How to Prepare a Cajun Seafood Feast
Cajun seafood is one of the most exciting cuisines out there, and it’s also a lot of fun to prepare. Historically, this style of cooking was developed in the Southern reaches of the US after the Acadian immigrants fled from Canada in the 18th century. The Acadians made settlements near the Gulf of Mexico, where they found a wealth of crawfish, oysters, and shrimps. It was a huge switch from the lobster and salmon variety that locals were used to, but the Acadians decided to adopt it. Eventually, they were able to take their French-inspired recipes and incorporate ingredients freshly sourced from the sea. If you want to try it yourself, read below to know how to prepare a Cajun seafood feast.
Cajun dishes are generally flavorful and smokey, but not too hot that it’ll distract you from the melding flavors of the ingredients. According to experts on Food and Wine, the critical combo to any Cajun spice blend contains the following: salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Alternatively, you can buy pre-made Cajun seasoning from brands like Tony Chachere’s and Slap Ya Mama.
Dirty rice is a staple for any Cajun cuisine, and its quality can really make or break your meal. This is because it is the perfect carrier of flavor for the seafood’s juices and any sauces that come with the dish. For cooks who are pressed for time, a rice cooker can do most of the job for you. This is especially useful with dirty rice, which requires a bit more prep work beforehand since it involves more ingredients.
No matter what type of seafood you’re planning on using in your Cajun dish, you have to make sure that they’re fresh. A guideline on The Spruce Eats provides instructions on how to recognize fresh seafood. For whole fish, look at its eyes: make sure they’re bright and not glassy. On the other hand, shellfish should be bought alive, and you can check for quality by tapping its shell and ensuring it closes slightly. In contrast, shrimps are easier to tell. Simply buy them with the shells on so they’re protected from moisture, and frozen because they may go bad fast otherwise (unless of course, you want to use them right away).
How to prepare Cajun Shrimp
Now that you know what you need, it’s time to put that knowledge to the test. As a bonus, we’ll teach you how to make a simple Cajun shrimp rice dish—one of the easiest and simplest Cajun dishes to try out.
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 onions, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
2 cloves of minced garlic
2/3 cups of canned corn
1 1/2 lb of City Fish Market peeled and deveined Jumbo Shrimps
2 tsp of Cajun seasoning
1 tbsp of lemon juice
1 tbsp of chopped parsley
Salt & pepper
1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add your onions and bell peppers before sautéing for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and corn for 1 minute. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl.
2. In the same pan, pour the remaining 1 tbsp of oil. Place the shrimps in a single layer and season them with salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning. Cook until they’re pink, which should take about 1 to 2 minutes per side.
3. Add the vegetables from Step 1 and squeeze over a pinch of lemon juice, then toss until they’re all combined. Top it off with some parsley, serve it with some dirty rice, and voila! The dish is ready.
Exclusively written for cfishct.com
By Reese Jones