This recipe is basically the love child of two of my favorite appetizers: Tricia Yearwood’s Charleston Cheese Dip and Boudreaux Cajun Kitchen’s Shrimp and Grits. If you’re looking for a baked dip with the cheesiness of Tricia’s recipe and the smokiness of the Boudreaux recipe, you’ve come to the right place!
Now is this real Cajun food? Probably not. While I absolutely love certain things about Cajun cuisine (Gumbo, crawfish or shrimp etouffee, jambalaya, etc.) there are ingredients in some truly authentic Cajun dishes that I could definitely do without (gator, skunk, squirrel, and bullfrogs for example). Then again, I’m what you might call a picky eater. Ask anyone. Even calamari gives me the heebie jeebies. I tried gator one time; it didn’t do anything for me taste-wise, but it was nice feeling truly on top of the food chain. 😛
Don’t worry, the craziest thing in this recipe is the shrimp! And as long as you eat them all, they will not have died in vain (Yes, I think about these things.) As always, the full recipe is after the jump. But if you’d like a step-by-step tutorial, keep on reading. 🙂
This dip requires a tiny bit of prep cooking.You’re going to want to start out by frying up some bacon in a pan. I just so happened to fry up the entire package, but you’ll only need about six strips for this. You aren’t going to complain about me showing you even more bacon than necessary, are you? 😛 When you’re done, go ahead and drain the pan of bacon fat but leave a little behind for the shrimp and veggies!
Next you’ll need to season about 20 medium-sized shrimp with some Cajun seasoning. Some good examples include Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning, Walker & Sons Slap Ya Mama, or Zatarain’s Crawfish, Crab, and Shrimp Boil. Keep in mind that Slap Ya Mama is spicier than devil farts. I chose the last two seasonings and added about a half a teaspoon of both. Adjust to your taste!
Now, there are a number of things to say about this next step. For one…why is this picture so much more pink than the rest? I really don’t know—I tried to adjust the color balance and gave up. For two, you may be wondering what this is. Being so close to Louisiana, my grocery store sells ready-made pre-chopped Cajun veggies in tubs such as this. But if you don’t have anything like this at your grocery store, fear not! All it contains is some diced onion, green pepper, green onion, parsley, and minced garlic. It’s honestly cheaper to just buy these veggies separately and dice them yourself. You can choose to use just onion if you’d like, or just onion and garlic—whatever you have on hand!
Remember how I told you to save some of that bacon fat? Good. Now fry up your shrimp and about 1/4-1/2 cup of your minced veggies right there in that fat. Shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes. Shrimp cook very quickly. When you’re finished just put them in some Tupperware to cool down.
And the last preparatory step: Shred some smoked Gouda cheese. You’ll need about 1 1/2-2 cups for this recipe. I noticed after baking that it’s not a very stretchy cheese like mozzarella, so if you want some stretch feel free to add some of that, just keep in mind that it isn’t very Cajun!
Okay, prep work is done! Now on to the dip. Add one brick of softened cream cheese, half a cup of mayo, and a couple more teaspoons of your preferred Cajun seasoning(s) to a mixing bowl.
Now using a hand mixer or a really strong arm, mix these ingredients until completely smooth.
Next, fold in that heaping, smoky pile of sinfully delicious Gouda cheese.
And your (now slightly cooled) shrimp and veggie mixture.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a little obsessed with green onions. I decided to throw in a few extra. Optional, of course!
But once everything is combined, transfer it to a shallow baking dish (this one isn’t that shallow) and top with whatever cracker you plan to serve this with. I served mine with some garlic crostini so I crushed some for the top. Bake in a pre-heated 350º oven until heated all the way through.
Top with crumbled bacon and green onions before serving.
And there you have it! This dip seriously has it all. It’s warm, gooey, cheesy, and crunchy. The Cajun seasoning gives it an awesome spicy kick, while the Gouda and bacon infuse it with a nice smoky flavor. This recipe makes enough for a crowd and would be a perfect halftime snack. I hope you’ll give it a try! Let me know how it turns out in the comment area.
Until next time <3
- 6 strips of smoked bacon
- 20 medium sized shrimp, peeled and deveined.
- 1 1/2-2 cups shredded smoked Gouda cheese
- 1 brick (8 oz) softened cream cheese
- 1/2 c mayonnaise
- 1/2 c diced creole veggies (see notes)
- 3-4 sliced green onions
- 2 tsp of your favorite Cajun seasoning (for shrimp)
- 2 tsp of your favorite Cajun seasoning (for cream cheese/mayo mixture)
- Crackers of choice
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Fry bacon in a medium pan and drain on a paper towel. Reserve some of the fat in the pan.
- Season shrimp with 1-2 tsp of Cajun seasoning, saute with 1/2 cup of veggies until just cooked through. Set aside.
- Shred Gouda cheese, if needed, until you accumulate 1 1/2-2 cups
- Add the cream cheese, mayo, and more 1-2 tsp of Cajun seasonings to a mixing bowl. Blend with a hand mixer until completely smooth.
- Fold in your shredded cheese, shrimp, and veggies.
- Add the entire mixture to a shallow baking dish and bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until heated all the way through.
- Top with crumbled bacon and green onions.
- Serve immediately.
- A popular Cajun mix includes onion, green onion, green pepper, garlic, and parsley. You can use any combination of the above, or even omit the veggies altogether.