adjusting well at home as a family of five. Like any gal with a new babe in her family or circle of friends, I wanted to make them a spread of nourishing food and was debating between my Vegetable Ragu, a weekly staple at our house, or Smoked Sausage and Chicken Gumbo, an all around filling treat – especially when someone’s making it for you.
In the end I went with a double batch of the Vegetable Ragu (one to eat right away and one for the freezer,) deciding the Gumbo would be more for my bro and SIL, versus something the kids would like too, but the thought of those spicy, smokey flavors got my tastebuds tingling so I decided to give my gumbo a little surf and turf makeover for the grill just in time for the Fourth of July!
Spicy Shrimp and Sausage Skewers would be a hit at a July 4th get together, or anytime you’ve got a craving for a spicy taste of the South. They cook in minutes and will fly off the platter!
Jumbo shrimp (we’re talking HONKING) are rubbed with Cajun seasoning then skewered with spicy Andouille sausage and grilled for 3-4 minutes – TOTAL. It takes longer to assemble these skewers than it does to cook ’em which, well, speaks to my endlessly-hungry soul.
The almost sweet tasting shrimp (seriously, spring for wild-caught Gulf shrimp – they are unbelievably delicious,) with a smoky grilled char are the perfect contrast to the decadent, spiced sausage. I also made a super easy dipping sauce which is just a combination of mayonnaise, lemon juice, and more Cajun seasoning, but there’s still only six ingredients in this entire recipe. Where’s the hand-praise emoji when you need it?!
So easy, so tasty, and takes way less time than bubbling up a big pot of gumbo (which, shhh, I sort of wish it was a little cooler outside right now so I could justify enjoying a big bowl – I miss that recipe!)
Start by soaking 6-8 wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes to make sure they don’t catch fire on the grill. Trust me – do not skip this step!
Next you’ll need 1lb 16/20 count raw shrimp that have been peeled and deveined. The numbers on the outside of the bag – in this case 16/20 – indicate how many shrimp equal a pound. The lower the number the bigger the shrimp. Look for 16/20 or even lower to make sure the shrimp are big enough to wrap around the sausage.
Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels then toss in a big bowl with 1 Tablespoon Cajun seasoning (store bought or homemade – I like Emeril’s Essence,) and 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil.
Next slice a 7oz Andouille sausage link to the same thickness as the shrimp. Andouille sausage is a smoked, spicy sausage that’s commonly found in Cajun and Creole cooking (it’s what I use in my gumbo!) and is so dang good. I really think it’s what set my batch apart at my family’s gumbo cook off last year (plus I used a roux – got to have a roux!)
Now, if you want to keep the spice level down, swap the Andouille sausage for Kielbasa, a smoked sausage with no spiciness. I truly do love both.
Tuck a slice of sausage into the curve of a shrimp on a cutting board then skewer it with the soaked skewer. I fit three sausage/shrimp combos on each skewer.
Next, head on out to your grill that’s been preheating on high for at least 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-high then spray both sides of each skewer with nonstick spray and slap it on the grill (I grilled mine in two batches.) Grill for 1-2 minutes a side, or until the shrimp are opaque (cooked, y’all,) then remove to a platter.
Tip: to get those dark (aka impressive!) grill lines on the sausages, press down on them with heat-proof grilling tongs while they’re grilling. If you hear a sizzle, you’re doing it right!
Arrange the skewers on a platter then serve with a creamy, spicy dipping sauce that’s just 1/3 cup mayonnaise mixed with 1 Tablespoon Cajun seasoning and 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice. Spicy Shrimp and Sausage Skewers are up!
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Spicy Shrimp and Sausage Skewers
Spicy Shrimp and Sausage Skewers are spicy and savory - they'll fly off the platter!
- 1lb 16/20 count raw jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on
- 7oz Andouille sausage link (or Kielbasa if you want a mild sausage)
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons Cajun seasoning, divided
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 6-8 bamboo skewers
- Soak skewers in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent them from catching fire on the grill. Pat shrimp dry with paper towels then toss in a large bowl with oil and 1 Tablespoon Cajun seasoning. Slice Andouille sausage the same thickness as the shrimp then tuck sausage slices between the curve of the shrimp and skewer (I fit three shrimp and sausage slices on each skewer.)
- Combine mayonnaise, remaining Tablespoon Cajun seasoning, and lemon juice in a bowl then mix to combine. Store in refrigerator (can be done 1-2 days ahead of time.)
- Preheat grill over high heat for 10 minutes then turn heat down to medium-high. Spray both sides of skewers with nonstick spray then grill for 1-2 minutes per side or until shrimp are opaque and cooked through. Serve skewers with dipping sauce.
- I like Emeril's Essence recipe for homemade Cajun seasoning.
- Press down on sausages with heat proof tongs to get visible grill marks.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
Leave the shrimp and sausage duos on the skewers if you’re only feeding a few, or slide ’em off then onto party picks if you need more to go around. I hope you enjoy these spicy surf and turf skewers!