Monday, February 27, 2012

Cajun Shrimp with Creole Cocktail Sauce

Spicy rich sauteed cajun shrimp is paired with a ginger cinnamon cocktail sauce in this simple dish.  I got the idea to make cocktail sauce from scratch after reading a book called Pure Ketchup: A history of America's National Condiment.  Many of their traditional recipes call for fresh tomatoes and no added sugar or preservatives.  Making your own condiments takes a little more effort but it is worth it knowing you are eating something fresh, whole, and unprocessed.  The whole thing takes less than 30 minutes to make and would also make a great appetizer.  For an exceptional meal, try Trader Joe's Wild Blue Colossal Shrimp.  They are to die for!

Spicy shrimp dipped in a fresh tomato reduction sauce with ginger and spices

Cajun Shrimp Ingredients:
1lb wild caught shrimp, raw, deveined, tail on, and dethawed
2-3tsp cajun seasoning (I used Weber N'Orleans Cajun Seasoning)
1tbs butter, preferably organic

Creole Cocktail Sauce Ingredients:
5-6 large roma tomatoes, diced
1tbs minced fresh ginger
pinch cloves
1/4tsp allspice
1/8tsp cinnamon
1/8tsp cayenne
2tbs white balsamic vinegar
1tbs tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large sauce pan, boil cocktail sauce ingredients until the tomatoes are broken down and thick.  Using an immersion blender (or in batches in a regular blender), puree until smooth. Adjust seasonings as needed.
2. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat 1tbs butter over medium high heat.  When the butter is sizzling, add your shrimp in a single layer.  Sprinkle generously with cajun seasoning.  Cook a few minutes on one side (they should begin to curl and be done on that side), then flip and cook a few minutes on the other side.  When the shrimp are no longer translucent and are curled, they are done.  Do not overcook!  Remove from heat and eat warm dipped in your fresh creole cocktail sauce.  Enjoy!

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