Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Weekend Gourmet Is Headed to New Orleans and Biloxi to Learn About #GulfSeafood

As a native Texan who grew up less than an hour from the Gulf of Mexico, I've been a fan of Gulf seafood for decades. The legacy of the country’s great seafood belongs to the Gulf Coast. Comprised of five coastal states -- Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas -- Gulf seafood has been providing fishermen, chefs, and foodies with great food. Gulf seafood is also an economic engine that powers the entire region. In fact, the Gulf Coast produces 70% of the country’s oysters, 69% of domestic shrimp, and is a leading producer of domestic hard and soft-shell blue crabs. I love to cook with Gulf seafood year-round, so I'm very excited to share some fun news today: Michael and I are headed to New Orleans and Biloxi next month to learn about Gulf seafood up close and personal! The Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition is hosting us and four other food bloggers to learn about how Gulf seafood is harvested and processed. Of course, we'll be eating lots of Gulf seafood too!
Gulf seafood features a superior flavorful profile as a result of the nutrient-rich environment in which it is born. With many different ways to prepare -- from grilling with Creole seasoning to baking with remoulade sauce -- Gulf seafood creates great flavor profiles. The Gulf coastline spans approximately 1,680 miles with access to many major ports and cities -- including Galveston, New Orleans, and Biloxi. Gulf seafood can be harvested, processed, and on the table in a matter of hours. By being in such close proximity to major seafood processors, this ensures the freshest catch possible. My personal favorite Gulf seafood is shrimp, which I like to enjoy in as many ways as possible. Today, I'm sharing a recipe for an easy Hot Gulf Shrimp Dip -- perfect for entertaining during the Lenten season!

Hot Gulf Shrimp Dip
From the Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition

Photo provided by Edelman and Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition 

  • 1 pound Gulf shrimp, cooked, peeled, deveined, and chopped
  • ½ cup chopped yellow onion
  • ½ chopped green onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, or Monterey Jack)
Step 1: Combine all ingredients in an 8x8 baking dish, reserving ¼ of the cheese. Mix well. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of mixture.

Step 2: Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve with toasted pitas or sliced fresh bread for dipping.

I can't wait to whip up a batch of this spicy and cheesy shrimp dip for our Oscar menu this weekend! You can also visit the Eat Gulf Seafood website to find tons more amazing recipes. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @TheWeekendGourm or on Instagram at WEEKENDGOURMET to follow the fun of our upcoming trip. I'll be sharing tons of live social shares, so you won't want to miss the fun!

Disclosure: The Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition provided me with the facts and photographs shared in this post. They are also providing us with airfare, hotel, and meals for our upcoming media trip. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

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