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Mardi Gras is the perfect excuse for a party, and not just any party — a New Orleans-themed party. I don’t know if you’ve been to New Orleans (NOLA for short), but let me tell you this: Those people know how to party. I was there last year for a quick week and even this California girl had a hard time keeping up with the nightlife. That aside, you can’t forget the amazing Cajun and Creole food on every corner and the unforgettable cocktail scene with live music that pours into the streets at night. If you can’t head down south for Mardi Gras this year, re-create a NOLA-inspired appetizer for Fat Tuesday.
And who better to take inspiration from than the king of NOLA himself, Emeril.
This Mardi Gras Jambalaya from Emeril is one of my all-time favorites. I’ll make this for a big dinner party any day, but I wanted to turn it into an appetizer so it would be easy to eat — people can grab a bite and run back to the dance floor.
I took Emeril’s Essence Creole Seasoning, aka Bayou Blast, and used it to marinate some shrimp skewers and then baked them to perfection. I served it with a little side of Creole butter and some crusty white bread to soak up any excess butter. It’s the perfect menu item for your Mardi Gras party. Shake up a Ramos Gin Fizz or two and serve these great Creole Shrimp Skewers for you and all your friends this Mardi Gras.
Creole Shrimp Skewers
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Creole Shrimp Skewers
2 tablespoons Creole Seasoning
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 pound medium shrimp (30/40) peeled and deveined
Combine the Creole Seasoning ingredients thoroughly and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Combine the Creole Seasoning and melted butter in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Place 3 tablespoons of this mixture in a shallow dish and reserve the remaining mixture for later.
Skewer the shrimp on small 6 inch skewers, using 2-3 shrimp per skewer. Lay the skewers in the butter mixture in the shallow dish and coat both sides with the seasoning. Place the skewers on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Once all the shrimp have been skewered, place the baking sheet in the oven and let the shrimp bake for about 12-15 minutes until opaque throughout. Remove the skewers and place on a platter for serving.
Serve immediately with the remaining melted Creole butter and some crusty bread to dip in the butter.
Gaby Dalkin is a chef, photographer/food stylist, enthusiastic traveler and guacamole fanatic. She is the founder of What’s Gaby Cooking, where she showcases her simple and sassy recipes that feature whichever ingredients she is currently obsessing over. She lives in Los Angeles with her fiancé, Thomas, and her cat, Stella.