As a Napa Valley grape grower and vintner/proprietor of Mount Veeder Magic Vineyards, I have come to appreciate how much this valley caters to my passions, which are centered around wine & food, entertaining, cooking, and nature. I especially enjoy exploring new foods and creating memorable wine and food experiences. The fresh foods and fine wines available to us in the Napa Valley are unparalleled, and every day, I am reminded of the bounties of living here. The seasonal produce in Napa is so fresh and abundant; many of us maintain our own gardens. There is nothing more rewarding than plucking fresh produce from your backyard.
One of my favorite adventures is grocery shopping. I always have ingredients on hand to create hearty soups, stews, and pasta dishes in the cooler months to help warm the soul on a chilly Napa evening. One of my favorite recipes is from New Orleans, known for its Cajun and Creole cuisines, a fusion of French, Spanish, West African, and Native American cooking styles. Traditional dishes are chock full of fresh seafood and meat, and they’re infused with warm spices that are revered for their ability to “kick things up a notch” on any menu. This quintessential N’awlins dish is one of my most requested recipes. I use vegetables curated from my garden and source fresh seafood from local markets. It’s an excellent choice for a one-pot, crowd-pleasing dish that pairs particularly well with my Mount Veeder Magic Vineyards Cab.
- 10” to 12” Cast Iron Skillet or Dutch Oven
- 2 TB vegetable oil
- 5 pounds Andouille sausage, sliced
- 1½ C each- diced onion, celery, and green pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 C long-grain rice
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 5 C chicken stock
- 2 TB chopped fresh thyme
- 2 large bay leaves
- 1½ lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 TB chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
- 2-3 stems chopped green onion
- In a large cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat; add the Andouille and cook until browned (4-5 minutes).
- Stir in onion, celery, and bell pepper and cook ~ 15 min. until
- Stir in garlic and rice, and cook 3 min. until slightly toasted.
- Add tomatoes with their juice, stock, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, and cook for ~15 min. or until rice is tender.
- In a separate bowl, combine shrimp, 1-tsp salt, 1/2-tsp pepper, paprika, cayenne, and parsley.
- Stir shrimp into the rice base and cook for 2 min.
- Add the remaining 1-tsp of salt and 1/2-tsp of black pepper.
- Garnish each plate with the green onion. Serve and enjoy.