Friday, January 22, 2010

Cajun Shrimp Dip

Cajun Shrimp Dip and Spread, is a well loved Deep South appetizer, made preferably with freshly boiled Gulf shrimp.
Cajun Shrimp Dip and Spread, is a well loved Deep South appetizer, made preferably with freshly boiled Gulf shrimp.

Cajun Shrimp Spread and Dip

Cajun Shrimp Dip is such a delicious addition for any party or gathering. It's great with tortilla chips, corn chips, crackers, or even spread on bread. 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.

More often than not, we make dips like this from highly seasoned, leftover boiled shrimp. I know. Some of you are saying leftover boiled shrimp? What's that?! Well, let's just say when we have a shrimp boil here in the Deep South, we make a lot of shrimp, so there's often some left. No worries though. I've written the recipes to start from scratch with raw shrimp. The Cajun goes shrimping in-season with his Dad, so I almost always have freshly frozen, raw shrimp put up in my freezer.

That said, can you use good ole canned shrimp from the grocery store shelf? Of course! I admit, I'm a bit spoiled having grown up along the Gulf coast where seafood is plentiful and fresh. That tastes by far the best, no doubt. Plus with canned shrimp, you do need to factor in the other stuff that's in there, such as sodium, since one small 4 ounce can of small salad shrimp can contain as much as 30% sodium! Frozen and thawed, small salad shrimp would be of much better quality and it's so simple to season.

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, only a guideline. Just enough to reach the desired consistency you're looking for.

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Recipe: Cajun Shrimp Spread and Dip

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min
Inactive time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 10 min
Yield: About 4 to 6 servings


For the Seasoned Shrimp:
  • 1 pound 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
For the Dip:
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • Juice of half a lemon (about a tablespoon)
  • Couple dashes hot sauce, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon 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.

Hot Dip: Prepare as above except transfer to a 2-1/2 quart size baking dish. Bake in preheated 375 degree F oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly. Garnish with reserved shrimp before serving.


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Posted by on January 22, 2010
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