Mardi Gras Cajun Cook-Off is underway

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – It’s Mardi Gras time, and Chef Mike Johnson from Sugarfire Smoke House is cooking us up a Cajun dish that is sure to get everyone ready for the occasion. The big Cajun Cook-off is set for Saturday, January 23.  Popular chefs from the St. Louis area will compete against each other for the chance to win a cash prize.

The event is today from 12:00-4:00 P.M. at the Bud Light Party Centre in Soulard Market Park.  Advance tickets are $35/tickets at the door $45.


New Orleans BBQ Shrimp

Yield: 4 servings


  • 3 pounds large Gulf shrimp, in their shells
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning, recipe follows
  • Cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 lemons, peeled & sectioned
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Traditional southern biscuits
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives


Sugarfire Cajun Seasoning

  • 2 ½ tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme


Peel the shrimp, leaving only their tails attached.  Reserve the shells and set aside.  Sprinkle the shrimp with 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning and fresh cracked black pepper. Use your hands to coat the shrimp with the seasonings.  Refrigerate the shrimp while you make the sauce base.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot over high heat.  When the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic and saute for 1 minute.  Add the reserved shrimp shells, the remaining Creole seasoning, the bay leaves, lemons, water, Worcestershire, wine, salt, and black pepper.  Stir well and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove from the heat, allow to cool for about 15 minutes.  Strain into a small saucepan.  There should be about 1 1/2 cups. Place over high heat, bring to a boil, and cook until thick.

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