Asopao with Chicken and Shrimp
In Minnesota, we like to make a lot of what we call "hot dishes" and other casseroles. We have a proud tradition up here in my neck of the woods for stellar one-pan meals that include vegetables, meat-and-potatoes and, of course, the can of condensed mushroom soup. Since I am a one-pot-meal junkie, when I moved to the Twin Cities 20 years ago, I felt like a raindrop entering the river. Over the years, I have expanded my repertoire of killer soups, stews and braises for superb oven-to-table one-pot meals, and this is one of the better recipes. Inspired by a Christopher Idone recipe from decades ago, I started playing around with this classic island-style jambalaya, a stewy rice casserole that I love more the wetter it is. Sometimes I make this with an extra cup of stock just so it's a little soupy! Dry jambalaya doesn't thrill me.
This asopao (stew) is Trinidad-inspired, but it fits neatly into the Flo-ribbean cooking genre. The southeastern zeitgeist is all about Creole and Amer-Indian style meeting Florida's amazing multiple growing seasons and all of the Gulf's impressive bounty from the sea, sky and land. This asopao is pure Trini magic. Don't be shy about passing plenty of extra limes and hot chile sauce at the table.--Andrew Zimmern