Shrimp Toulouse

The Court of the Two Sisters , in the heart of the French Quarter, is a good spot to dine outdoors, especially for their jazz brunch and if you’re looking to have a romantic dinner. While pricey and a bit touristy, their food is quite good. In fact, their recipe for Shrimp Toulouse was one of the first recipes that I altered to made it my own (trust me, you don’t really need a pound of butter!).

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Shrimp Toulouse

2 pounds medium shrimp peeled and deveined
6 tablespoons butter, softened and divided
1 medium onion, diced
8 oz  mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup diced green bell pepper
1 cup diced red bell pepper
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
1 cup white wine

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a large cast iron skillet. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and, once it is melted, add the mushrooms, garlic and green and red bell peppers. Sauté vegetables for a few moments before adding the Creole seasoning. Stir well and then pour in the white wine. Bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced by half. Add in the shrimp and stir until they are pink and cooked through. Finally, stir in remaining butter, a tablespoon at a time, over low heat. When all butter is incorporated, remove from heat.

Serve over rice.

Make your own Creole seasoning – it tastes better than most store bought! Adjust from the recipe below to your palate.

Creole Seasoning

1/3 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup paprika
1/4 cup granulated garlic
4 tablespoons onion powder
1/3 cup freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons white pepper
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano

Combine all ingredients and place in an airtight jar or plastic container.

Blackened Broiled Gulf Shrimp

I was flipping through a family recipe book and came across one from my Great Uncle Garrett Griggs. He basically took 2 pounds of shrimp, two sticks of butter and some salt and pepper, tossed it all together and made a dish of delicious broiled shrimp.

I decided to update the family recipe with my version of blackening spice but to leave most of the rest intact because…well, butter and spice make everything nice!

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Blackened Broiled Gulf Shrimp

2 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons whole thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne
2 sticks butter, melted
2 lbs raw, shrimp in shell

Mix the first nine ingredients together to form the blackening spice. Store in an airtight container.

Thoroughly grease a shallow baking pan with melted butter. Toss shrimp with a generous coating of the blackening spice. Thread onto skewers. Set onto the baking pan and sprinkle with more spice mix and then baste with melted butter.

Cook in a preheated 475 degree F oven until pink, about 3 minutes. Rotate the skewers and baste with more melted butter. Broil for 4-5 minutes until done.

Since this is peeled with fingers at the table, serve with a good supply of paper napkins and the remainder of the melted butter. Depending on how spicy you like it is how many fingers you should lick!

As he wrote at the end of the recipe: Messy but good

Avery’s on Tulane

IMG_20140722_115349_360I had a lunch meeting to plot world domination and it was decided that a po-boy place was the perfect venue for our conspiring. Avery’s on Tulane was convenient to nearly everyone, so that’s where we went.

They were very busy when we arrived at noon with workers from the area construction projects, lawyers and other workers from the courthouse, etc filling the place. They have a concrete floor, so it was a little noisy.

The menu is divided into starters, salads, po-boys and platters which makes it easy to decide how much food one wants.

For starters we had sweet potato fries which had an interesting seasoning on them. Not bad but a little odd. Their honey butter biscuit was really delicious and I could have eaten a second one.

I had the shrimp creole daily special. Came with five large shrimp and two pieces of toasted garlic bread. The sauce was really good – with enough spice and flavor to open my sinuses but not enough to make me cry.

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The other folks at the meal had the shrimp po-boy, catfish po-boy, buffalo shrimp platter and blacked chicken Caesar salad. All of which were good sized portions and I heard no complaints.

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The kitchen seemed backed up as it took a while for a meal to arrive. However, we were busy intriguing and hardly noticed. The waitstaff might have been rushed but they were quick with drink refills and checking to make sure we had all we needed. Very much worth a trip back to taste a po-boy or three.