Shindigz Kicks Off Fat Tuesday with Winning Cajun Recipes

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Shindigz searched the south for the best Cajun recipes to kick off Mardi Gras.

Let the countdown to down-home Southern festivities commence! Over the next few weeks, New Orleans, Louisiana will be hosting party and thrill seekers from across the nation for two large events.

“Bourbon Street will be the site of two huge party events to kickoff 2013 with the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras,” observes Jacquie Downey, Shindigz Director of Sales and Marketing.

With the onslaught of sheer glitz and glamour making way, a horde of tightly packed, party-flockers will gather to listen to jazz, cheer teams, watch parades and enjoy spicy Cajun recipes. If fans can’t get to the events this year, the events can come to the fans. Serving the right party food is key to hosting a Mardi Gras or Super Bowl party at home.

“We’re helping to make it simple,” said Downey. “We’ve searched the south for the best Cajun recipes to help fans kick off their hometown parties and recommend trying these winning Cajun Dip recipes.”

Hot Crawfish Dip
Ingredients:
½ cup butter
1 bunch green onions, sliced (about 1 cup)
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 (1 lb.) package frozen, cooked, peeled crawfish tails, thawed and undrained
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (4-oz.) jar diced pimento, drained
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
French bread baguette slices
Garnish: sliced green onion and chopped flat-leaf parsley

1.    Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add green onions and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally for 8 minutes or until bell pepper is tender. Stir in crawfish, garlic, Creole seasoning and diced pimento. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.
2.    Reduce heat to low. Stir in cream cheese until mixture is smooth and bubbly.
3.    Garnish with sliced green onion and chopped flat-leaf parsley.
4.    Serve with toasted French bread slices.

Note: You’ll need 6 to 7 pounds of cooked whole crawfish for 1 pound of meat.

Cajun Shrimp and Shrimp Dip
Ingredients:
Cajun Shrimp
½ of a lemon
1/3 cup water
1 small onion, chopped (1/3 cup)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon cooking oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Cajun seasoning
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ pounds fresh or frozen peeled shrimp
½ cup chopped green or red sweet pepper
Lettuce (to serve)

Dip
1 pound cooked shrimp
1 carton (8 ounces) reduced fat sour cream
4 teaspoons horseradish (more to taste)
¼ cup ketchup
¼ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh dill, snipped; more for garnish (or 2 tablespoons dried dill weed)
¼ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Cajun Shrimp
1.    Remove peel from the lemon half, so not to include the white portion. Cut the lemon peel into very thin strips.
2.    Combine lemon peel, water, onion, lemon juice, cooking oil, garlic, Cajun seasoning and salt in a large skillet. Heat to boiling. Add shrimp stirring to coat. Return to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 4 minutes or until shrimp are opaque, stirring twice. Stir in green or red pepper. Transfer mixture to a glass bowl. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 4 hours, stirring mixture occasionally.
3.    At serving time, drain mixture well. Service in a lettuce-lined bowl with serving picks and dip. Makes 12 servings.

Shrimp Dip:
1.    Finely chop shrimp. In a medium-size bowl, combine sour cream, horseradish, ketchup, mayonnaise, salt, 2 tablespoons of fresh dill, hot pepper sauce and pepper. Stir to combine. Add shrimp and stir to mix thoroughly.
2.    Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to one day.
3.    Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.
4.    Garnish with dill and serve with Cajun shrimp or bread.

Hot Crab Dip
Ingredients:
½ pound jumbo lump crabmeat, free of shells
1 (8-oz) package cream cheese
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup grated Parmesan
3 Tablespoons minced green onions (white and green parts)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon hot sauce
½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

1.    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2.    Combine all of the ingredients in a casserole dish and gently still until thoroughly mixed. Adjust seasoning to taste.
3.    Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until lightly golden on top.
4.    Serve hot, with hot sauce on the side for those who like it spicy.

Blue Cheese and Bacon First Down Dip
Ingredients:
8 slices of bacon, chopped
1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
2 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup (4-oz) crumbled blue cheese
1/3 cup cream
2 Tablespoons green onions, minced
¼ cup toasted walnut pieces

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.    Cook bacon in skillet until crisp, stirring often.
3.    Remove from skillet and drain.
4.    Add garlic to skillet and sauté over low heat for 1 minute.
5.    Combine cream cheese and cream in food processor bowl or mixer and blend until smooth. Stir in bacon, garlic, crumbled cheese and green onions.
6.    Portion dip in medium baking dish; bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
7.    Garnish with toasted walnuts.
8.    Serve warm dip with kettle cooked potato chips.

Mardi Gras Vegetable Dip
Ingredients:
1 cup light or fat free mayonnaise
3 Tablespoons finely chopped onion
½ teaspoon vinegar
1 Tablespoon chives, chopped
1 Tablespoon

1.    Mix all ingredients together in a medium-size bowl and cover.
2.    Refrigerate at least 1 hour prior to eating to allow the flavors to blend.

Sources:
http://www.recipe.com/cajun-shrimp/
http://www.recipe.com/creamy-shrimp-dip/
http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/hot-crawfish-dip-50400000119139/
http://youvegottotastethis.myrecipes.com/2011/02/28/mardi-gras-munchies-hot-crab-dip/
http://www.recipe.com/blue-cheese-and-bacon-first-down-dip/
http://thepubandgrubforum.blogspot.com/2012/02/mardi-gras-vegetable-dip.html

About Shindigz
Since 1926, Shindigz has “made life more fun” for 23 million events through the manufacture and sale of personalized party supplies. It ships products from its facilities in South Whitley, Indiana across the United States, and around the world to 59 countries. With more than 34,000 products, the company provides customers with a complete party solution. For more information about Shindigz, go to http://www.shindigz.com.

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Christy Phend
Shindigz
260-723-5171 1854
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