Spicy Creole Shrimp

This is a really quick, really simple, really tasty, really spicy, recipe. I LOVE spicy food, but I know that not everyone does, so I’m giving you the warning now: spice alert! That being said, you can adjust the recipe however you like to make it work for you. A simple solution: use less cayenne pepper and don’t add the deathly pepper from hell!

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While I’ve sadly never been to New Orleans myself, although we’re planning a possible trip in JUNE! (Excitement!), I can certainly appreciate the wonderful flavours that it has to offer the food world. Creole cooking involves a beautiful mix of everything I love. If you’ve never tried this southern deliciousness, it’s hard for me to put into words. Creole cuisine is a combination of Caribbean, African, French, and Spanish flavour influences. Hot pepper, seafood, butter, citrus, tomato, onion, celery, rice, bean explosion of taste! It’s real comfort food.

Anyway, this is a quick recipe I found from a blog called Tummy Travels. I tried it with my tiger shrimp last weekend as part of a huge seafood feast I unintentionally put together. I wouldn’t say it’s a classic Shrimp Creole. I think that involves more veggies, a tomato base, a nice saucy gravy-ness and it’s traditionally served over rice. This shrimp could be a main served with French bread or a good addition to any meal. It’s got nice Southern flavour and a good kick to it!

Cooking shrimp makes me think of Bubba from the movie Forrest Gump (hope you’ve seen it). Bubba knows a million ways shrimp, “the fruit of the sea”, can be cooked. I love this clip! 🙂

The tiger shrimp I used were headless, but I cooked them with the shells on. Heads on, ever better! You can find whole shrimps at most Asian grocery stores if you don’t see any at your usual store or market. Cooking shrimp with the heads and shell intact add so much more flavour! All the juices are kept inside. In New Orleans, crawfish and shrimp are always cooked whole. The best part is pulling off the heads and sucking all the delicious juices and seasonings out of there before eating the rest of it. I know the heads freak some people out, but they’re delicious, I promise. In my half-Asian household, I grew up eating shrimps with heads. My sister and I discovered the next best thing to press-on nails…wearing the pointy/spiky shrimp head shells on our finger tips. It kept us entertained, and super stylish, at family dinners. (Cute…minus the shrimpy fingers afterwards.)

Spicy Creole Shrimp

Ingredients:
The spicy stuff is optional…switch it up to keep things at the spice level you want.
This recipe called for 8 tablespoons of butter (a whole stick). I cut the butter amount in half. I didn’t want to go too butter crazy, but by all means, use more butter. More butter = more sauce, and a richer sauce.

  • 1- 1 1/2 pounds shrimp (I recommend doing them with shells and heads, but you can do headless, or peeled if you like)
  • ~1/2 – 1 tablespoon olive oil, to saute garlic
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • Juice of 1 lemon (my large lemon gave about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 habanero or scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder (optional)
  • 4-5 tablespoons butter (just cut butter into cubes and keep cold)
  • Sea salt, to taste

1. Heat olive oil in a pan, add garlic, and saute until garlic has softened.

2. Add all other ingredients except butter and shrimp. Allow this mixture to reduce for a couple minutes on medium heat. There wasn’t too much liquid and it reduced quite quickly. Don’t let it burn!

3. Add your shrimp into the pan, cooking one side and then flipping to cook the other. Two minutes on each side should be sufficient. The shrimps are cooked when they turn pink.

4. Turn to low heat and begin slowly incorporating cubes of butter.

5. When well mixed you should have a gorgeously rich, amber, shrimp creation.

6. Plate and serve!

Enjoy! xx

Lobster & Shrimp Linguine in a White Wine Sauce

As promised, here’s the second half of the heavenly dinner I created last night. Of all the different pasta I’ve made, this is definitely one of my favourites. The recipe is really simple and outrageously delicious.

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I like to keep my pasta recipes simple. The fresher the ingredients, the less seasoning you need. Only add what you must. You want all the flavours to stand out, but also compliment one another. Keep it simple.

As we all know, I LOVE seafood. I was in the mood for shrimp linguine, but on my way to pick up the shrimp I noticed lobster tails were on sale. Why not make this pasta twice as good? I did.

Lobster & Shrimp Linguine in a White Wine Sauce
(Serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 10 white tiger shrimps, peeled and deveined (I used 5 shrimps per person, you can use more or less. You can also use any type of shrimp you like)
  • 2 lobster tails, de-shelled and cut into 1-inch cubes (My tails were not too big. Again, use more or less if you like.)
  • 3 or 4 cloves of minced garlic (I like lots of garlic.)
  • truffle salt/sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons of butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine (I used a chardonnay…it’s what I had at home.)
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley (Use dry if you don’t have fresh.)
  • Linguine (enough for 2 servings)

I chose to cut my lobster tails in half, remove the meat, and then cut the meat into smaller cubes.

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In a large saucepan of boiling salted water cook the linguine until al dente. You don’t want your pasta mushy, it should be firm but not hard. You should add about 1/2 a teaspoon of salt for every 8 cups of water. Don’t get salt-crazy.

Melt some butter in a pan at medium low heat. This is to cook the shrimp and lobster in. I mentioned, in the ingredients, that you could also use olive oil for this step if you prefer using less butter, just make sure the pan is well coated. Add in your garlic and some pepper (to taste). Let the garlic saute for 1-2 minutes. Don’t burn it, just let it sizzle a bit.

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Next add the shrimp and lobster. Spread the pieces out in the pan.

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You want to cook the shrimp until they’re just pink. Cooking them for about 2 minutes per side should be enough, depending on the size. Shrimp cooks fast! Don’t overcook! The lobster will cook quickly as well. It will be firm, white, and opaque when it’s done.

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Once cooked, move them quickly from the heat of the pan to a bowl or plate. In the same pan, add the butter and wine. Add some salt (I used truffle salt :)) and more pepper to taste. Let this simmer until the sauce starts to thicken a little.

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Next, add your shrimp and lobster back into the sauce along with 2 tablespoons of parsley and stir a bit. Everything’s cooked, you just want to warm it up and get everything to the same temperature. Add your cooked pasta into the pan and toss it all together.

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Now plate your pasta, you can add a bit of extra parsley on top, and dig in!!! This recipe is so simple and it tastes so good! Let me know how it turns out.

Happy eating! xx