Celebrate Mardi Gras in style this year with a batch of this Cajun Fried Shrimp + Spicy Dipping Sauce!
It’s funny thinking back to how we met some of our best friends. I actually met one of my best friends via email. It’s true. During my sophomore year in college, I got a random email from a guy down at LSU. He was in the same fraternity as me, and it turns out he was a huge Duke fan. He was basically throwing out a long shot to see if there was any way he could get up to Duke to see a basketball game. I responded and explained that our ID cards served as our tickets to the games, so the chances were quite slim.
Nevertheless, we stayed in touch via email over the next couple of years. Sure enough, the year after I graduated, I managed to get some tickets to a game over Christmas break. (Duke sells the student section tickets during break as most students are back at home.) My buddy came up and had front row seats to his first Duke game. He went all out and borrowed my facepaint and game “costume” (i.e. blue hair, hat made from an old basketball cut in half, jersey, etc.)…and he made it on tv. Good times!
But this post isn’t about Duke basketball. This post is about Mardi Gras. Remember when I mentioned that this guy went to LSU? He had invited some of us down for Mardi Gras my junior year, but we didn’t make the trip. Then my senior year rolled around. I was sitting downstairs in a friend’s room talking about how much fun it would be to go to Mardi Gras…and then I remembered the offer. I called my buddy up, and sure enough, he told us to come on down! So about 3 hours later, a few of us piled into a car and made the roadtrip from Durham, NC to Baton Rouge, LA. We had an amazing time down there…so much so that I actually ended up moving to Baton Rouge a year or so later. If you’ve never visited south Louisiana, then put it on your list of places to go!
One of the things that stood out at me the most from that Mardi Gras trip was the people I met. Everyone down there was so friendly! We met my buddy (who later was a groomsman in my wedding) and then headed off to New Orleans for the weekend. We stayed with people who didn’t even know us, but they welcomed us in and fed us like we were lifelong friends!
And the food. The food. The food in south Louisiana is amazing! I’m talking King Cake…and Shrimp Etouffee…and gumbo…and red beans…and the list goes on and on. I fell in love with Cajun and Creole cooking, and it’s been a staple around our house ever since. (We live in upstate New York, and it’s not easy to find good Cajun food this far from Louisiana.)
I’ve always loved fried shrimp, and this Cajun Fried Shrimp is definitely a recipe to bookmark! We don’t fry food very often around here. Fried food isn’t exactly healthy, plus frying is just a mess. But sometimes it’s worth it. Sometimes you just need Cajun Fried Shrimp! This Cajun fried shrimp is really quite easy to make, too. You just mix up a buttermilk marinade of sorts and let the shrimp rest for 30 minutes. Then just dip ’em in a flour + cornmeal mixture and fry ’em up. Laura and I ate these (along with the spicy dipping sauce) for dinner next to some sauteed veggies. I’m thinking I want to make these Cajun Fried Shrimp again and then create a fried shrimp po’boy. Mmm…po’boys…
Fat Tuesday is quickly approaching, so grab some beads and “Laissez les bon temps rouler!” (Let the good times roll!). Cheers!