When Manda comes to town, I always try to whip up something Cajun, southern, or Louisiana style as a special treat for her. You remember when we did the gator sausage boil when she was visiting over the week of the 4th of July? Anyway, she's one of my great friends who is from NOLA, but lives in Houston now, so I try to keep her coming back to Iowa to visit by enticing her with food from her home...and it seems to be working! She came up this past weekend for my bachelorette party and I made her this dip the night before while we sat and had some beers and chatted with Mama K and Leslie...it was a perfect night!
4 T butter (I used light Country Crock)
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and diced
3/4 cup sliced okra pods (I had to leave this out since the store was out of okra, sadface)
2 ribs celery, diced
6 green onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 t Cajun seasoning (I use Tony C's religiously)
1 lb large cooked (pink) shrimp with tails removed
8 oz cream cheese (I used fat free)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 andouille sausage, sliced (I added this since I omitted the okra, and am very glad I did, yummmmm!)
Preaheat the oven to 400 degrees. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper, okra (if you have a store that keeps stock), and celery to the pan and saute until beginning to soften, about 6 minutes. Stir in the green onions, garlic, and cajun seasoning. Cook 1 more minute, just until fragrant. Stir in the shrimp, andouille, cream cheese, and Parmesan. Stir over low heat until cream cheese is melted and everything is evenly mixed. Spoon the mixture into a baking dish.
Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is browned and bubbling. Serve with toasted baquette slices. I had a loaf of focaccia and a loaf of baguette to dip that we just warmed in the oven. The first bite was a little disappointing, I was underwhelmed. But the second bite and all the subsequent bites after that...I win. Actually, my mouth wins. My waistline doesn't win. But we can't all be winners, now can we!? If you got a bite with a little sausage and a little shrimpy in it, your mouth hit the freaking lotto, I'm telling you!