Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Killer Cajun Shrimp

Its Fat Tuesday. And for those who are not familiar with what Fat Tuesday is really all about, its a day for many Christians (mostly Catholics) in the South indulge or binge on food before the Lenten season starts on Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is usually a day of fasting for many of those who want to partake in some sort abstinence. Some fast entirely for the day of Ash Wednesday. Others, like myself, fast all sorts of meats or poultry for Ash Wednesday (and then every Friday after that until Easter). And since its our last day to really eat meat whenever we want, hubby and I decided to indulge (but not too much as we're still watching our caloric intake). However, I still had to prepare food for our lunch tomorrow, Ash Wednesday. That meant only seafood or vegetarian dishes.

I didn't have much of a selection of seafood recipes in my archives. So I decided to search through the archives of blogs I frequented and found this recipe from Steamy Kitchen. Living in LA, I've never been to a restaurant called Killer Shrimp, which is where the name of this recipe comes from. So I don't have much of a comparison as far as taste. But I can say that this dish was quite yummy. It reminds me of some dishes I've tried at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. The recipe was quite simple to make, but required some ingredients that I didn't readily have. So I had to make a quick run to the supermarket. I served this with some french bread that hubby brought home to sop up all the spicy broth.

2 Tbsp. dried or fresh rosemary
2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1 Tbsp. dried fennel seeds
2 tsp. celery seed
1 Tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes (less if you like it less spicy)
2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. kosher or sea salt
1/2 small onion, diced
1 celery rib, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 stick of butter
1 1/2 quarts chicken broth
16 0z bottled clam juice
1/2 lemon (cut in half)
3 oz tomato paste
1 cup white wine
2 lbs. shrimp (de-veined)

1) Using a mortar and pestle, smash all the spices (rosemary, thyme, fennel, celery seed, red pepper flakes, black pepper and salt). You can also quickly run a knife through the spices on a cutting board to help release its flavors. Set aside.

2) In a large pot, melt butter on medium heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic. Cook until fragrant and soft. Stir in prepared spices.

3) Add broth, clam juice, lemon, tomato paste, and white wine. Simmer on low for at least 1 hour. Add more salt if needed.

4) Just before serving, add shrimp and simmer until shrimps are pink, about 3-5 minutes. Serve in bowls with french bread or white rice.

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