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New Orleans Spicy Cajun Shrimp

Dinner
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My new job gives me the glorious flexibility to work from home at least one day a week. Words can’t express how much happier of a person it makes me to be able to wake up an hour later, still fit in a long run and a latte, and squeeze in my grocery shopping all before 6. Now that my schedule is becoming more normal, working from home also means it’s much easier to meal plan for a homemade dinner that evening, taking advantage of the time not spent sweating in a subway car.

This week I was feeling extra inspired, so I selected a recipe from the Nordstrom Friends & Family cookbook. If you didn’t know that one of the best department stores in the U.S. also creates amazing cookbooks, do yourself a favor and go buy one. I have had nothing but good luck with the recipes I’ve tried from their cookbooks and, though sometimes laborious, each meal has truly delivered.

Cajun Shrimp

For whatever reason, I was craving some heat when I skimmed through the book so my eyes obviously settled on the New Orleans style Cajun shrimp. I’ve never actually made shrimp before and I liked how intimidated I was by this recipe, so I set off for my lunchtime shop to get all of the ingredients. After an awkward conversation with the fish man at Whole Foods that consisted something like “um..do these shrimps have veins? Can you devein them but keep the shell on exactly like this picture?” I was all set for my Louisiana feast.

Cajun Shrimp

If you have a spice stock in your cabinet, there’s probably minimal purchases you need to make for this recipe other than fresh shrimp, quality rice, and a doughy baguette. All in, this took about an hour, and that was mostly spent waiting while components were cooking.

Cajun Shrimp

I will add that I was horrified by the amount of butter this recipe required. No recipe should require three sticks of butter, ever. I would have been totally unable to enjoy a meal that contained three sticks of butter; I had a hard enough time enjoying it with half the portion. That being said, it tasted like I’d used 1.5 sticks of butter..in an obviously amazing way that only butter can.

Cajun Shrimp

The shrimp was delicious, so flavorful and spicy in all the right ways. For a truly indulgent but deliciously homemade dish, make this, especially for your Southern friends. Revel in the messiness of shelling your own shrimp with your hands. Cover the table with 2 layers of newspapers, set out bowls of rice and bread to sop up the Cajun butter, and get ready for a feast!

Ingredients

Creole Seasoning

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion

Cajun Shrimp Butter

  • ¾ pound unsalted butter, at room temperature (I use half of this, but if you want your arteries clogged, use the full amount to the left)
  • 2 tablespoons Creole Seasoning
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

2 pounds large shrimp in the shell, deveined

Instructions

  1. To make the Creole Seasoning, in a small bowl, combine the salt, black pepper, cayenne, thyme, oregano, paprika, and the granulated garlic and onion.
  2. Mix well and store in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.
  3. In a food processor (I use my Vitamix) fitted with the metal blade, combine the butter, Creole Seasoning, garlic, pepper, paprika, granulated onion, salt, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco sauce.
  4. Process until thoroughly blended. Set aside.
  5. To cook the shrimp, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  6. Arrange the shrimp in a 9 x 13 baking dish and cover with the Cajun Shrimp Butter.
  7. Bake the shrimp, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir the shrimp around and continue baking until the shrimp turn uniformly pink and the translucence is gone from the thickest part of the bodies, about 2 minutes longer.
  8. Transfer the shrimp and all the butter sauce to a warmed serving dish. Serve immediately with bread and rice to soak up all the juices.

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