The spicier the better.
Well, that’s not entirely true.
There was one year where our family friends, Katie and Jason, had us over for Mardi Gras. I was SUPER stoked because Katie is an awesome cook and I knew whatever she was concocting was going to be legit.
She told us she was making this yummy shrimp gumbo over rice. She asked us prior if we liked spicy food, so we gave the thumbs-up because, really, who doesn’t like spicy food? And so she went on her merry way cooking up this mean shrimp gumbo.
But by the time we all sat down to eat the delicious feast before us, we all took one whiff of that gumbo and you could smell the fire looming in that red shrimp stew. In fact, I was kind of scared.
And rightfully so.
Let me tell you–that gumbo was, by far, THE hottest thing I have EVER tasted. Still, to this day. The spiciness level was THROUGH the roof. Everyone at the table was sobbing from the mass-genocide to our taste-buds but the deliciousness before they were singed to death.
Personally, through the tears, I didn’t mind. The flavors were so strong and so delicious that losing a few taste buds was worth the flaming hot spiciness. But phew. It was intense.
Now, before I finish this story, I must add that Katie is still an excellent cook and that 100-alarm gumbo didn’t change my opinion. She made these scrumptious shrimp endive boats for my birthday party, and I swear, the andouille corn dogs she served at another get together were dreamy. Katie, you rock!
Where was I going with this? Oh yes, how much I love spicy Cajun food. And shrimp, because shrimp is necessary in Cajun cuisine. So naturally, I loved the idea of frying up some shrimp beignets for Mardi Gras yesterday and was pleasantly surprised at their tame spiciness but powerful flavor.
And if you’re like me, you may be slightly intimidated about making these beignets at first. I mean, they’re beignets. Filled with shrimp. And even saying the word ‘beignet’ is intimidating, much less making them. But if you have that spiciness for something spicy burning inside–wow, that was corny–you’ll make them. Cos they’re the best.
Cajun Shrimp Beignets
1 pound shrimp, roughly chopped
2 eggs, beaten
1 T Cajun seasoning
1/4 c thinly sliced green onion
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 c milk
Oil, for frying
1. In a large electric skillet or deep pan, heat enough oil to cover the bottom and come up the sides, filling the pan about 1/3 full. Heat on medium until it begins to pop, about 375 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, lightly toss the shrimp, green onion, beaten egg and Cajun seasoning. Add the flour, baking powder and milk and stir until a thick batter forms. Using a small cookie dough scoop or tablespoon, drop scoopfuls into hot oil, careful not to burn yourself. Let fry about 2 minutes per side until golden brown. Drain on a paper-towel-lined plate. Eat while hot.
Cajun Dipping Sauce–this sauce is really easy, but using an authentic bottled Cajun sauce or cocktail sauce would work, too.
3/4 c mayo
1/2 c ketchup
3 T horseradish sauce
3 T Tabasco
1. Mix all ingredients together. I found it wasn’t as spicy, so I adjusted the Tabasco as necessary which I recommend. The beignets are really yummy with or without the sauce, but try it anyways since it’s so easy to make.