Bringing New Orleans to Houston

Last week, Greenway Barista visited various restaurants and bars in New Orleans. Lucky him. But while we can't all jet away to New Orleans, we can bring NOLA to us with one of our favorite cookbooks, Cooking up a Storm.

During Hurricane Katrina, many classic New Orleans recipes were washed away. New Orleans culture is all about food, so losing your family recipes in the hurricane was like losing a part of your history. The Times-Picayune became a swapping ground for classic New Orleans recipes that people wanted to share and preserve, which eventually led to the publication of Cooking up a Storm. This cookbook is a collection of recipes and stories from newspapers, families, chefs and local restaurants.

One of our household favorites is the Spicy Cajun Shrimp Recipe. We serve it over pasta or rice, depending on what's in the house. After the jump, our version of this recipe. We've made a few tweaks to the original.

Spicy Cajun Shrimp Recipe

  • 2 dozen large fresh or frozen shrimp
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons butter
  • Splash of olive oil
  • 3 cloves minced garlic (about 1 ½ teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (we used the canned version without the juice)
  • Cooked penne pasta (about half a box)
  • Clean shrimp. In a bowl, mix cayenne, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, and all the dried herbs. In a skillet, combine butter, garlic, Worcestershire, and pepper/herb mixture on medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the tomatoes and shrimp. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring periodically. Then, add the cooked pasta and toss in the skillet. Serve.

    KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
    Jane Catherine Collins