I love to play with words. Puns, palindromes, anagrams, tongue twisters, rhymes, limericks, haiku and oxymorons. Contrary to the advice my mother gave me as a child, I also love to play with my food! I’m always thrilled when I can combine the two. The first word/food play that comes to mind is a hamburger I saw at a pub that was called: “Blackened Bleu” (Burger). A twist on “Black and Blue” and Cajun blackened burger topped with bleu cheese. Here’s a palindrome I just found: “Emil, a sleepy baby, peels a lime”. Then there’s the: “Evil Olive” and ”A nut for a jar of tuna”. Everyone has heard of “Baked Alaska”, “Jumbo Shrimp” and “Crispy Cream” for oxymorons.

Here’s a fun appetizer recipe I just came up with:

Grilled Jumbo Shrimp with a Citrus Cajun Martini Marinade

Makes 6 skewers

(This was inspired by the Cajun martini’s served at Kilgore Trout’s. You get an ice cold martini where jalapeños have been marinading in the vodka over night)

Citrus Cajun Martini Marinade:

2 LG. Jalapeños (cut vertically – seeds and veins included)
1 Orange (Juice and Zest)
1 Lemon (Juice and Zest)
1 Lime (Juice and Zest)
4 Cloves Garlic (Crushed and rough dice)
3 TBS. Olive Oil
375 ml Vodka (about 2 cups) or (Tequila if you prefer)
1 teas. Sea Salt
1 teas. Ground Black Pepper
1 sprig Fresh Oregano
1 TBS Ponzu

Grilled Jumbo Shrimp:

6 Jumbo Shrimp (peeled and de-vained)
6 Wooden Skewers (soaked in water for about an hour)

Add and mix all marinade ingredients in a non-reactive (use stainless steel, ceramic or glass) bowl.

Peel and de-vain shrimp and place in bowl of marinade. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Soak wooden skewers in water while the shrimp are marinating.

Pre-heat grill to medium high. When ready to grill, Place each shrimp on a skewer and put on grill. Turn once when they easily lift off grate and grill until opaque but not over cooked. You might have to do a test one to get this part perfected.

If there is a major flame flare up, have a squirt bottle of water handy to tame it down.

Enjoy with a Cajun Martini, Margarita or and ice cold Imported Beer.

I’ll conclude this blog with a Haiku:

“Jumbo shrimp are drunk
The icy hot martini
Taste buds in delight”


Chef Trusan