December 13, 2007

Louisiana Pickled Shrimp

My friend and co-worker, Debbie, is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She is a bit of an LSU fan. Okay, she is completely and utterly obsessed with LSU sports (especially football at the moment), but that's another story. She compiled a cookbook a few years ago for Christmas gifts for her friends and was nice enough to share it with me when I asked for some recipes. The book, Recipes from Home, is full of dishes like Crawfish Etouffee, Jambalaya and more than one type of roux. It's a new type of cooking for me, so I picked an easy recipe to be my first.

What makes this shrimp perfect is that you can make it a day ahead of time and have it on hand for a festive appetizer or snack. After it's assembled and mixed, it has to sit for at least 24 hours to marinate, making preparation ideal for busy folks.

3 lbs. peeled and cooked shrimp
3 onions, sliced very thinly
8 bay leaves
1 1/4 cups canola oil
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
2 1/2 tablespoons capers (undrained)
Generous dash Tabasco Sauce (I used Texas Pete's)
1 clove garlic, chopped

Alternate layers of shrimp and onions in a shallow glass dish.

Combine remaining ingredients and pour over shrimp.

Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours or longer.

Drain and serve ice cold in a bowl with toothpicks or on a plate with any type of crackers. I didn't drain everything off, and kept the onions and capers, although this shrimp would be good either way. It was light and very tasty- just the right combination of spices and oil. If you like spicy, add more hot sauce for a bigger kick- or just leave the hot sauce on the side and let your guests decide. We have decided to make various appetizers for Christmas Eve snacking, and this one is now on the list.

The next recipe I think I'll try before the year is up is jambalaya. I get hungry just reading it. Thank you, Debbie, for introducing me to these regional, spicy, unique recipes...and the eggs.

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