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Baked Shrimp and Potatoes

(recipe, Marcelle Bienvenu & Judy Walker)

Introduction

In 1998, food editor Dale Curry visited Bayou Loutre in Yscloskey, a shrimping village in St. Bernard Parish, where Katrina later caused havoc. The Islenos had settled in this community along the lower Mississippi River in 1778. The Islenos were Spanish colonists from the Canary Islands, and traces of the Castilian Spanish language still remain. Curry talked with Selina Gonzales, a native of the community, who shared some of her mother’s recipes, including this one. Many of the recipes were Spanish, relying heavily on olive oil and lots of garlic. Fish and shrimp were naturals for this kind of cooking. A spectacular dish to feed a crowd can be made by adding a whole redfish to this recipe. Place the cleaned, deheaded fish, with fins removed, in the center of a large pan, surround it with the shrimp and potato mixture, and bake.

Ingredients

  1. 3 doz. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  2. Salt
  3. Black pepper
  4. 2 cups sliced red potatoes (cut into rounds about ¼-inch thick)
  5. ¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, melted
  6. ½ cup olive oil
  7. 1 whole head garlic, peeled and minced
  8. 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  9. 1 (10-ounce) can Ro-tel diced tomatoes and green chiles

Steps

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and transfer to a large baking pan. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the potatoes are soft and tender.