Baked Shrimp Po' Boys + Oven Baked Beignets

Happy weekend! I hardly ever post on Saturday, but I wanted to write up the 2 True Blood recipes from earlier this week in case anyone is interested in making them for tomorrow night's premiere...or just in general. (oh and bonus that You've Got Mail is on TBS right now while I'm writing this...score!)

I concocted the po' boys on a whim. I had never baked shrimp. I had never made a po' boy. In fact, I honestly wasn't even sure what went into a po' boy. But once I have an idea, I just go with it. I'm so glad I went with this one. Shaun is already asking me to make this again. The tender shrimp with a salty cornmeal crust, a seasoned sauce and some fresh lettuce come together in a salty, flavor explosion! And I can't wait to try it again...for True Blood or not.


Baked Shrimp Po’ Boys
Serves 3 - 4
1 lb raw shrimp, peeled, deveined & tails off*
½ C cornmeal
½ C all-purpose flour
cooking spray
2 Tbsp Creole seasoning (recipe below)
1 C mayonnaise (or ½ C mayo, ½ C Greek yogurt mixed together)
2 C romaine lettuce
3-4 Portugese-style rolls

Creole seasoning
*Adapted from Emeril’s ESSENCE Creole Seasoning
2 ½ Tbsp paprika
1 ½ Tbsp garlic powder
1 ½ Tbsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you like it spicy!)
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried thyme

Whisk the seasonings all together and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Once your shrimps are all cleaned, lay out on a plate and sprinkle very lightly with the seasoning.

In a small bowl, combine the flour and cornmeal. Dredge the shrimp in the mixture and lay on a wire rack sprayed with cooking oil, and set over a foil-lined baking sheet (got all that?). Sprinkle lightly with the seasoning and spray the shrimp lightly with cooking spray. Turn the shrimp over and repeat. Bake for 10-12 minutes until shrimp are cooked through, but not overcooked. Meanwhile, mix 1 Tbsp of the seasoning with the mayonnaise and set aside. When shrimp are done, remove from the oven. Spread sauce onto the roll, layer on the shrimp and top with a bit of lettuce.



As for the oven baked beignets, I used a Good Housekeeping recipe via Jenna @ Eat Live Run.

Now. I'm not going to lie to you and tell you that they are the same thing as fried beignets. They aren't. They are doughier and a little heavier. BUT. They are delicious. They are healthier by not being fried. And they are way easier since you don't have to stand over a fryer (bonus) and you are saved from having to clean the fryer (my least favorite task ever). Check out the recipe on Eat Live Run if ya like!

So there you have it. Two on-a-whim recipes that came together in a flash and tasted like a million bucks. Or something like that. I hope you enjoy these! And if you missed all things True Blood earlier this week, check out this post. Can't wait to open the discussion tomorrow on the season premiere! xo


Roasted Shrimp with Fennel + Feta

Thank you all for your very sweet words after yesterday's post. It was so fun to share our love story that started 11 years ago :)

So today I'm here to tell you about my new Ina Garten cookbook. I received How Easy is That? for Christmas and though I'm a huge (huge) Ina fan, I had yet to break it open and give it a spin. Until last week.

If you've read my blog in the past, you'd know that I absolutely adore Ina. I love her crisp Hamptons style, her delicious and semi-artisinal eats, and especially her refusal to compromise any ingredients to save a few calories. When I came across her roasted shrimp with feta, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn't very unhealthy at all. In fact, the only 'bad for you' ingredients are feta cheese and panko breadcrumbs...both of which can be substituted with reduced-fat cheese and whole wheat panko. But I went all out on this one.

The sharp feta balances the acidic tomatoes while the tender fennel gives just an extra sweetness and texture that should not be compromised. Admittedly, I had never worked with fennel before, but it couldn't be easier to break down.

I had avoided it completely due to my distaste for anise flavor, but I will admit that it's essential in this dish. And once it gets cooking, it's actually sweet. And pretty fantastic. I'm a convert.


Roasted Shrimp with Fennel + Feta
*Adapted from Ina Garten (my girl!)
1 medium-sized fennel, diced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1/3 C white wine
1 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 lb. peeled shrimp (I used frozen, raw shrimp. I defrosted & peeled)
5 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1 C panko breadcrumbs
3 tsp ground parsley
1 tsp grated lemon zest
juice of 1 lemon
olive oil

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in an oven-proof skillet (preferably one with high sides). Add the fennel and saute until soft, about 10 minutes.

Add the garlic, stir, and then add the wine. Bring to a boil and scrape up the brown bits on the bottom (aka, the best part!). Simmer for 2 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes with liquid, tomato paste, oregano, salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes, until the flavors all meld together.

Meanwhile, make the topping. In a small bowl, combine the panko, lemon zest and parsley; set aside.

Lay the uncooked shrimp over the tomato mixture in the skillet.

Layer the feta over the shrimp. Sprinkle the panko mixture over the top and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for about 15 minutes until the shrimp are completely cooked and the panko is golden.

Squeeze the lemon juice over the finished dish.

Now serve it up!๏ปฟ

I served this dish with a bit of whole wheat baguette that I picked up at Whole Foods. It needed no other side dish. It was super filling. The shrimp cooked up perfectly and the flavors all just came together. It was fantastic. The one tweak I will make next time is to add more white wine or even a bit of vegetable broth. Once the dish cooked up, there wasn't much 'sauce' left in the skillet, but all of the juices had been absorbed. I really wanted that sauce for my baguette. Next time, friends! The sauce will be mine.

So there you have it. A super easy dish that we got 5 meals out of. Shocking, no? We had a serving for dinner, both had some for lunch and I had it for dinner another night that week. So what do you think? Do you ever cook with shrimp or seafood? And what are your feelings on Ina? Yay or nay? Or do you have another favorite celebrity chef?