I’ve been having a fabulous post-graduation life. It isn’t perfect, life never is, but I no longer have to turn in assignments or meet for group projects or research industries I’m not interested in. My evenings are mine to schedule as I like. I work a lot on Bear & Bug, of course, but without additional deadlines from homework breathing down my neck. And I get a few more naps.
I’ve also realized a dream by volunteering at Duo58 Community Coffee Bar & Cafe! I have wanted to learn to make fancy coffee and espresso drinks since the first time I visited a Starbucks. Duo is a third-wave (artisanal) coffee place, meaning that the drinks are about as fancy as they can get. I’m not even allowed to train on the espresso machine yet because consistency between drinks is so important. I watch pretty closely, though. I’m there a couple of times a month, supporting the community via Duo’s local jobs program and their work in a Haitian orphanage. I love being able to do something new and interesting while also giving back.
This recipe was inspired by my graduation dinner. We visited a place that I’d driven by but never been inside, called Linda’s La Cantina. On the outside, it looks like a divey Mexican place. On the inside, it’s a well-decorated place that serves a really great steak: there is zero Mexican on the menu. Everything we had was good. You know those whole sweet fried onions that everyone wants but it takes a whole table to eat? Turns out that five adults can almost eat a whole one.
My mom ordered the blackened shrimp with butter. I’ve spent the past month, and more shrimp than Robby really wanted to eat, working out a comparable recipe. Mine uses homemade blackening seasoning in conjunction with a little salt and a lot of extra garlic, because yes garlic. If shrimp aren’t your thing, I’ve also used this same recipe on chicken, with much success.
I suggest serving this alongside mango salsa or chimichurri, and yellow rice.
Seafood in general goes with white wine. Robby’s picked out a few types here to balance the spicy boldness of the shrimp.
Bubbly: With lower alcohol, a white bubbly cleanses the palate after the spicy shrimp; try La Luca Prosecco.
Fruity: Auslese-level reislings have high residual sugar and balancing acidity; try Dr Loosen or Ngumu Chenin Blanc.
Dry: Albariños are Spanish, and often paired with seafood and roasted vegetables. They have palate-refreshing acidity and are crisp and refreshing; try La Caña Albariño.
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh herbs: Chives, oregano, basil, parsley, thyme are all good
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons blackening seasoning
Preheat broiler to high.
While it's heating, melt butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for a minute. Add chopped herbs and turn off heat, swirling to combine. Set aside.
Combine salt, garlic powder, and blackening seasoning.
Lay shrimp on foil-lined baking tray. Top shrimp with half of the seasoning mix, flip and season the other side.
Broil shrimp, 2-3 minutes per side.
Pour herbed butter over shrimp. Serve immediately.