Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Cajun Shrimp

In my travels I've been to a lot of interesting places and done a lot of stupid things that probably should have landed me as the opening credits victim on one of the Law & Orders. But I've never been down south to Louisiana. I've always wanted to go, as it seems like it would be right up my alley - jazz, booze, art and history are some of my favourite things, after all. And I would love the food most of all.

In honour of the trip I've yet to take, I decided to craft a Cajun-inspired taco. I found some recipes that gave me a sense of what spices I'd need, but I also discovered the key to most Cajun cooking - mirepoix. It's a simple mix of carrots, celery and onion that forms the flavour base for many dishes. So I gave it a Mexican twist, subbing out carrots for jalapenos. It gives these tacos a great depth to offset the heat, because these tacos are HOT. If you can't handle food that will literally make you sweat, than stay away from these tacos. They made me cry, and my insides are basically cast iron at this point.

Cajun Shrimp Recipe

Serves: 10 tacos               Prep Time: 10 min.             Cook Time: 15 min.

1 lbs. raw shrimp, thawed, peeled and deveined
3 celery stalks
1/4 white onion
1 jalapeno
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp cayenne
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp cumin
2 tbsp butter

Corn tortillas
Lime Crema
Salsa Verde

Prep It

Mix together paprika, cayenne, red pepper flakes and cumin in a medium bowl. Toss with shrimp to coat thoroughly and let sit for 5 minutes. Dice onion, jalapeno (remove seeds), garlic and celery, keeping each separate.

Cook It

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium and melt butter in pan. Add onions and saute for 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add jalapenos and celery and saute for 5 minutes. If necessary add more butter or vegetable oil. Add shrimp and saute until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Ensure all shrimp get flipped during the process.

Serve It

Pile 3-5 shrimp and veggies into a warm corn tortilla. Top with an avocado wedge, plus lime crema and salsa verde (I mixed these together into one sauce for easier serving).

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