Fa la la la la laaa … la la laaa laaaaa I love Christmastime. The twinkle lights, the fresh evergreens, the music, the movies!! Oh, and don’t forget snow. It truly is the most wonderful time of year.
We’re Italian-American in this household, so Christmas Eve traditionally features the Feast of the Seven Fishes (yes, fishes, is a technical holiday term 🦐 and if we want to get real fancy, festa dei sette pesci). If I’m being honest, I like to prepare more than seven. I LOVE all kinds of seafood, from raw to cooked. Ever since I was an itty bitty kiddy, I was often given an earful for devouring most of the shrimp cocktail before our guests had a chance. No regratz.
If you’re looking to keep this warm this winter, this easy holiday appetizer will have your taste buds doing a spicy waltz. With prep time just under 25 minutes, these baked cajun shrimp skewers have a seasoned kick that’s quickly soothed by a refreshingly chilled cucumber and dill dip. A finger food’s yin to its yang.
Not to mention, the festive colors are on Christmassy point. In the most sophisticated way. ️
Save some time making this fish dish with pre-mixed Cajun seasoning or make your own (recipe below!). If you’re anything like me, your husband calls you a new world explorer for all the spices inhabiting our cabinet.
Easy Holiday Appetizer: Baked Cajun Shrimp Skewers
Serves eight to twelve people
1 lb. wild-caught gulf shrimp
¼ cup cajun seasoning
3-4 sprigs of parsley, for garnish
16 oz. plain yogurt
½ english cucumber
2 tbsp. dill, minced and garnish
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, juiced
Salt + pepper
Low bowls (for seasoning)
Fine mesh colander
Preheat oven to 425°. Peel shrimp reserving tails and pat dry with a paper towel. In a low bowl, prep your cajun seasoning*. Coat shrimp with seasoning on all sides and skewered three shrimp per serving. Place on a baking sheet and lightly drizzle olive oil. Bake for 12 minutes, flipping skewers after six minutes.
While shrimp are baking, add plain yogurt to a mixing bowl. Peel, half and slice cucumber into half moons. Place in a small food processor and strain through a fine mesh colander with a silicone spatula. Add cucumber liquid, dill, lemon juice, garlic and mix thoroughly. When serving, garnish lightly with dill.
Plate skewers and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately!
*Quick cajun seasoning recipe:
2 tbsp. paprika
2 tbsp. salt
2 tbsp. oregano
1 tbsp. cayenne (add more for more kick!)
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper
Buon Natale e Buone Feste!
— Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! —