baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb moisture from the shrimp
Pot for boiling pasta
1lbraw frozen shrimp(large or jumbo in size)
4-½tablespoonCajun seasoning(store bought or homemade - 2-½ tablespoon for seasoning shrimp & remaining 2 tablespoon for adding to the skillet for blooming)
5clovesfresh garlic (minced or finely chopped)
1tablespoongrape-seed oil(or olive oil)
1tablespoonclarified butter or ghee(or regular butter if not diary free)
2tablespoonfresh lemon juice(juice from half a lemon or lime)
¾lbpappardelle pasta(fettuccine or other shapped pasta)
13.66ozcanned unsweetened coconut milk(I use one can of Thai Kitchen unsweetened coconut milk)
Generously salt a pot of water and follow the instructions on the packaging to prepare the pasta. Before draining the pasta, reserve some of the pasta water in a cup.
Remove the shell, de-vein and wash the shrimp is cold water then place on a baking sheet lined with layers of paper towels to thoroughly dry. Also, use a couple of more paper towels to pat dry the top of the shrimp. Removes the wet paper towels and discard. Season the shrimp generously with Cajun seasoning, then add kosher salt and black pepper. Stir until shrimp is coated with seasoning.
Place a skillet over high heat, add grape-seed oil and clarified butter to the skillet. When hot, place the shrimp on the skillet to be seared for 2 to 3 minutes on both sides. Do not crowd the pan or over the shrimp. Cook the shrimp in batches if necessary. Place seared shrimp on a clean plate. Set aside.
To make the sauce: Grab a can of unsweetened coconut milk and gently shake before opening. Add more oil or clarified butter to the skillet if needed, add in minced garlic and saute just until fragrant. Add the Cajun spice blend to the skillet to bloom for 10 seconds or so. Slowly, whisk in the can of unsweetened coconut milk until ingredients are well combined. Add a dash of salt. Bring to a simmer.
Add the cooked pasta to the cream sauce and toss until well coated. Be mindful of the sauce to patio ratio because if you add to much pasta, the pasta can absorb the sauce leaving you with a pot of dried pasta and hardly any sauce which you do not want.
Add the seared shrimp back to the skillet. If you have any remaining juices on the plate that the shrimp were on. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon or lime onto the plate and give a quick swirl. Then pour the liquid into the skillet and toss gently until the shrimp are also coated in the cream sauce.
Taste and add more kosher salt if needed. Lightly squeeze the little more lemon juice over the top and garnish with roughly chopped cilantro or parsley.
Serve immediately and enjoy.
When searing shrimp, make sure it only cooks for 2 to 3 minutes per side depending on the size of the shrimp if cooked too long shrimp will become dry and tough.
Do not over-crowed the skillet when searing the shrimp instead cook the shrimp in batches to prevent the shrimp from steaming.
Use a cast iron skillet or heavy bottom skillet to really achieve that crusty outer coating on the shrimp.
When purchasing shrimp, aim for a bag of frozen raw shrimp that's either large or jumbo in size.
Salt pasta water and cook pasta noodles until al dente.
Before draining the pasta, reserve a cup of the pasta water in a measuring cup or other small cup and use a little at a time to thin out the sauce if it becomes too thick.
Be mindful of the pasta to sauce ratio as the pasta can absorb the sauce as a result do not over-pack the skillet with pasta.
Pro-tip: There will be juice remaining on the plate after adding the seared shrimp back to the skillet. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon onto the plate and swirl then pour over the creamy shrimp pasta for an extra boost of flavor.
To level up the amount of heat, add cayenne pepper to the sauce or leave it out completely.