Bubba’s big shrimp love spills over from last week
- Shrimp Kabobs
Kabob, kebob, kebab, kabab may mean different things in various parts of the world, but more often than not, the grilled meat connotation seems to be all-pervading. In case of the USA, the term ‘kabob’ is used for meat skewered on a stick (the term popular in India for such food is ‘tikka’).
These shrimp/prawn kabobs are marinated in Italian salad dressing; the dried herbs and slightly sweet tanginess punctuated by fruity olive oil impart a lot of flavour to the crustaceans and other vegetables. The recipe calls for onions, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and green bell peppers, but you could also use other bell peppers, zucchini etc. The marinating time is essential for the flavours to soak in, and if you don’t want to light up the grill, that’s okay. A hot oven will work in a pinch.
Recipe: Shrimp Kabobs
- Shrimp Creole
“Shrimp Creole originated in South Louisiana where gulf shrimp are plentiful”, the recipe introduction tells us. At its most basic, this dish is another variant of one of those stews served over rice. That’s not all though; this one is packed with flavour in the form of spices and shrimp stock. We’re talking aromatics, bay leaves, hot sauce and signature Creole seasoning made with ground spices mixed with dried herbs.
This version by Emeril Lagasse, well-known for his Cajun and Creole food expertise and recipes, uses a flour and water mix to thicken the stew; there are other versions that use cornstarch. Either way, it’s the vegetables, spices and large prawns that make the dish the delight it is. Serve over long-grained white rice for the best meal experience.
Recipe: Emeril’s Shrimp Creole
- Shrimp Gumbo
“Bubba’s Shrimp Gumbo”, Paula Deen calls this recipe. The ‘Bubba’, however, is not our favourite Pvt. Benjamin Buford Blue, best mate to Forrest Gump, however; it’s her brother whose recipe she shares. Every gumbo, even the ones made with chicken etc. needs to have okra, and this one does too; the okra also helps thicken the stew, as Paula informs us.
Lots of butter, shrimp stock and clam juice (skip this if not available), and those fragrant spices in Cajun seasoning make this hearty and delicioso. The sausage renders deep, smoky flavours, therefore do not skimp on that one. Like most stews, this one is great over rice (with a dash of butter), and even better the next day.
Recipe: Bubba’s Shrimp Gumbo
- Pineapple Shrimp
Pineapple and shrimp may not be the first pairing to come to your mind; not like butter and shrimp or garlic and shrimp, but if you think about it, the fruit augments the saline sweetness of the seafood with its fragrant mellowness. This recipe adds more sweetness, and smoky spice in the form of BBQ sauce, and we know the great comradeship BBQ sauce and prawns share. The awesome threesome come together in a stir-fry dotted with crisp bits of onion, garlic, and bell pepper; you could even toss celery bits in the butter with the other veggies.
A touch of hot green chilli pepper will even out the square of flavour, and the 3 lead stars get to shine brighter. A great supporting cast does just that.
Recipe: Pineapple BBQ Shrimp
- Lemon Shrimp
Pineapple may be the new good friend to prawns, but let’s not forget the original fair-and-foul-weather besties who’ve always been there, ever ready to boost and bring out the best in our favourite seafood, and also rescue the saddest prawn dish. All hail the three stalwarts, prawns’ knights in shining armour—lemon, butter and garlic, a.k.a. Those-Who-Can-Never-Go-Wrong.
Some people like to marinate their prawns in a squeeze of lemon and freshly cracked black pepper, or even a touch of cayenne, so that is a great tip to use for a change. Also, feel free to sub a splash of wine for the water. If you really love your lemon flavours, you may want to consider adding a bit of grated zest to the pan. Serve over pasta, as recommended, or on bruschetta, with or without the tomato and basil.
Recipe: Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp
- Coconut Shrimp
Coconut shrimp or prawns in India may bring to mind a masala stir-fry with coconut slivers, curry leaves and lots of heat, or a coconut-laced fragrant curry. Bubba, however, was possibly talking about coconut-crusted fried shrimp, crisp on the outside, melting within.
The recipe is fairly easy, and calls for few things—6 ingredients in all, not counting salt and pepper—, but is one of those dishes that give you more for very less. Skip the sweetened coconut in favour of unsweetened, if you so desire. Either way, the “awesomesauce” the author recommends—1 part Thai chilli sauce to 2 parts orange marmalade—sounds like the perfect accompaniment to this crunchy appetizer.
A simple recipe like this calls for great prawns to begin with. Find them here
Recipe: Easy Coconut Shrimp
- Pepper Shrimp
Prawns stir-fried with just salt and pepper are comforting in a way only the simplest, most flavourful ingredients can be. Like cheese, or butter, or chocolate. This dish takes the flavours in its deceptively simple name several notches higher, with the addition of Sichuan peppercorns and a fresh red chilli. The prawns are crunchy thanks to the seasoned cornstarch rub at the beginning. The fried prawns are tossed with ground Sichuan pepper and chilli bits. Serve with chopped coriander, and a squeeze of lime if needed.
Recipe: Salt-and-Pepper Shrimp
- Shrimp Soup
This one comes from a “restaurant” in California that has a single dish on the menu—shrimp soup. For an establishment that focuses on doing one dish, and doing it best, the name “Killer Shrimp” is surely justified. The list of ingredients is not very long, but the cooking time of 3 hours may put you off. This, however, is essential to the “slaying” ability of the dish; the first hour sees the clam juice (or prawn stock), broth, butter, rosemary and spices simmer gently; the latter two hours asks for the addition of wine and occasional stirring.
The last 3 minutes of cooking time is when the eponymous ingredient makes an appearance, and yet receives top billing—talk about star power! The soup gets its colour from the tomato paste, and the unhurried hours of simmering. Serve with the crusty French loaf as instructed, or inside a bread bowl; your meal is ready.
Recipe: Killer Shrimp Soup
- Shrimp Stew
There’s shrimp Creole and Cajun-style Gumbo, and there’s real Southern-style Cajun shrimp stew with a rich shrimp stock base simmered and brought to perfection in a couple of hours. This comes with potatoes which add body to the broth, and also add to the heartiness. The roux made with oil and flour (can use butter instead of oil) adds deep flavour and thickness; combined with onion, and sometimes green pepper, forms the base of many a Cajun stewed dish.
Serve with rice, or eat with a side of thick loaves. And remember to never overcook your shrimp; it hates heat, as much as a Polar bear does.
Recipe: Cajun Shrimp Stew
- Shrimp Salad
You can almost imagine Southern ladies serving this cold prawn salad alongside pitchers of cold ice tea for lunch on a hot day, followed by some pie maybe, for dessert. Or making sandwiches with it. You could even devise wraps with it, makes for a cooling meal, especially in the sweltering summers, when no one wants to spend more than 20 minutes in the kitchen. This is best served cold, so account for the chilling time; this also brings the flavours together, and you end up with a bowl of creamy mayo-slathered prawns with the crunch of vegetable bits.
Old Bay seasoning is good to have around, and you could also make your own. For a serving variation, fold the salad onto each lettuce ‘cup’. Serve immediately.
Recipe: Old Bay Shrimp Salad
- Shrimp and Potatoes
The shrimp and potatoes in this dish are seasoned with curry powder and cooked separately. A final toss in the skillet brings the aforementioned ingredients together, with salt and pepper making the final connect.
The olive oil adds freshness, but you could try using the same amount of butter to cook the prawns; prawns and butter revive their old relationship and bring the potatoes in on the camaraderie with equal enthusiasm. The curry powder bestows flavour blessings on the union of the trio, the spring onions are the final garnish at the celebration.
A dash of lemon at the finish wouldn’t be amiss either. Bring out the wine to round up the festivities.
- Shrimp Burger
The Old Bay mayo returns for another round of Southern gastronomic adventure; this time as one of the protagonists in Shrimp Burgers with Old Bay Mayo. Another reason why you need to have some lying around, and there are plenty more. The prawns, meanwhile, get the royal burger treatment; some coarsely chopped, some processed with bread crumbs, egg and seasoning and formed into patties.
Fried in a skillet, the crisp patties sit on top of Old Bay mayo-slathered bun halves and are topped with avocado, lettuce and tomato. Add a slice of cheese while frying, if the whole cheeseburger experience is what you love. The burger is brilliant, either way, and may just become your new go-to burger.
Recipe: Shrimp Burgers with Old Bay Mayo
- Shrimp Sandwich
We will assume Bubba meant a shrimp Po’ Boy when he was talking about a shrimp sandwich. What better way to put crunchy, full-on flavoured prawns between slices of crusty and soft baguette? Of course, the bread needs to have a remoulade slapped on—this is no ordinary mayo, it has spicy Cajun genes, mustard and horseradish in its DNA.
The crunchy shrimp isn’t the usual bread crumb-crusted affair either. The staple of the American South, cornmeal makes a dashing appearance as the breading ingredient of choice. Lettuce and tomato slices make sandwich complete. And follow the recipe to the T, especially when it says “Serve at once with hot sauce and a beer.”
Recipe: Shrimp Po Boy Sandwich
Like Bubba concluded his shrimp quote, “That- that’s about it.”
Which one are you going to cook this weekend?
Image Credit: Shrimp Kabobs
Image Credit: Shrimp Creole
Image Credit: Shrimp Gumbo
Image Credit: Pineapple Shrimp
Image Credit: Lemon Shrimp
Image Credit: Coconut Shrimp
Image Credit: Pepper Shrimp
Image Credit: Shrimp Soup
Image Credit: Shrimp Stew
Image Credit: Shrimp Salad
Image Credit: Shrimp and Potatoes
Image Credit: Shrimp Burger
Image Credit: Shrimp Sandwich