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Buffalo Shrimp Tacos with Smoked Bacon and Blue Cheese

Buffalo Shrimp Tacos with Smoked Bacon and Blue Cheese

What I’m about to give you is what might quite possibly be the quickest and easiest recipe I’ve done in a while. However don’t let the quickness and ease fool you, this recipe is big on flavor and quite fun to serve to your guest.

What to expect: There are few things that play better together than buffalo sauce, bacon, and blue cheese. Add some shrimp and you have yourself nothing short of Nirvana (the legendary place, not that weird rock group)I truly believe the beauty of the sauce lies in the balance of Tabasco, butter, and a pinch of garlic. I like the balance that the vinegar base of the Tabasco brings when paired with heavier flavors like blue cheese and bacon. And the shrimp? Well you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t like shrimp. However I tend to think it carries buffalo sauce as well as any wing.

Yield: 6 tacos

Mulitply the bacon, shrimp,and blue cheese as needed. The sauce will make easily enough for a triple batch.

* The yield will depend greatly on how much “snacking” you do while preparing this. It is FAR too easy snatch a shimp here, a slice of bacon there. So plan accordingly. But come on, if you don’t dip at least one shrimp and one bacon in the sauce while your grill side…… well YOU JUST AINT HUMAN.

What you will need:

1/3 cup Tabasco

1 cup unsalted butter

3 Tbls white vinegar

½ tsp Worcester sauce

1 Tbls chipotle powder

*Cayenne will work, I just prefer the smokey flavor chipotle brings. The pepper powder is what controls the heat of the sauce, so add or subtract according to your tolerance.

¼ tsp garlic powder

1 lb 30/40 shrimp, shelled, deveined, and tails removed.

6 or so bamboo or metal skewers

Salt and pepper

1 lb bacon

½ lb quality blue cheese

6 flour taco shells

How we did it:

Begin by placing all of your ingredients for the sauce in a “grill proof” pan and set aside.

Skewer the shrimp. Season well with salt and pepper and set aside in the refrigerator.

Set grill up of for indirect grilling. Add a couple of chunks of your favorite smoking wood. Place lid on, check and turn every 5-6 minutes, cooking to your prefered doneness.

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Arrange coals for direct grilling, adding more if necessary.

Oil grates, and place shrimp and sauce pan on grill.

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Stir the sauce until the butter is melted, then remove.

Cook the shrimp until it’s opaque and begins to turn pink.

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Once the shrimp is done gently toast the taco shells over the direct coals.

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Toss the shrimp in the sauce, I mean that both figuratively and literally.

All that’s left is to chop the bacon, crumple the blue cheese, and assemble.

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Now gather friends, family, and love ones around and enjoy!

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Remember what you cook isn’t nearly as important as who you cook it with.

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Grilled Shrimp Po-Boys

Grilled Shrimp Po-Boys

My first love for cooking actually came in the form of cooking Cajun food. I always wanted to do it, but just never got around to actually doing it. Now many years later, I’ve started searching out that passion. The true beauty for me is that I can combine my two favorite loves, Cajun food and grilling/BBQ. So once again were going to head on down to the bayou for a traditional classic with a grilled spin.

We don’t set out here at The Dodd Squad Headquarters to make food healthier, sometimes it just happens. By simply grilling the shrimp instead of battering it and deep frying it we “accidentally” made it a touch healthier. We’ll try to do better the next time. I promise.

What to expect: There’s a lot going on here. First and foremost by grilling the shrimp and not hiding it a batter, you’re going to be able to taste the shrimp, and enjoy that nice little snap when you bite through it. The rub and remoulade is going to give it a nice kick of heat with a little Cajun authenticity. Add to it the the tomatoes, dill pickle chips, and some shredded lettuce and you’ve got yourself a fine sandwich, deep in flavor and texture.

Yield: 4 foot long sandwiches

What you will need:

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Time: About 2 hours total.

Cajun rub/seasoning:

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika powder
  • 1½ teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Remoulade sauce:

 

  • 1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup mustard (Creole mustard if possible)
  • 1 Tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1-2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon dill pickle juice
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (preferably Tabasco, after all it’s made there)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced and smashed

For the shrimp

  • 1-1½ pounds 16/20 shrimp, shelled, deveined, and tails off
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun rub for the shrimp on the grill
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

4 12 inch hoagie buns

Shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes,and dill pickle chips for toppings.

How we did it:

Begin by making the rub, you’ll need it throughout the recipe.

combine all the rub ingredients together and grind in a spice grinder to a powder. If you don’t have a spice grinder don’t let that stop you. Just mix it together, that ought to be good enough.

Make the remoulade, you’re going to want to give the flavors time to “meld.”

Mix the remoulade ingredients together, stir well, cover, refrigerate.

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Set grill up for direct grilling.

Season shrimp well with the Cajun rub and place on skewers.

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Grill over direct heat until the shrimp is opaque and turning red. About 6-8 minutes in total turning as necessary.

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In a small pan mix: ¼ teaspoon salt, ¾ stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, 2 teaspoons Cajun rub, 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce. Heat while stirring until the butter is melted, remove from heat and add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

Add the grilled shrimp and gently toss/stir to coat.

Assemble the sandwiches using the remoulade as you would mayonnaise.wp-1466540818028.jpeg

All that’s left to do now is surround your self with some friends, crank up the zydeco music, and take a note from old Hank Williams Sr’s book:

Pick guitar fill fruit jar and be gay-o
Son of a gun we’ll have big fun on the bayou

Remember, what you cook, isn’t nearly as important as who you cook it with.

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Hickory Smoked Jambalaya

Hickory Smoked Jambalaya

When I seen it I knew it had to happen. My mouth immediately dropped open and the words AMAZING and BRILLIANT jumped from my mouth before I could stop them. Unfortunately I was a work. A quick text with the link was instantly sent to my son with the simple words “We’ve got to make this happen!” What is this, you ask? Smoked white rice. A great bloggist  that I follow on social media, Clint Cantwell, had posted a simple technique for cold smoking rice in his blog grillocracy.com. Here’s link to his cold smoked rice technique, How to Smoke Rice. So we did a quick test run and sure enough this stuff was everything it was billed to be. Then came the challenging task of how to use the rice, and what are the best ways to use it. I’d been craving jambalaya for some time, and even more so I’d been craving making it. So, we went with it.

What to expect: The wonderful full flavors that you get from jambalaya, with subtle hints of smoke from the rice and sausage.  The initial recipe is not super spicy, slicing some fresh Serrano peppers into it, not only gives you some nice heat but brightens up the dish and adds a layer of texture. Served on the side it allows each person to add as much fire as they desire.

Yield: Serves 4 comfortably.

*Don’t let the ingredient list scare you away from making this, you’ll be surprised how much you already have on hand other than the proteins.

What you’ll need:

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2-3 hours if all done at once.

1 large chicken breast

½ lb either andouille sausage, or spicy sausage

1 medium to large onion chopped

1 large green bell pepper diced

2 stalks celery chopped

1 cup white long grain rice, rinsed, and cold smoked with hickory

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes

2 tsp hot sauce (for authentic taste I prefer Tabasco, it is from there)

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 cups chicken broth

2 bay leaves

½ pound medium raw shrimp, deveined (optional: tails removed)

4 green onions, thinly sliced

6 Serrano peppers sliced

1 lemon wedged into quarters

For the creole seasoning:

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

1½ teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

How we did it:

Begin by rinsing your rice well, this removes the excessive glutton which tends to make the rice extremely sticky.

Cold smoke the rice. For this particular recipe I recommend a stronger smoke, something along the lines of hickory. It has a lot of flavors to compete with.

*This can be done up to a week in advance and stored in an airtight container.

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Combine the ingrediants for the creole seasoning.

Place in spice grinder if you have one, and grind into a fine powder.

*Can be done a month in advance, store in an airtight container, in a cool dry place.

Set grill up for direct grilling.

Coat the chicken breast well with the seasoning, and grill over direct coals.

*Chicken can be grilled 1 day in advance.

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While the chicken cooks toss you onion, green pepper, and celery in a grill pan and grill over direct coals also.

Cook until just firm to the bite.

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After the chicken and veggies finish move the coals to either side for indirect grilling, and add a few fresh coals along with a couple of hickory chunks.

Place your sausage in the void and begin smoking you sausage.

*Sausage can be smoked and sliced 2-3 days in advance.

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Once the sausage is done cut the chicken breast into a nice bite size dice (forgot the picture).

Slice the sausage.

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Place a LARGE pan on the stove over high-medium heat.

Add the tomatoes, 2 tsp hot sauce, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 2 cups chicken broth, onion, celery, and peppers, 1 Tbls creole seasoning.

Stir well, to mix in the flavors and the creole seasoning.

Bring to a boil.

Add rice.

Stir.

Add chicken, and sausage.

Reduce heat to medium-low, simmer covered for about 10 minutes. Stirring once ½ through.

Add shrimp and cook another 10 minutes, or until rice is done and the shrimp is opaque.

Garnish with sliced scallions, and serve with lemon wedges and Serranos on the side.

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Remember, what you cook isn’t nearly as important as who you cook it with.

 

 
8 Comments

Posted by on April 24, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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