Y’all. I made a killer dinner last week. Like, so good I shared it with friends at work because 1) I made a heaping ton of it and 2) I knew Mike wouldn’t eat it. And I want to make it again. I’ve dreamed about it. I’ve talked about it nonstop. I love me some Cajun Shrimp and Quinoa Bake.
This is not my recipe — I found it while searching for a fun casserole recipe because what screams “I need a casserole!” more than 98° temps outside? But I was in the mood and when I saw it, I knew it was the one. So this whole experiment is thanks to This Gal Cooks.
I had never cooked quinoa before. I’ve eaten it plenty of times… have had some really badly done quinoa too, so I was afraid I’d eff it up. But I followed the directions and thanks to the gentle reminder of my friend Tricia, I treated it like I do my rice: cooked it in chicken broth. The quinoa was good enough to alone. Actually, several bites were taken while the rest of this was cooking. I will be cooking with it more often, mark my words.
But this dish has the right balance of… everything. With the quinoa and juicy shrimp, fresh tomatoes and garlic, and a bit of kick with a jalapeño and cajun spices… my goodness, I just want to put my face into again!
The only thing I didn’t follow the recipe on was the cheese. I didn’t have fontina cheese. So I improvised with whatever brick of white cheese we had in the fridge — and I didn’t use much at all. I also forgot to salt and pepper… but there’s so much flavor with the cajun seasoning that it covered up that little mishap. But even still, this gets five out of five stars from this gal.
If you’d like to get the recipe for this Cajun Shrimp and Quinoa Bake, you’ll have to visit This Gal Cooks‘ blog — but she has a handy-dandy printable recipe at the bottom of the page. If you like, be sure to leave her a comment and rate her recipe too! (I did. Bloggy love is a real thing, people. Especially when it feeds me.)
And take my advice: Add some chicken or vegetable stock to the quinoa water to add even more flavor. If you don’t have chicken stock, chicken base or dissolving bouillon cubes in water does the trick too. Oh, and don’t skimp and get frozen shrimp. Nah… bad plan. Pony up for the fresh ones. It’s worth it, I promise.