Gulf shrimp jambalaya

  • 900 g medium gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined, shells reserved
  • 1 bundle fresh thyme
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 250 g long-grain rice
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 800 g tinned diced tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
  • Pinch crushed red pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 1 Spanish onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 3 ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 green peppers, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 450 g andouille sausage, cut into rounds
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 spring onions, whites and greens thinly sliced, for garnish

1. For the shrimp stock: toss the shrimp shells in a large pot and fill with water. Bring the water to a boil, turn off the heat and let sit for at least 15 to 20 minutes, although longer is fine. Strain the shells and discard.

2. Coat a large, wide pot with olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Add the andouille and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the sausage starts to brown. Add the peppers, celery, and onion to the pan, season with salt and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the mixture has softened and is very aromatic. Toss in the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Add the tomatoes and cayenne. Stir in the rice.

3. Add 1 litre of the shrimp stock, bay leaves, and thyme bundle. Season with salt and taste it to make sure you are on the way to something delicious. Cover and cook over medium heat for 25 minutes.

4. Stir in the shrimp and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink. Serve garnished with chopped spring onions.

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