We spent this March break doing a road trip through Louisiana and Texas, and had some pretty amazing encounters with real southern food classics. Even just writing about it makes me hungry! This Cajun shrimp bread was inspired by a Cajun crawfish bread we had one sunny afternoon in Louisiana.
If you can get your hands on crawfish, I’d use that instead of shrimp, but alas, we don’t all live down south, and shrimp will also do nicely.
The Louisiana kitchen is world famous for its spicy and flavorful Cajun and Creole tastes. In my mind, this recipe represents quintessential Louisiana food culture: great shellfish combined with hot Cajun spice, crunchiness, creaminess, and, frankly my dear, lots of decadent southern self-indulgence. It is pleasantly addictive.
Well, as they say in Louisiana, “Laissez les bon temps rouler” – let the good times roll…
Cajun spiced creamy shrimp baked on bread (serves 6 as an appetizer)
1 tsp sweet paprika
2 cloves of crushed garlic
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried)
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried)
Freshly ground black pepper – about 4-5 churns
1-2 pinches of salt
1/2 lb (225 g) shrimp (or crawfish or crayfish)
1 tbsp canola oil (rapeseed oil) or butter
About 1 footlong (about 30 cm long) baguette or ciabatta
4 tbsp olive oil or butter
3 oz (1/3 cup/75 ml) half cream (min. 18% fat)
About 1.5 oz (40 g) mild cheese (e.g. mozzarella) coarsely shredded
Fresh chives to drizzle on top
1 lime, sliced, to serve
1. Start by preheating the oven to 400 F (200 degrees Celsius).
2. Divide the baguette or ciabatta lengthwise into two pieces. Drizzle each with a couple of tbsp olive oil or spread with butter. Place on baking parchment on an oven pan.
3. In a bowl, mix together all the spices, fresh herbs and the crushed garlic. Add the shrimp (or craw fish) and stir together with a spoon until the Cajun spice mix covers all the shrimp.
4. Heat up the canola oil at high heat in a frying pan, and once hot, throw in the Cajun spiced shrimp. Fry quickly while stirring for 30 seconds. Pour in the cream and keep stirring while keeping it at high heat. Stir for another minute or two until the cream thickens a little.
5. Take the frying pan off the heat and mix in the shredded cheese while stirring. Distribute the Cajun shrimp cream mix evenly on the two halves of baguette/ciabatta. Put in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
6. Cut up each half of baguette into 3 pieces and place on a serving platter. Drizzle with chives and maybe an extra bit of olive oil if you like. Serve with slices of lime for anyone who’d like to add a little citrusy freshnees.
Feeling in the mood for more French food? Here is an easy dinner recipe that would work really well as a main with this Cajun shrimp bread appetizer: