Everything you need to make a quick, scrumptious appetizer or dinner main dish is in this pan of Cajun baked shrimp, y'all!! The Cajun trinity veggies, garlic and herbs, pulsed in a food processor until festive, feisty bits of backup flavor and texture bliss. Mixed with olive oil, cooled melted butter and even more yummy spices. Then tossed with fresh shrimp and baked until ultra-flavorful, saucy deliciousness that you can literally sop up with a gluten free biscuit. Yep and yay...
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Sometimes the Storms Linger On In Your Heart...
We are still recovering from Hurricane Ida. She was a beast, y'all. Crazy rain and winds that make you feel like they were going to straight knock your soul right out of your body.
We rode her out in our home. And at first, she looked just like a beautiful tropical storm. All yellow in the sky, with an amber glow that made our trees and plants look soooo surreal. Like we had stepped into an alternate reality that amplified the beauty of everything we own outside into a kaleidoscope of colors and textures that were crisp, rejuvenated and stunningly ethereal.
To our delight, the first winds of the storm tickled our faces. And the first rains were light and breezy. And as the late afternoon transformed into the early evening, any lingering worries that I had about living through yet another south Louisiana hurricane departed like the evanescent sunlight.
Because It Changes Everything You Thought You Knew So Well...
But as the night turned into the early morning, the REAL storm came. The thick rain, heavy rolling winds of terror storm. And she stayed over our house for hours and hours, pounding her proud, mighty self against our property and our possessions.
Mark and I would fall asleep for a time. But then we would wake up with a start every I-don't-even-know-how-long as Ida pushed against our walls and windows. Huffing, puffing and threatening to blow our house down...
And when we woke up we had nowhere to go but outside to inspect the damage. We found two of our most beloved trees, our sweet olive and pear, down and out. There was debris all over our yard. Fences were down. All lights were out. And with heavy hearts, we realized that our beloved region had been pillaged into ruin.
With very little phone service and just a few minutes of cellular data a day for weeks, we heard about the death and destruction piece by piece. Lives were lost. Homes tumbled down to the ground. Businesses were flooded. And it was going to take much longer to rebuild from this storm than we could ever imagine.
But Then You Build Back in Your Heart First...
Truth be told, we got off kinda easy. Our power was out for 13 days and our Internet wasn't fully functional for almost a month. But, today, I'm happy to say that we are about 75 percent recovered from the storm.
And, just like when the floods came through several years ago, my heart remembered what I love so, soooo much about South Louisiana. My birthplace and the area that I still call home. Yes, there are many storms here. There are also many more rumors of storms that never come, as well. Each year, we live through hurricane season on hopes and prayers.
And usually, we end the season unscathed. But, sometimes when we don't our lives are changed forever. So, to go on, I remind myself to remember all of the beautiful things about living in Louisiana.
And Since My Heart's Usually Found in the Kitchen, I Developed a New Cajun Baked Shrimp Recipe...
Of course, I always start with food. Specifically seafood, that is...
So, I got busy celebrating south Louisiana in my heart for what she gives us. And since Gulf shrimp are one of my very favorite sea treats, I developed this Cajun baked shrimp recipe out of the bottom of my heart, y'all.
I created it on one those nights after we finally got power back. But when the Internet was going in and out, just teasing me with use long enough to leave me fall flat on my face, yet again unattached to my personal ticket out of writer hermithood. Indeed.
Anyway, I grabbed the shrimp and the Cajun trinity. Then I gathered all of my favorite south Louisiana seasonings a bit of butter and oil. And I went to town developing this new Cajun baked shrimp in my kitchen.
Honestly, it's quick. It's easy. It's super flavorful and beautiful, too, and the next-day leftovers are even tastier.
This Cajun baked shrimp also takes just roughly 30 minutes. So, it's definitely an ace in the hole recipe to keep on hand. You'll want it for easy but elegant home dinners. And for those nights when short-notice dinner guests are on their way. Because this dish is super tasty, and it pretty much goes with any side dish that you have on hand.
How to Make Cajun Baked Shrimp
Start the Cajun baked shrimp by preheating your oven. Then, pulse the Cajun trinity veggies, garlic and freshly parsley and celery leaves in your food processor:
It should look like this:
Now, pour the mixture and the remaining seasonings over the shrimp in the bowl:
And mix until well combined.
And then pour into your well-greased 12-inch cast iron skillet and bake:
And that's it y'all!!
This super easy Cajun baked shrimp makes just as tasty as a dish as it does a 'wow' tabletop presentation for your family or guests.
The first thing you notice is the bold south Louisiana spices. Then, you relish in the tender, juicy shrimp. Finally, as you're taking it all in, the buttery olive oil mixture finish dances on your tongue. And you just want one, one more bite til it's all, all gone.
It brings me great joy to be in your lives, y'all. I know that it's just from far away. But Hurricane Ida made me realize how quickly something you love can be taken from you. So, I just want y'all to know that writing this blog for y'all to read and use the recipes brings me some of the biggest joys in my life.
I'm happy to present my easy shrimp recipe with y'all. I love it and I really think that you will too.
Share this scrumptious Cajun baked shrimp with those whom you would move Heaven and earth to find after the storm. Much love, and see y'all on the yum side...
Cajun Baked Shrimp
- 2 thick onion slices, halved
- ¼ cup red bell pepper, cut into cubes or strips
- ½ celery stalk, cut in two to three pieces
- 1 tablespoon fresh celery leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 tablespoons melted butter, slightly cooled
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried paprika
- ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke
- 2 teaspoons Crystal hot sauce
- zest and juice of one small lemon
- salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
- 2 pounds raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Pour the onion, red bell pepper, celery, garlic and parsley and celery leaves into your food processor.
- Pulse slowly until all of the veggies and herbs are minced.
- Pour the mixture over the shrimp in a large bowl.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients to the bowl.
- Mix all of the ingredients together until well-incorporated.
- Pour into a well-greased 12-inch cast iron skillet.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until shrimp are opaque and a digital thermometer inserted into the largest shrimp reads at least 145 degrees F.
- Serve immediately.