Quick & Easy Snacking – American Idol Top 4

With two weeks left in the competition it’s pretty much impossible to not disappoint some Idol fans with the weekly eliminations. This week the rocker that wanted to introduce American to metal couldn’t get past the country charm and sexy prowess of the remaining top 3 contestants.

At this point in the competition I was really pleased with the top 4 and honestly, completely lost at who will take the Idol crown. I’m not worried about James Durbin’s elimination this week. If his Idol following stands by him as strongly as they’ve protested his departure…he’ll have a very successful music career.

Every week this Idol season I’ve had the pleasure of posting my culinary creations on Lyndsey Parker’s Yahoo! blog, Reality Rocks. Last week I was serving up some Mini Crab Tarts and Meatballs like momma used to make for “Now and Then” week.

This week Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller inspired a New Orleans vibe with their bluesy roots and Smokey Joe’s Cafe type menu options. So this week I give you Shrimp Cakes and Crawfish Spinach Dip. Yes, I was a little hesitant in experimenting with Crawfish…but let me tell you, it was delicious.

So give these recipes a try and let me know what I should serve up for next week’s top 3!!

Who do you think is going home with the Idol crown in two weeks?

Happy eating!

Cajun Shrimp Cakes

Yields 4 large cakes


▪ 2 tsp olive oil
▪ 1/4 cup onion, diced
▪ 1/4 cup celery, diced
▪ 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
▪ 1/4 tsp kosher salt and pepper
▪ 1 tsp thyme, finely chopped
▪ 1 garlic clove, minced
▪ 1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp, coarsely chopped
▪ 1 tsp Cajun seasoning (I used Emeril’s Essence seasoning)
▪ 2 tbsp Creole mustard
▪ 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
▪ 1 egg
▪ juice of 1/2 a lemon
▪ 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
▪ 2 tbsp canola oil

Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion and the next 4 ingredients through the thyme. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant. Remove from the heat and slightly cool.

In a large bowl add the shrimp, veggie mixture, and next 6 ingredients through the Panko. Mix until well-combined.

Score the mixture to ensure 4 even cakes.

Form into 4 even patties. If the mixture is too wet, add more Panko in small amounts.

Heat the canola oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the cakes until they have a rich brown color on each side. The extra sear gives a delicious crust and soft texture in the middle!

Serve with your favorite remoulade, or try my quick recipe below.

Easy Remoulade

▪ 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
▪ 1 tbsp Creole mustard
▪ 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
▪ 1 tbsp celery, diced
▪ 1 tbsp scallion, thinly sliced
▪ 2 tsp Louisiana hot sauce
▪ 1 garlic clove, minced
▪ salt and pepper

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and adjust seasonings according to taste. Serve dolloped on top of each shrimp cake.

Crawfish Spinach Dip


▪ 1 tbsp olive oil
▪ 1/2 onion, diced
▪ 2 garlic cloves, minced
▪ 4 cups fresh spinach, packed
▪ 1 tsp Cajun seasoning
▪ 1/4 tsp salt and pepper
▪ 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
▪ 1/2 lb crawfish tail meat
▪ 1 block of cream cheese
▪ 1/2 cup sour cream
▪ French baguette, sliced
▪ cooking spray
▪ garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, then add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, around 30 seconds.

Add the spinach and cook until wilted down.

Stir in the Cajun seasoning, salt, peppers, and crawfish, and sauté until most of the liquid has evaporated.

While the spinach and crawfish are cooking, place the French bread slices on a baking sheet and cover with the cooking spray. Sprinkle with the garlic powder and bake until lightly crisp.

Turn the heat to medium-low and stir in the cream cheese until melted.

Add the sour cream and heat through.

Adjust the seasoning accordingly. Serve in a large bowl with the crisp baguette slices.

Gil Scott-Heron is a jazz/blues/soul musician from Chicago that made his biggest mark on music in the 70’s and 80’s. Jamie XX from the amazing band The XX has done a bad ass remix of Heron’s single off his latest album, “I’m New Here”. So check it out and let it move you!

Gil Scott-Heron – NY is Killing Me

3 responses

  1. Pingback: Quick & Easy Snacking – American Idol Top 4 | Health Blog Tips

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