Cooking On A Budget: Cajun Rubbed Shrimp, Asparagus with Cheese and Panko Crumbs

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cajun Rubbed Shrimp, Asparagus with Cheese and Panko Crumbs

This shows the Cajun Rubbed Shrimp Up Close
 I have actually found that purchasing a 2 pound bag of 16-20 count shrimp on sale, makes sense for our family of three adults. When it is on special at the grocery store, it costs $15.98 per bag. We get two different meals out of the bag. Roughly speaking it is $8.00 per meal and divided by 3 adults = $2.66 per person. If you add in the sides of baked potato, the asparagus with cheese and topping, you are at $4.04 per person for this particular meal. Think about the fact that you are serving a healthy, somewhat elegant, super delicious meal for under $5.00! You can't eat at a fast food place sometimes for that amount.

The recipe for the Cajun Rub:
Plated Shrimp with Asparagus and Topping
2 tbsp. paprika
1 tbsp. granulated garlic
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Store any left over rub in a sealed container for up to 3 months.
Panko Crumb Topping:
1 1/4 cups panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. granulated garlic
2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 tbsp. olive oil (you will need extra oil for sauteing the shrimp later on.)
In a small frying pan over medium heat melt the butter and olive oil. When the butter starts to sizzle, add in the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and spices.  Turn the heat down to low.  Keep stirring to combine and coat the bread crumbs. When the bread crumbs have become golden in color remove from the heat altogether and put the crumbs in a bowl.

Now on to the assembly of the whole dinner!
Peel and devein the shrimp and place in a bowl.  Add in the rub and mix well. Let the rubbed shrimp rest in the refrigerator until you are ready to use. (Pull the shrimp out a little ahead of the time you start the asparagus and let them come to room temperature.)

Make the Panko crumb topping and reserve for plating on the Asparagus.

Shred some cheese - any kind you like - about 1/2 cup dry measure.

Next, prepare the Asparagus - break or cut off the bottom part that is tough. The asparagus can be placed in a skillet and almost covered with water. Put a lid on the pan and simmer until fork tender. Drain and add the cheese on top. Put the lid back on and allow the cheese to melt in the hot skillet.

Serve this with a baked potato or rice.

In a non stick skillet, add some olive oil. Over moderate heat, heat the oil for a few minutes. Add in the shrimp and keep turning until the shrimp are cooked through. They take roughly 6-8 minutes to cook through. You can also skewer the shrimp and place these on a grill over medium heat, cooking 2-2 1/2 minutes first side and flip over and cook about 2 minutes on the second side.

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