Want to hear how I’ve been driving my family and friends crazy lately? How my coworkers have come to be rolling their eyes at me?
I’ve been making Hot Shrimp Dip, getting ready for Mardi Gras. Except I haven’t been just saying Hot Shrimp Dip. I’ve been giving it my best Benjamin Buford Blue “you can call me Bubba” from Forrest Gump impression. Here’s how it’s been going.
Me: Hi there,Yvette.
Yvette: Hi! What’s cooking today?
Me: Hot Shrimp Dip. You got your shrimp dip, your coconut shrimp, pineapple shrimp. There’s shrimp kebabs, deep-fried shrimp, shrimp soup…
Yvette: (rolls eyes) OK… bye. (walks away in relief)
Now, I’m not saying this is really how people speak in Louisiana. Far from it, based on this website I checked out. But I did see Forrest Gump about 20 times, so shrimp and Bubba are deeply intertwined in my mind. And each time I repeat this litany it really does remind me how many wonderful things CAN be made from this pinkly perfect crustacean.
Case in point: Mardi Gras Hot Shrimp Dip.
Start with some lovely shrimp. I found these fat ones sold raw at my local market with the tails still on. After boiling them up, we (meaning my husband) peeled the tails off and added it back to the stock for a little more simmering time. This stock became a delightful seafood chowder later in the week.
Raw shrimp should be cooked in plenty of gently boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the shrimp turn from translucent grey to perky salmon pink. Don’t forget to devein them as well.
Frozen precooked shrimp will also be just fine for this recipe. You’ll need 1 pound of shrimp total.
During the winter, the freshest tomatoes are often the tiny grape tomatoes. A pair of kitchen shears makes cutting them up a breeze. You’ll need about a cup of these small tomatoes, or you can dice up about 2 medium vine-ripened tomatoes.
To the tomatoes, add 2 cups cream cheese; 1 medium onion, diced; 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine; 1/2 cup diced jalapeños, for kick – and, of course, your cooked shrimp.
How you season the dish is really up to you. It truly doesn’t need more than a touch of salt and pepper but a good helping of Old Bay Seasoning wouldn’t be amiss either.
Stir the mixture together until well combined. I can’t say smooth, because there is no way those luscious chunks of shrimp should be smoothed out.
Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until very hot and bubbling in the center. Serve hot with crackers, toast points, baguette, or your favorite dippers. A few dashes of hot sauce wouldn’t be amiss, either. OK, maybe a lot of hot sauce.
Twice I’ve eaten just a small bowl of this hot dip for dinner, with good crusty bread and a glass of wine, watching an old favorite movie of mine.
And for dessert? Well, life is like a box of chocolates… Tell me in the comments about your favorite food and movie combos – I can’t wait for new ideas for movie night at our house!
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