I’ve been a subscriber to Louisiana Cookin’ magazine for years. This tropical shrimp salad is a great example of why I’ve been a loyal reader for so long. This salad was incredible. A wonderful combination of fruits and shrimp, with a light creamy dressing that has a hint of vanilla. It was the perfect dish on a hot summer’s day. I made this tropical shrimp salad a main dish by using large shrimp and large melon balls. You can also serve this as a side or a great pitch-in dish by using smaller shrimp and melon balls. This salad is also absolutely fantastic without the shrimp.
I used a Greek vanilla yogurt but regular ole yogurt works just fine too. There’s no way you can go wrong with this salad.
It was one of those almost-stormy evenings. I was in the mood for grilling, but as a backup, I needed to pick something I could cook inside in case the skies opened up. Well, they didn’t, so i was able to grill the fantastic shrimp for this grilled creamy shrimp and mushroom pasta. If it had stormed, I would’ve roasted the shrimp in the oven and still enjoyed a great dinner. But grilled shrimp, well, that’s just better.
The cream sauce and mushrooms are fantastic. The entire dish is incredibly easy to put together. If you don’t want to fret with the shrimp just used pre-cooked frozen shrimp from your grocery store. Just defrost them ahead and of time and you’ll be good-to-go. Don’t be surprised when you start making the sauce that the cream cheese doesn’t melt and get creamy. Once you add the hot water from making the pasta the cream cheese will dissolve and make a fantastic sauce.
When grilling the shrimp, the butter and oil in the marinade may cause flare-ups on your grill. Be prepared to move the skewered shrimp to another place on the grill until the fire dies down. And by all means, don’t burn yourself!
Don’t be surprised when you start making the sauce that the cream cheese doesn’t melt and get creamy. Once you add the hot water from making the pasta the cream cheese will dissolve and make a fantastic sauce.
Prep Time 1hour40minutes
Cook Time 1hour
Total Time 2hours40minutes
For the grilled shrimp
freshly ground black pepper
1pound shrimplarge, 20-24 count, peeled and deveined
For the mushrooms and pasta
8ouncespastafettuccine, linguine or angel hair
2tablespoonsparsleychopped, plus a bit more for garnish
1cupwater from the cooked pastayou may not need the entire cup
For the grilled shrimp
Combine all but the shrimp in a medium bowl.
Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Remove from fridge and let set at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Fire up your grill.
Thread shrimp onto skewers and place on grill.
Brush with remaining marinade (caution: flare-ups can occur) and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Flip, brush with more marinade and cook another 2-3 minutes or until the shrimp are done.
Remove from grill.
For the mushrooms and pasta
Cook the pasta per package instructions, reserving 1 cup of the water from the pot.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet.
Add the mushrooms and saute for 10 minutes or until golden brown and soft. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove the mushrooms and reserve.
Add remaining butter to the skillet and melt.
Add the garlic, cream cheese cubes, parsley and basil. Whisk to combine. Note: The sauce will not be creamy.
Add 2/3 cup of the reserved pasta water and whisk. The sauce will come together and get creamy.
Add the mushrooms, grilled shrimp, and pasta. Stir to combine. If too thick add a bit more of the pasta water and stir.
Serve garnished with freshly chopped parsley.
I throw the shrimp onto the grill while the mushrooms are sauteeing.
It was one of ‘those’ days. I was just way to busy too cook up a fancy dinner. Or even a marginally fancy dinner. So, quick fix shrimp tacos to the rescue. I had everything on hand already. A box of shells, some pre-cooked frozen shrimp, a bag of salad, and spicy salad dressing. That’s all it took to make light, crunchy, tasty quick fix tacos for dinner. Nothing fru-fru, just good and fast. Ok, I did add a few tortilla strips for color and more crunch, but that’s all. You can of course substitute soft tortilla shells if hard shells aren’t your thing, but I like the crunchy contrast. But don’t get fancy. That’s not what we’re doing here.
You had me at ‘okra’. I love okra. Grilled, fried, sauteed, roasted… or tossed into this Creole-style bean soup. The okra helps thicken up the broth and adds such a great flavor. All the flavors of a gumbo, along with some hearty beans to boot. Easy to make and fantastic on a cold day. I don’t add the shrimp to the entire pot of soup if I’m not going to eat the entire batch at once. Reheated shrimp are not my favorite thing. They get too tough. Instead, I transfer some of the soup (just enough for dinner) to a separate pot and then add the shrimp. It’s a bit more trouble but I think it’s worth it. I could leave out the shrimp entirely and still have a great soup, but it wouldn’t be the same, that’s for sure.
I wanted to seriously up my cooking game. I figured (correctly) that a stop at our local fish mongers, Caplinger’s, would inspire me even more. And so I set off to make crab-stuffed shrimp on the grill. Large shrimp are butterflied, the meat separated from the shells but still connected, and then stuffed with an absolutely delightful mixture of crab and seasonings that reminds me very much of crab cake. I cooked the shrimp over charcoal in a cast-iron skillet, giving the shrimp a light smoky flavor. The end result was out-of-this-world delicious. For appetizer-sized crab-stuffed shrimp use smaller shrimp, like the 16 count shrimp I used. For main dishes, get some 6-8 count shrimp. The larger the shrimp the easier they are to butterfly and the easier it is to separate the meat from the shell, which is definitely the most difficult part of making these shrimp. The rest is easy peasy.
As I sit here and remember just how fantastic the crab stuffing was in these shrimp, I recall back to the best crabcakes I’ve ever had, at Timbuktu’s in Hanover, Maryland. Their crabcakes have the largest and most delicious chunks of crab in them… mmmmmm….
Large shrimp are butterflied, the meat separated from the shells but still connected, and then stuffed with an absolutely delightful mixture of crab and seasonings that reminds me very much of crab cake.
1poundshrimpjumbo, 6-8 count (I used smaller, 16 count shrimp)
1/2poundunsalted butterplus more for the skillet
1 1/2sleeves Ritz crackerscrumbled
2sliceswhite breadcrusts removed, cubed
1/2teaspoonOld Bay seasoning
kosher saltto taste
freshly ground black pepperto taste
2tablespoonsmayonnaiseplus more if needed
Fire up your grill for two zone (direct and indirect cooking). Alternatively, you can cook these shrimp in the oven at 350 F.
Cut a slit down the backs of the shrimp. Do not cut all the way thru.
Butterfly the shrimp and remove the vein.
Separate the shell from the meat but do not remove it. The shell will still be attached at the tail, but the meat will not be attached to the shell.
Lightly butter a 7" cast iron skillet. Add the shrimp, butterflied side up.
Melt 1/2 pound of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low and add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from heat.
Crumble the crackers into a large bowl. Add the bread, Old Bay seasoning, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
Add most of the melted butter. Do not add any of the onion or garlic, you just want to add the liquid.
Mix and add the mayonnaise. Try to squeeze the mixture together. If it holds together, it's ready. If it's too dry add more of the melted butter and a little bit of mayonnaise and mix and try again. Keep adding more butter/mayonnaise until the mixture holds together.
Lightly chop the crab and fold into the cracker mixture.
Working in batches, squeeze a tablespoon or two of the stuffing into a small log shape and place inside the butterflied shrimp. Don't be shy with the stuffing, you'll have plenty.
Place over indirect heat or in the oven and cook 20 minutes or until the shrimp is done. The shrimp will be pink in color on the outside and the flesh is opaque. If cooking on the grill rotate your skillet once to achieve consistent cooking.
Place the lemon halves over direct heat on the grill and grill until seared. If cooking in the oven, just use the halves as is - don't cook them.
Wow, talk about amazingly good. The heck with the main dish, just load me up on some of these Cajun shrimp-stuffed poblano peppers. A slight kick of heat, perfect shrimp and creamy melted cheese. What’s not to love? You could use green bell peppers instead, if you want. I love poblanos because they are a little spicier than a bell pepper without just completely drowning out a dish in heat.
For extra kick, substitute shredded pepper jack cheese for the feta and mozzarella and add a few diced roasted jalapenos into the shrimp mixture. That’ll definitely liven up the party.