Tory McPhail's Shrimp & Tasso Henican


Tory McPhail for Louisiana Kitchen & Culture 

Serves 8 as an appetizer

  • Five-Pepper Jelly (recipe follows) 
  • 1 (2-ounce) slab tasso* 
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • 12 whole pickled okras
  • 24 jumbo shrimp
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • Crystal Hot Sauce Beurre Blanc (recipe follows)

Five-Pepper Jelly

  • 1½ cups light corn syrup
  • 1¼ cups white wine vinegar
  • ½   teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½  teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼  teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 large bell peppers (1 each: red, yellow & green)
  • 4 jalapeño peppers

Crystal Hot Sauce Beurre Blanc

  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • ⅓  cup Crystal Hot Sauce
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, chopped
  • salt and pepper 

Shrimp & Tasso Henican


  Click to enlarge image




Spoon two tablespoons of warm Five Pepper Jelly onto each of eight appetizer plates; spread evenly and set aside to set. Thinly slice tasso into 24 (one inch-long) slices; set aside. In a bowl, whisk together flour and Creole seasoning; set aside. Slice okra in half, lengthwise; chill until needed. 

Peel shrimp, remove tail, and butterfly. Rinse under cold running water to remove vein and shake off excess water. Place a strip of tasso into each butterflied shrimp; secure with a wooden pick. Lightly dredge each shrimp in seasoned flour. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Fry shrimp, in batches, 30 to 45 seconds on each side or until fully cooked; drain on paper towels and place in a mixing bowl. Drizzle with one half cup warm Crystal Hot Sauce Beurre Blanc; toss well to coat. Remove toothpicks. Arrange three shrimp on top of each pepper jelly-coated plate, alternating with three slices of pickled okra. Serve immediately. 

 *Tasso is an old Cajun staple used to season many dishes around Louisiana. It is hard to find elsewhere, but is widely available via mail-order. Tasso can be substituted with smoked ham, seasoned to taste with one part cayenne and three parts paprika.

Five-Pepper Jelly

Combine corn syrup, vinegar, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until mixture has reduced by two-thirds to about one cup. Remove from heat and keep warm. 

Quarter each bell pepper and jalapeño; remove and discard stem and seeds. Lay each piece flat, inside-up, on a cutting board. Flatten with palm of hand and remove membrane; discard. Slice pepper into very thin strips, then cut strips thinly crosswise to a fine chop.  

 Heat a dry skillet over medium-high heat; add finely chopped mixed peppers. Sauté about one minute or until tender and color is brightened; remove from heat and transfer peppers to corn syrup mixture using a slotted spoon. Stir well. 

Crystal Hot Sauce Beurre Blanc

Combine shallots, garlic, hot sauce, and cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until mixture has reduced by half. Remove from heat and let cool one minute. Add one tablespoon butter, whisking constantly until incorporated before adding another tablespoon of butter; repeat until all butter is incorporated (this step should be performed patiently, taking at least three minutes, being careful not to let sauce break). Strain well. Taste; adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Keep warm. 


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