Cajun Shrimp Stuffed Shells
- 1.5 onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped, divided (3 and 2)
- 1 rib of celery, chopped
- 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined, cut in half
- 10-12 jumbo pasta shells
- 1 C. Mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 C. Pepper jack cheese, shredded
- 2 Tbsp. cajun seasoning
- 3-4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- 5 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 4 Tbsp. sweet chili sauce
- 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1.5 tsp. chili powder
- 2 tsp. liquid smoke
- 1.5 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1.5 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 tsp. sriracha hot sauce
- juice of 1 lemon
Preheat oven to 350°. Add shrimp and cajun seasoning to a bowl and toss so all shrimp is coated, set aside.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside to cool.
In a large sauce pan, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, jalapeno,2 cloves garlic, and celery and cook until just soft, season with salt and pepper and add the thyme. Empty into a large bowl.
Add the shrimp and cook 3-4 minutes, making sure not to over cook the shrimp. Add to bowl with vegetables.
Prepare the sauce. In a saucepan over medium high heat, same one you made the shrimp in is fine, add 4 Tbsp. olive oil, butter, sweet chili sauce, Worcestershire, chili powder, liquid smoke, paprika, oregano, sriracha, garlic, lemon juice and parsley. Bring to a boil and immediately lower temperature so the sauce simmers. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
Add sauce and cheeses to the bowl of shrimp and combine thoroughly. Stuff each shell with about 2 heaping spoonfuls of the shrimp mix. You want to use it all up.
Line a baking dish with tin foil, spray with cooking spray and lay shells into it. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
Pull shells out of oven when done, top each shell with a mix of 1/2 C. panko and 1/2 C. pepper jack cheese. Broil until the cheese is melty, just a couple minutes.
Serve with salad and bread for a complete meal!
Adapted from http://www.jocooks.com/main-courses/seafood/spicy-new-orleans-shrimp/