New Year’s Eve is fast approaching and I don’t know about y’all but I can’t do anymore beef…I can’t. I want to celebrate and ring in the new year with happiness, love and light and that extends to what I put in my mouth. This hot dip hails from Louisiana due to the shrimp and trinity called for in the recipe but, hey, it could be from any Southern spot. We grew up on shrimp, here in Fort Lauderdale and in Puerto Rico. I’m not saying Fort Lauderdale was a sleepy, little fishing village but, as a little girl, locals with heavy southern accents happily sold their catch to us from the docks. Today any seafood caught locally is sold immediately to restaurants. But that’s okay. We all still have our secret, hole-in-the-wall sources and this recipe glorifies Key West and Gulf shrimp. Hot shrimp dip is a super recipe easily adaptable to your specific tastes. You can make it as spicy or as cheesy as you want, just play with it, changing the cheeses or vegetables. It can be assembled up to two days in advance and may be served hot or at room temperature. It travels well and is perfect on a cracker or toast round. Serve it with champagne, cocktails or punch, (don’t you just love a gorgeous, boozy bowl of punch?), it’s all good. Perfect to ring in the new year, y’all!
Louisiana Hot Shrimp Dip
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 ribs celery, finely diced
- 2 cubanelle peppers or one green bell pepper, finely diced
- 8 scallions, chopped including some green tops
- 4 garlic cloves, grated
- 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, I use Tony Chachere’s
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
- 2 pounds shrimp, deveined, cooked and chopped. I cook my shrimp in a 50/50 broth of water and vinegar with a few halved lemons and copious amounts of Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- crackers, toast rounds or chips to serve alongside
- Pre-heat oven to 425°. Cover a 6-cup baking dish with non-stick baking spray and set aside.
- In a large skillet, over medium heat, melt the butter and add the celery, chopped peppers and scallions and cook until limp, about 8 or 9 minutes.
- Add the garlic, Cajun seasoning and cayenne and stir well.
- Stir in cooked shrimp, parmesan and cream cheese and mix until the cream cheese has melted.
- Pour into baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
- Serve with crackers, toast rounds or chips.