Well, today there are no chiles, kinda sorta. I found some beautiful head on shrimps at the local market so, viola, cajun shrimps for dinner.
We all have pet peeves that drive us nuts. Our youngest son, Knothead, has a thing about the use of words shrimps and bacons. It absolutely drives him up a wall when people talk about shrimps and bacons. I remember one day we went to a restaurant and the waitress very politely asked him “How many bacons would you like with that?” We thought he was going to strip a gear! He couldn’t be ugly to the sweet woman. Neither could he lecture her on the use of the English language. We could see the volcano boiling deep within as he struggled to control himself when he politely smiled and finally said I would like 2 bacon with my breakfast, please. Of course, Emeril had no chance on his TV show and every time Emeril would talk about shrimps Knothead would start lecturing the TV knowing full well the TV would not argue with him and he would have the final say. Of course, Emeril continues to use the word shrimps to Knothead’s great disdain.
According to Knothead, the plural of shrimp is shrimp, like 1 shrimp, 2 shrimp, etc. Using the Queens English, as opposed to the US English, however, shrimps is the plural of shrimp. Further, Meriam-Webster Dictionary and Oxford Dictionary both now recognize “shrimps” as the third-person singular present, plural of shrimp. At the worldly age of 21, Knothead is rather traditional in his scope and rejects both Meriam-Webster and Oxford Dicitionaries’ inclusion of shrimps as a plural of shrimp using something along the following thought process:
“Shrimps is simply not the plural of shrimp. Period. End of story. It really doesn’t matter how many uneducated people repeat it. Why should it change because the uneducated don’t know English grammar and spelling?”
Because he makes such a big deal about it, we like to play with him. 😀 So, this post on Cajun Shrimps is for the Knothead. 😛 It’s also lip smackin’ good, has some of our homegrown leeks and easy to make. Here’s what we did.
For the Shrimps
- 2 lbs shrimps, head on
- 1 stick butter
- 2 cups onion, medium dice
- 1 bell pepper, medium dice
- 1 cup small leeks, sliced (can substitute with 1/2 cup sliced green onions if you don’t have small leeks)
- 1/2 Tbsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 Tbsp flour
- 1-3/4 cup shrimp stock (recipe follows)
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
- 1 Meyer lemon, juiced and zested
- Hot Sauce (your preference), to taste
- cooked rice
For the Shrimp Stock
- Heads and shells from shrimps
- 1 Laurel bay leaf
- 1 whole clove
- 6 whole black peppercorns
For the Shrimp Stock
Before you do anything else, clean and shell the shrimps. Put the shells into a large pot and add 1 Laurel bay leaf.
Add 1 whole clove
and 6 whole peppercorns
Cover with water.
Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer.
Simmer for roughly 30 minutes and strain.
You only need 1-3/4 cups and this will leave you about 1 qt extra. This freezes remarkably well so keep it and freeze it for later uses.
For the Shrimps
Add the butter to a large chef’s pan over medium high heat.
Heat until the butter is melted and bubbling.
Now add black pepper, paprika
cayenne pepper and thyme
Saute the onions for 3 minutes, then add garlic
Add the bell pepper
Add salt and toss
Stir to incorporate and add shrimp stock
Add lemon juice
Now add the hot sauce.
Let simmer for 3 minutes to blend the flavors and allow the flour to cook out. Now, add the shrimps.
Add leeks (or green onions)
Cook for 4 minutes or until the shrimps are done. Finish with chopped parsley.
Place a mound of rice in a bowl. Spoon the shrimps around the rice.
Serve & enjoy!