Speaking of shoes, my dear friend Monica was recently at Fallsview Casino and spotted this store that specializes in life-sized chocolate shoes. It’s like I’ve died and gone to heaven!
And coincidentally, we had Rae and Monica over for dinner and I always like to make something special when we have company so when I saw the recipe on Bam’s kitchen, I knew I HAD to try it. Bam made the entire recipe gluten free, sugar free, dairy free and egg free, but I didn’t have those restrictions so I improvised.
The flavours are subtle cajun and although you can add as much heat as you wish, I used fresh jalopeño chilies with the veins and seeds cut out to reduce the heat. The grilled pineapple adds a wonderful sweetness and the grilled jalopeño cornbread is a lovely base for the dish adding subtle smokiness from the grilling. I used an old favourite recipe for the cornbread, Fred’s Not Here Jalopeño Cornbread it packs a lot of flavour and the recipe can be halved easily — I didn’t do that because I wanted the extra. Also, for the night of the dinner party, I served 10cm (4 in) round cakes, but the muffin size is a much better proportion (hence my presentation in this post). Thank you Bam for the inspiration.
Cajun Grilled Shrimp with Grilled Pineapple and Mango Salsa on Grilled Jalopeño Cornbread
Fred’s Not Here Jalopeño Cornbread
Makes 12 regular muffin-sized cornbreads or four 10cm cakes plus 6 regular muffin-sized cornbreads
- 1 1/4 medium ground corn meal
- 1 1/4 all purpose flour (I’m going to try using quinoa flour next time)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 red and 1/2 green finely diced jalopeños (if you like things spicy, add cayenne to your taste).
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Spray non-stick cooking spray generously into each muffin cavity.
- Sift cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
- Blend eggs, milk and oil in another bowl.
- Stir wet ingredients into dry.
- Fold in the shredded cheese, jalopeño and onion.
- Spoon to fill muffin cavity and bake for 25 minutes or until firm and golden.
Grilled Pineapple and Mango Salsa
Makes about 1 1/2 cups of salsa
- 3 thick slices of pineapple
- 1 good size Mango
- 1 scallion, finely chopped
- 1/2 red and 1/2 green finely diced jalopeños
- zest of one lime
- juice of one lime
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
- Dry off the pineapple and grill the pineapple until you get some good grill marks (takes about 10-15 minutes per side). Set aside to cool
- Dice the mango into 1 cm or 1/4 inch dice. Add the finely chopped red and green jalopeños, scallion, lime zest and lime juice. When the pineapple has cooled, dice it in a similar size to the pineapple, mix into the mango.
- Add the chopped cilantro just prior to serving. Serve cold.
Cajun Grilled Shrimp
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 3 tbsp EVOO
- 2 tbsp honey
- pinch of salt
- dash of cumin
- dash of corriandre
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- pinch of cayenne
- 16 large shrimps
- Clean shrimp and remove the shell, leaving the tail intact.
- Mix all the ingredients together and pour over the shrimp, marinate for about 1-4 hours (marinating too long will cause the acid of the lime juice to ‘cook’ the shrimp).
- Heat the grill to smoking hot! Grill the shrimp until no longer opaque. Keep warm.
- Cut the crown off the cornbread muffins so that both top and bottom are flat. Brush both sides lightly with softened butter.
- Grill corn bread muffins on both sides so good grill marks are achieved and it heats the cornbread through. Place one cornbread round on the centre of each plate. Add the chopped cilantro to the salsa and pile it on top of the cornbread, don’t worry if some fall to the side, it actually looks better that way.
- Mound the shrimp on top of the salsa and garnish with a little coriander leaf.
- Cornbread may be made in advance and stored in an airtight container.
- Freeze left over cornbread for another occasion.
- The salsa is fantastic on burgers, so save some for another time.
- The cornbread tops can be saved in the freezer for another recipe, like stuffing!