Spicy Creole Shrimp Salad with French Quarter Croutons

What happens when a Po’ Boy sandwich and a load of lettuce and good-for-you veggies collide? A parade of flavor and my new favorite entrée salad dinner – Spicy Creole Shrimp Salad with French Quarter Croutons!

This coastal-inspired creation will help you hang onto New Year’s Resolutions through Mardi Gras, Valentine’s Day and Oscar Award Show celebrations and keep those garden-green good times rolling right into Spring Break. Instead of taking a bath in the deep fryer like a traditional shrimp po’ boy sandwich, the succulent shrimp in this quick and easy recipe are lightly sautéed in olive oil and Creole seasoning.

The dressing isn’t loaded in fat either; I used the deliciously creamy OPA by Litehouse™ Ranch and jazzed it up a bit with Creole spices. I love this lighter Ranch dressing “as-is” straight out of the jar, too – traditional sour cream is swapped out for Greek yogurt making it a lower-fat, lower-calorie option for dunking, drizzling and dolloping.

Instead of grabbing a bottle of Creole seasoning from the supermarket shelf, it’s so much tastier and cost-effective to whip up a batch of your own (avoiding weird chemicals and preservatives is another plus). Sometimes referred to as Cajun spice, this blend of peppers, paprika, thyme, oregano, garlic and onion powders creates the base of bold flavor on practically everything in my dish – BAM! My Creole Spice Mix recipe relies on Instantly Fresh Herbs and makes more than enough for the salad, dressing and croutons – the remainder can be stored in an airtight jar for up to a year. Use this Creole Spice Mix in soups and gumbos, rub into catfish and tuna, mix into meatballs, and even sprinkle on grilled fruit – this Cajun food seasoning is crazy-good!

Spicy Creole Shrimp Salad with French Quarter Croutons Recip

Serves 4 | Finish in 30 minutes
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Ingredients

For Cajun Spice Mix
• 4 teaspoons salt
• 4 teaspoons garlic powder
• 2 tablespoons paprika
• 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
• 2 teaspoons onion powder
• 2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
• 1 tablespoon Instantly Fresh Oregano
• 1 tablespoon Instantly Fresh Thyme
• 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

For Shrimp
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
• 20 jumbo pre-cooked
frozen shrimp with tails on
thawed
• 1 ½ teaspoons Creole Spice Mix (recipe above)

For Salad and Dressing
• 8 ounces lettuce of choice
• 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
• ½ cup thinly sliced radish
• 1 cup sliced red and yellow tomatoes
• ½ cup OPA by Litehouse™ Ranch
• 2 teaspoons Creole Spice Mix (recipe above)

For French Quarter Croutons
• 8-inch length of sourdough baguette
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 teaspoon Creole Spice Mix
more or less to taste (recipe above)

Directions

To make Creole Spice Mix, place ingredients in small jar with lid. Stir or shake to combine. May be stored in pantry out of direct sunlightt for up to one year. Makes approximately ½ cup.

To make shrimp, heat olive oil and Worcestershire sauce in large skillet over medium-high heat. Pat thawed shrimp dry and toss with Creole Spice Mix. Place in hot skillet and sauté for approximately 2 minutes, or until heated through (take care not to over-heat since shrimp are precooked). Remove shrimp from heat to a plate while finishing remainder of dish.

To prepare salad, top lettuce with cabbage, radish and tomatoes on a large platter or individual bowls. For dressing stir, Creole Spice Mix in dressing until incorporated – use more or less depending on preference for spiciness.

For croutons, slice 8-inch length of baguette in half lengthwise. Next, slice each half in half at a long diagonal; place on baking sheet. Brush cut side of bread with olive oil and sprinkle with cheese and Creole Spice Mix. Set under broiler for 60 seconds (keep a vigilant eye) or until top beginning to bubble and brown.

To serve, place shrimp on prepared salad and add one big crouton per person; pass with dressing.

Makes 4 entrée salads.


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