Thursday, July 26, 2018

Weekend Gourmet Recipe Do-Over: Cajun Baked Shrimp and Corn Dip #dip #spicy #shrimp #corn

I love appetizers...especially crunchy chips and creamy dips! Two Summers ago, I created a creamy dip that feature two seasonal ingredients: sweet corn and shrimp! I remembered a baked shrimp and corn dip that I had seen at the Tabasco website, so I used it as the inspiration to create my lightly spicy Cajun Baked Shrimp and Corn Dip. This Summer, I've made a few tweaks to make this dip more aligned with some of the healthier eating habits I've recently incorporated into my cooking. The good news is that the flavor and texture of this dip is so decadent no one will guess you're using ingredients with less fat and calories.

This hearty, big-flavor dip is assembled and baked in the same cast-iron skillet, which streamlines prep and cleanup. The dip features a creamy base that's accented with sweet corn kernels, plump shrimp, green onions, finely chopped celery, Cajun spices, and a bit of highly flavored sharp cheddar cheese. It's hard to stop eating this dip once you start dipping crispy tortilla chips into it. This dip is perfect to take to parties even after Summer is over -- we love to eat it when watching football games in the Fall too

Cajun Baked Shrimp and Corn Dip
adapted from Tabasco
Ingredients (makes 4-6 servings):
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 lb. medium or large shrimp (peeled, deveined, and chopped)
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tbs. + 1 tbs. Cajun seasoning
  • 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1.5 tbs. Creole mustard
  • 2 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1 cup shredded 2% Colby-Jack cheese
  • Baked ttortilla chips for serving
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375. Heat the olive oil in an 8-inch cast iron skillet over med-high heat. Add the corn, all but 1 tbs. of green onions, and the celery. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the celery starts to soften. Add the chopped shrimp and the Cajun seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp is cooked. Remove 1/2 cup of the cooked corn-shrimp mixture and set aside for garnish.
Step 2: Reduce heat to medium. Add the reduced fat cream cheese, Greek yogurt, Creole mustard, hot sauce, and additional tbs. of Cajun seasoning. Cook, stirring every few minutes, until the cream cheese melts and all ingredients are combined. Add half of the cheese to the dip mixture and stir until it melts into the dip. Sprinkle the top of the dip with the remaining cheese and the reserved 1 tbs. of green onion.
Step 3: Bake until the cheese is melted and the dip is bubbly -- about 15 minutes. Broil until the top of the dip is golden brown. Just before serving, mound the reserved 1/2 cup of corn-shrimp mixture in the middle of the skillet. Serve the dip warm with lots of crispy baked tortilla chips.
OMG -- this dip is seriously amazing! The melted cheese top layer gives way to a spicy, creamy dip that's studded with kernels of sweet corn and chunks of shrimp. I especially love the background flavor that the grainy Creole mustard provides...and the heat level is pretty moderate. If you prefer your food more fiery, add more hot sauce to the creamy base. You'll never guess that this dip is lower in fat and calories from my original recipe! 

This is ideal to serve guests with a nice bottle of chilled white wine, and it's also a welcome addition to Summer potlucks. I have a little secret: we've been known to share a skillet of this dip with baked tortilla chips for dinner while watching Astros baseball games. I won't judge if you choose to do the same as well!

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