Creamy, kicked up Cajun Shrimp Carbonara gets piled high with a fried green tomato, bits of corn, sugar peas and cherry tomatoes.
I’ve been waiting all year for fried green tomatoes. I love the cornmeal crunch and that beautiful juicy green tomato fresh from the garden. It’s good served alone, but it’s even better served with mesquite smoked bacon wrapped shrimp and creamy Cajun carbonara.
Carbonara is such a simple way to create a sauce for pasta and it’s so easy to transform with various herbs and spices. This time we went Southern, mostly because it pairs so perfectly with fried green tomatoes. How many people get a visual of Kathy Bates smashing through the wall in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes yelling Towanda? I do! Every time. I love that movie.
If you close your eyes, this dish will put you right down south, sitting out on the patio, soaking up the sun.
Ingredients in Cajun Shrimp Carbonara
- Shrimp – Lately I have been loving pink shrimp, when spot prawns are in season use those.
- Bacon – A good, thick cut smoky bacon.
- Corn – Fresh corn cut off the cob is best for this dish.
- Tomato – Large green tomato, sliced thick for frying.
- Cherry Tomatoes – Off the vine is best, or flavor bombs are my favorite.
- Sugar Peas – Fresh from garden is best.
- Shallot – Across between an onion and garlic.
- Fettucine – If you can get fresh, it tastes so much better.
- Parmesan – Freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- Egg – I use my fresh chicken eggs for the best color and flavor.
- Parsley – Italian parsley adds fresh herb taste to the carbonara.
- Cajun Seasoning – Tony Cachere’s or Zatarain’s are great for Cajun seasoning.
- Other – Flour, cornmeal, vegetable oil.
Cajun Carbonara, Fried Green Tomato & Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
Fried Green Tomatoes
- 1 large green tomato sliced in 1/4 inch rounds
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup corn meal
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 tsp Cajun seasoning such as Slap Ya Mama Zatarains or Tony Cachere's
- vegetable oil for frying
Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
- 12 large/extra large shrimp cleaned, shell removed, tail left on
- 6 slices thick cut mesquite bacon cut in half
- 2 ears corn cut off the cob
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup sugar peas sliced on bias
- 1 tbsp shallot
- 9 oz fresh fettuccine cooked according to directions, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water
- 2 egg yolks beaten
- 1/2 cup parmesan shredded
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley fine chopped
- 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
- 1 lemon cut in wedges for serving
Fried Green Tomatoes
- Heat vegetable oil in a wide rimmed pan about an inch deep over medium heat. Set up three bowls: 1 cup of flour in one bowl, 2 eggs in second bowl, and 1/2 cup flour plus 1/2 cup cornmeal plus Cajun seasoning in third bowl. Dredge each green tomato slice in flour, then egg and finally the cornmeal mixture. Let sit on a wire rack or paper towel until ready to fry.
- Fry each green tomato until golden brown. Season with a pinch of Cajun seasoning immediately after frying.
Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
- Wrap each shrimp with a half slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Place in a large saute pan over medium heat and cook until bacon starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Increase heat to medium-high. Add shallot, corn and peas to the pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook another 2 minutes. Push mixture over to side and add shrimp back to the pan, toothpicks removed. (the bacon should be cooked enough that is stays on the shrimp). Reduce heat to low and keep warm until ready to plate.
- In a small bowl, combine egg yolks and parmesan. Drain cooked fettuccine (reserving about 1/2 cup of the water). Combine egg yolk mixture with fettuccine and toss to combine. Add reserved pasta water, Cajun seasoning and fresh parsley.
Plate your dish
- Pile Cajun Carbonara on plate, top with a fried green tomato and top that with the bacon wrapped shrimp mixture. Drizzle with lemon.
Celebrate the flavors of the south with rich and flavorful Seafood Gumbo packed full of shrimp, crab and andouille sausage or a quick weeknight favorite Jambalaya with Shrimp & Andouille Sausage.
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