Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Epic Jess and Jaime Cookout: Cajun Shrimp and Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

The happy couple who so readily offered up their grill.
After the crazy two weeks of work I just had (and my unfortunate werewolf encounter), I was ready to make up for my lost social life and have a splendid little Saturday. Once Kevin was finally able to wake me up after noon it was off to an action-packed day of lunch at Cafe TH (with the always wonderful chef/owner Minh and his stellar Vietnamese fares), looking at townhouses and getting rear ended on the 45 (apparently neither Kevin nor I should drive cars this week). But since we were already away from our quaint suburbia and deep in the midst of civilization, we couldn't end our adventure so early. Luckily, our Five Arms Brewery friend Jaime (of beer pairing night fame) and his wife Jessica offered up their backyard grill for a night of delicious eats with friends we won't soon forget (no matter how hard Jaime's homebrews try).
This glorious hodgepodge made for one amazingly unexpected meal.
The end result of our culinary collaboration would be one of the strangest yet tastiest meals yet that just spoke of how good of a time we all had. I prepped some cajun shrimp and bacon wrapped asparagus (and a couple of portabella mushrooms for our vegetarian host, Jessica), while Jaime made boudin, steaks and Brussels sprouts on the grill. This was rounded out by Maconda and Sacha's salad and Jess' assortment of yummy vegetarian Indian food. Finally, to top it all off, Jess and I joined forces to negate that last belt loop with a pear and ginger crumble (a la mode naturally). Now, you're probably pretty skeptical right now as to how this made any sort of coherent sense. When everything tastes this good, it doesn't all have to have a point. It just has to make its way to my belly.

Cajun Shrimp
Servings: 7-10
Time: 20 minutes
I imagine this is what brains feel like.

2 lbs of shrimp, peeled and deveined
Olive oil
Tony Chachere's creole seasoning
Cayenne pepper
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
A friend with a ridiculously nice grill

Made even more Cajun by the addition of Jaime's glorious boudin.
  1. In a large bowl, generously drizzle the olive oil and spices onto the peeled shrimp. 
  2. Deal with the grossness that is raw shrimp and massage the spices and oil into them.
  3. Let marinade for 10 minutes.
  4. Pop on five shrimp per skewer and cook on the grill covered for about 3 minutes per side or until they turn orange and curve in on themselves.
Dennis and his Brussels sprouts approve.
Once I heard Jaime had bought two pounds of boudin, I knew I wanted to keep the Cajun theme going, so I decided on these spiced up shrimp. The shrimp had a nice bite to them and were ridiculously plump and juicy. They went especially well amongst the greens of the salad or on top the masterfully cooked steak.

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
Servings: Never enough
Time: Until the bacon is crispy (20-30 minutes)

Asparagus, with ends snapped off
Hickory smoked bacon

  1. Wrap a thick slice of bacon around three pieces of asparagus. Use a toothpick to keep it closed.
  2. Sprinkle some pepper on the bacon and grill until the bacon is cooked (Don't worry about overcooking the asparagus. It'll all work out.). Make sure you flip the bacon once.
Insert drool here.
This is what I picture the inside of God's arteries looks like. Everything really is better with bacon, and this only further proves the point. The smokiness and saltiness of the bacon make the perfect outer shell for the asparagus. These were grilled up to perfection and proved to be dangerous as several of us were so impatient that we forgot to remove the toothpicks (Coming soon: I try to kill my friends with the baby inside of a king cake!).

Maconda and Sacha continue to ruin pictures by being a perfect couple.
This was exactly the evening that I needed. There was nothing overly complicated or fancy about what was cooked up, we just let the flavors shine and enjoyed some of Jaime and Dennis' chocolate stout beer masterpiece while manning the grill (or while still failing to live up to my full mantential and watching Jaime man the grill). 

Mara knows where the action is at.
An epic cookout like this couldn't be contained in just one measly post. Stay tuned for highlights of my collaboration with Dr. Jess (Does she save lives for a living or have a Ph.D. in vegetarian delicacies? I'll let you decide.) and our pear ginger crumble (plus additional pics of her fancy Indian dishes).


  1. Great post. I love asparagus. I did a bacon and asparagus salad recently.

  2. Thanks, Carole. Your salad looks incredible. I especially like the addition of avocado.

  3. Hello, thanks for sharing this with us. And the food not to mention, looks pretty good. Though one of the images won’t load so please fix that.

  4. You both look so cool. You are awesome as a couple and it's a good thing to cook and dine with your family. Cooking together is the most interesting thing.

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