Week 20, Meal 2: Shrimp and spice and everything nice

For the average home cook, some of the recipes on Fat Dude on a Diet may seem challenging or time-consuming.

While they have been challenging — at least for me — I’ve seen an evolution in my kitchen quickness, knife skills and all-around cooking ability in the six months I’ve been doing this.

I’m eating better than I ever have when cooking at home before, and a lot of times better than even going out. But just as much as I love a kitchen challenge, I love when Chef Brian puts together a recipe that pairs his signature big flavors with quick preparation.

It’s especially nice that this one combines two of my favorite things: Seafood and sandwiches. Here’s Week 20, Meal 2: Blackened Shrimp Po’ Boy.

Week 20, Meal 2: Blackened Shrimp Po’ Boy (2 servings)

2 5-6 inch baguette rolls, cut in half, left with a hinge, and remove excess bread from the middle.
8-10 oz. shrimp, shelled, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 t paprika
1 t salt
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t thyme
1/2 t oregano
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/4 t black pepper
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
1 large tomato, sliced
remaining rouille from Week 20, Meal 1
cooking spray

Start by cutting 8-10 oz. of shrimp into 1/2-inch pieces, about three segments per shrimp.

In a bowl, combine 2 t of paprika, 1 t of salt, 1/2 t of onion powder, 1/2 t of thyme, 1/2 t of oregano, 1/4 t of cayenne pepper and 1/4 t of black pepper.

Season shrimp generously with spice mix, but season gradually. Don’t just dump everything in with the shrimp. You could over-season that way.

The cooking and put-together is quick from here, so prep everything before you cook the shrimp.

Cut 2 baguette rolls in half, but leave a hinge from them. Remove some of the excess bread in the middle, so the toppings will stay put.

Slice 1 large tomato and shred 1 cup of romaine lettuce. Easiest way is to stack leaves on top of each other, roll up the leaves and slice them thin, so when you unravel the roll, you’re left with thin shreds of lettuce.

Heat a large saute pan over high heat, until smoking. Spray with cooking spray and immediately add seasoned shrimp. Let sit for 1 minute to get some color on one side, then stir or toss gently and cook for another minute.

Total cook time should be 2-3 minutes. Remove shrimp from the pan and reserve.

To plate: You can toast the bread if you’d like. Once done, spread each side generously with rouille, about 2-3 T per sandwich. Add your split of the shrimp, top generously with lettuce and tomato and dig in!

The citrusy sauce tames down the heat from the blackening spice — but trust me, this one’s spicy. In my opinion sandwiches are the best type of food, and this one’s a quick and simple winner.

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