One of my biggest passions the past few years has been traveling. While I'm nowhere near done my (very) long list of places to travel, finding somewhere new and immersing myself in the sites, the people, and the food available brings me so much happiness that I try to make it happen as often as possible.
This spring I was lucky enough to travel to New Orleans. To say I was inspired by the city is a huge understatement. I fell in love and can't wait to get back. I happened to be visiting during crawfish season. I decided to step out of my food box and give something completely new a try, and subsequently fell in love with crawfish too.
Now while I can't get crawfish in my local area ever, when I saw this recipe, it immediately brought me back to New Orleans and I knew I had to give it a shot. While cheese and seafood may seem like an odd combination, this dip is a clear winner. Substantial enough to be a small meal on it's own, or large enough to share, until I can get myself back to the magic that is New Orleans dishes such as this are a great stand in.
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Servings: 8 small or 4 large portions
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 bell pepper (seeded and chopped)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped okra
- a few celery ribs (diced)
-5-6 scallions (chopped)
- 1 clove of garlic (minced)
- 1 1/2 tsp cajun seasoning
- 1 lb shrimp (peeled, deveined, and pre-cooked)
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
(crackers or baguettes for serving)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Chop bell pepper, okra, and celery. Set aside. In a medium skillet set over medium/high heat, melt butter. Add bell pepper, okra, and celery and sauté until they begin to soften (about 5-6 minutes). Chop scallions and mince garlic. Stir in scallions, garlic, and Cajun seasoning, cooking 1-2 minutes more (or until fragrant). Stir in shrimp, cream cheese, and Parmesan over low heat until everything is melted and evenly distributed. Spoon into approximately an 8x8 dish and bake for 25-30 minutes (until the top is brown and bubbly). Serve warm.
Recipe adapted from: Annie's Eats