Saturday, March 8, 2014

Bayou Shrimp Sliders

It's Mardi Gras has passed and that means college basketball is hitting high gear.  The conference tournaments are this coming week and then THE tournament is here.  It's hard for me not to get caught up in the excitement of the Cinderella teams, the rivalries, and the buzzer beaters.  

If you are making an afternoon of watching the games with friends, these Bayou Shrimp Sliders make for a spicy halftime snack.  

shrimp slider, shrimp cakes, crab cake alternative

This recipe is adapted from one that Mike Davis of the World Championship BBQ team Lotta Bull BBQ shared at one of the BBQ classes he taught at Dead End BBQ in Knoxville.  Mike and Debbie have already taken a First Place for Pork this year at the Sam's Club event in Daphne, AL.  Their unBULLeveable All-Purpose Rub is one of our favorites and you can buy it at their website.  

We originally intended for them to be blackened shrimp sliders.  But the intense heat (500°f) butter bomb that works for blackening whole cuts of food like shrimp, fish, and chicken doesn't work as well with a shrimp cake that has breading in it.  Everything except the shrimp would burn, not blacken, even in just 2 minutes.  Lesson learned.  That's the fun thing about grilling, it's a learning process. 

For the next batch, I dropped the cooking temperatures to 350°f and cooked them in butter for 4-5 minutes until the golden crust had formed.  That worked perfectly, although you can't call it blackening because
A) it doesn't, and 
B) it isn't.
This was more of "sauteing shrimp cakes seasoned with blackening seasoning in butter".   But it worked, tasted fantastic with the remoulade that we whipped up to go with it. 

For the crackers, use something rich and buttery like Ritz or Townhouse crackers.  These patties are sticky so you will want 5 inch square pieces of wax paper for making the patties and moving them around before cooking.

Bayou Shrimp Sliders
adapted from Mike Davis, Lotta Bull BBQ
Makes:  8 sliders
Prep Time:  45 minutes
Cook Time:  15 minutes

  • 1 1/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined 
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise 
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons NMT Blackening Seasoning (divided) see recipe below
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped sun dried tomato 
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 1/4 cups cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 8 mini kaiser rolls
  • 1/2 head romaine lettuce, finely shredded
For the remoulade
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons creole mustard
  • 2 tablespoons seafood sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped green onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon granulated garlic
  1. Stir together the eggs, tablespoon of mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, horseradish sauce, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the blackening seasoning.
  2. Chop the shrimp into 5-6 pieces each and place in a medium bowl with the celery, sun dried tomato, parsley, and cracker crumbs.  Pour in the egg mixture and stir to coat evenly.  
  3. Lightly oil a 2 1/2-inch circular mold.  Fill with the shrimp mixture until you have a 1-inch thick patty, about 2 heaping tablespoons each.  Slid the ring off and repeat for the remaining 7 to 8 slider patties.
  4. Cover patties with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour but up to 8 hours.  Thirty minutes prior to grilling, move the patties to the freezer.
  5. Make the remoulade by mixing the listed ingredients together and refrigerating for at least an hour prior to using.
  6. Preheat your grill to medium (350°f) with either a griddle plate or grill safe pan preheating as well.
  7. Season both sides of the patties with the remaining blackening rub.
  8. Use enough butter to lightly coat the cooking surface and grill the patties until a golden crust forms on the bottom, about 4 minutes
  9. Drizzle with more butter, flip and cook until a crust forms on the new side, about 3-4 minutes.  Remove.
  10. Lightly brush the buns with remaining butter and toast on the grill.  Remove
  11. Place some shredded lettuce on the bun bottoms, top with a shrimp cake, and slather the top of the bun with remoulade.

I cheated and bought already cleaned and deveined shrimp.

The wax sheets makes handling these fragile raw patties easier.
 I originally planned to blacken these on my Big Green Egg kamado but once I realized that the 500°f temps were too hot and wasn't going to work, I knew it would take quite a while for the griddle plate to cool down.  So I switched over to the Char-Broil Gourmet TRU-Infrared gas grill which was already running at 350°f.

Work quickly once you bring these out of the refrigerator.
Even though the temperatures were not hot enough to blacken, I still used the butter like blackening to get the golden crust. 

Almost done and smelling good.
 I used my new Thermopop to check the internal temperature.  (Thermopop review coming up)

The blackening seasoning gave these a bit of a kick and the remoulade finishes the deal.  These are an excellent choice for game day.

shrimp slider, shrimp cakes, crab cake alternative

shrimp slider, shrimp cakes, crab cake alternative

We "Spring ahead" tonight and lose an hour, but do you know what?  I don't care, I'm glad.  That means daylight sticks around longer as of now and that means more grilling daylight hours.    Take advantage of it!

[Standard Disclaimer]  I am a member of Char-Broil's All-Star Team and have an informal relationship with Thermoworks; however, no compensation was paid for this post.