One of my very first memories is looking down and watching my little toddler feet walk up porch steps with my mom hovering over me telling me to "hurry up before the alligators get you."
I went to Houma, LA when I was 2 years old. My mom's dad lived there and we went for a visit. My mom used to call me Turtle because I was real slow and she was deathly worried I would get eaten up by alligators just walking up the porch steps. She must've talked about those gators until she was blue in the face because it's all I remember about my first, and only, trip to Louisiana.
New Orleans has been at the very top of my list for travel destinations for as long as I can remember. I mean the culture, the swamps, the architecture, the history, and the food...it is truly a one-of-a-kind destination. You just know it's going to be a wonderful time!
Our family hasn't had a chance to take our usual summer vacation this year, but we are really hoping we can get to New Orleans this fall during our fall break from school! If we do, I am going to want to eat ALL the things. Isn't that what you do in New Orleans? Beignets, Muffalettas, Etouffee, Gumbo, Jambalaya, Red Beans and Rice, Po'Boys, Bananas Foster, Pralines, and all the shrimp.
One does not go to New Orleans to be healthy for the week. It is all about the decadence! Until then, however, I am still practicing my healthier lifestyle (and by the way, I have lost 25 pounds - woohoo!) One of the things that has really helped me lose weight has been eating shrimp at least once a week. Shrimp is something that you can really indulge in as it is really low in calories. If you chose the right preparation as I did here with Mark Bittman's Cajun-Style Broiled Shrimp, you can really eat like a king!
All you need to do is get some shrimp and make a flavorful paste of: garlic (lots of garlic), salt, cayenne, paprika, lemon juice, olive oil, and lots of black pepper. Then you just slather that flavorful paste all over the shrimp and broil it. It might not look like there is much seasoning on the shrimp, but wow! The shrimp are full of garlicky cayenne flavor! This really does make for a wonderfully light and flavorful summertime meal.
Let the good times roll!
Cajun-Style Broiled Shrimp
Adapted from Mark Bittman
1 garlic clove* (more like 5)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
lots of black pepper
1-1/2 pounds peeled shrimp
lemon wedges and hot sauce, for serving
Notes: I have no idea why Bittman only wants you to use 1 little clove of garlic in this recipe. I used at least 5, maybe eve 6 or 7 cloves. Also, feel free to add more cayenne, or less, and don't be afraid to make it your own!
Turn on the broiler, and put the rack close to the heat. Mash 1 garlic clove (or 5 cloves) with 1 teaspoon salt until it forms a paste. Add it to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil and lots of black pepper. Rub paste all over 1-1/2 pounds peeled shrimp. Broiler, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Serve with rice and veggies and/or serve alone with bread. Enjoy!Vacation Eats @ IHCC