Recipe courtesy of Matt Armendariz

Spicy Cajun Skewers with Spicy Buffalo Dipping Sauce

Me and my bright ideas. I wanted something Cajun inspired, but my first attempts at gumbo on a stick weren't successful. Instead, I've taken the spirit of Louisiana gumbo and reinterpreted that classic stew as a spicy, crisp-fried skewer. Make sure to have plenty of icy beer on hand for these, and-whatever you do-don't forget the hot sauce!
  • Yield: Serves 4
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Ingredients

4 wooden skewers

1 qt vegetable oil

Cajun Marinade:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsp Cajun seasoning

1 tsp black pepper

Hush Puppy Batter:

1 cup self-rising cornmeal

1/2 cup self-rising flour

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 egg

2/3 cup buttermilk

1 scallion, thinly sliced

Spicy Buffalo Dipping Sauce:

1 cup hot sauce

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

8 tiger shrimp, peeled and cleaned with tails intact

8 okra pods

1 andouille sausage, sliced

4 small red potatoes, boiled

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat vegetable oil in a large pot over mediumhigh heat. Soak skewers in water about 30 minutes. For the cajun marinade: Combine marinade ingredients in a small bowl; set aside. For the hush puppy batter: Make the hush puppy batter: Whisk cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, pepper, egg, buttermilk, and scallions in a large bowl; batter should be thick. Once oil reaches 350degreesF, carefully drop large (2-ounce) spoonfuls of batter into pot and fry about 5 minutes. (Work in batches.) Drain hush puppies on paper towels and season with additional salt and pepper to taste. For the dipping sauce: While hush puppies are draining, whisk hot sauce and butter in a small bowl. Slide 1 hush puppy onto a skewer, followed by 1 shrimp, 1 okra pod, 1 slice sausage, 1 potato, another piece of shrimp, and another hush puppy; repeat with remaining skewers and ingredients. Brush liberally with Cajun marinade. Heat grill or grill pan to medium-high and brush with olive oil. Grill skewers 4 to 5 minutes per side. Serve warm, accompanied by dipping sauce.