|Cajun Shrimp Spread and Dip, is a well loved Deep South appetizer, made preferably with fresh, peeled shrimp, though a canned product will work well also.|
Cajun Shrimp Spread and DipCajun Shrimp Spread, or dip if you will, is such a delicious addition for any party - including those football games, and the upcoming Super Bowl and Mardi Gras festivities, both just around the corner. Make it a day ahead if you can, because the flavor only improves, but try to at least chill it for an hour or so at the very least, letting it come to room temperature before serving. I usually uses mayonnaise but I had some Baconnaise on hand that I was trying, so I substituted that and it turned out wonderful. Bacon flavor goes mighty fine here, but of course, regular ole mayo is classic.
My husband goes shrimping in-season so I almost always have freshly frozen, raw shrimp put up in my freezer, and that is what I usually cook with. You can, of course, substitute already cooked shrimp from your store's freezer section, eliminating the need for the seasonings in the first section of the recipe, though you definitely should add some of that Old Bay and Slap Ya Mama to the seasoning of the dip itself. Remember ... add a little, taste and adjust. You can always add to, but you can't take it back!
I neglected to do this for the photo this time, but as with most dips, a nice garnish is to top the dip with just a bit of one of the primary ingredients - here a few of the whole or chopped, cooked shrimp and a sprinkling of a bit of some extra Cajun seasoning or Old Bay. Dips are mostly unidentifiable, so the garnish also lets your party guests know what the dip contains.
The amount of mayonnaise is, of course, a guideline. If you intend to use this as a dip instead of a spread, just use more mayonnaise as needed to reach the desired consistency. You can also reduce the fat by boiling the shrimp, or using non-stick spray to pan sear the shrimp, and substituting lower fat cream cheese and mayonnaise products as well. I've made this with regular mayo and bacon flavored mayo and even Baconnaise comes in a lighter version!
Recipe: Cajun Shrimp Spread and Dip©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Inactive time: 1 hour | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
For the Seasoned Shrimp:
For the Dip:
- 1 pound of small raw shrimp, peeled
- 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
- Old Bay seasoning, to taste
- Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), to taste
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons of grated onion
- Juice of half a lemon (about a tablespoon)
- Couple dashes of hot sauce, to taste
- 1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning, or to taste
Dry shrimp off well with paper towels. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the shrimp and sprinkle with Old Bay, Cajun seasoning, and salt and pepper. Cook the shrimp, stirring occasionally, until it turns pink and is no longer transparent. Remove and set aside to cool.
Set aside a few shrimp for garnish. Place the shrimp into a food processor and process until finely chopped. Cut the cream cheese into chunks and add to the shrimp. Spoon in 1/3 cup of the mayonnaise, and add the grated onion, lemon juice, hot sauce and Cajun seasoning. Process until smooth. Add additional mayonnaise as needed to thin further. Taste and adjust seasonings. Refrigerate overnight if possible, or at least one hour.
Spoon into a serving bowl and garnish with the whole shrimp and a sprinkle of Cajun seasoning. Serve with toast points, assorted crackers, chips or cut up vegetables.
Cook's Notes: Substitute Baconnaise bacon flavored spread for the mayonnaise.
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©Deep South Dish
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