Flambeaux Shrimp Rolls/Wiseacre Brewing Co. Tiny Bomb/Haunt “Luminous Eyes”
Ok, before you start reading, we are going to apologize in advance. When it comes to the seafood food chain, we are well aware that salad shrimp is right down there with imitation crab (another guilty pleasure, we confess) and pouched tuna (that one not so much) but in this recipe it works, especially since good quality fresh shrimp is pretty hard to come by in the landlocked midwest. If you’re on the coasts or the gulf and have access to right from the water shrimp, this sandwich would be even better. Like a good crab cake or lobster roll, it’s all about the meat and very little about the binding. The shrimp just gets sautéed in butter, our Flambeaux Nola-style seasoning, a scant amount of mayo, fresh jalapeño and a squeeze of fresh lime. The loose, spicy mix gets heaped on top of buttery brioche buns and served with an ice cold Pilsner, Tiny Bomb from Memphis’ Wiseacre Brewing to be exact. For the tunes, we turned to some good old fashioned melodic metal from Fresno’s Haunt and their EP “Luminous Eyes”.
Flambeaux Shrimp Rolls – Since the shrimp is already cooked and we are keeping the extra ingredients to a minimum, these sandwiches are ready in about 5-7 minutes. The shrimp can be done on the stove top but we wanted to be outside this evening and opted to use the grill for our sautéing needs. In a large cast iron pan we melt a couple tablespoons of good quality butter. Once melted, we add in a bag of thawed salad shrimp.
Most of the seasoning in this shrimp salad is going to come from our Flambeaux NOLA-Style rub so we’re going to hit the shrimp pretty heavy with it, around a tablespoon to a tablespoon and a half of the spicy stuff should do. Give everything a good stir and let the shrimp soak up the butter and spice mixture.
After a couple of minutes, we’re going to transfer the shrimp to a bowl to cool. Once cooled we’re going to go in with a 1/2 cup of mayo, a small jalapeño minced and the juice from 1/2 a lime.
Gently mix everything together until well combined.
Next up we’re going to griddle the brioche buns in a little butter until browned and slightly crisp. On the top half of the bun we spread a little sriracha mayo (equal parts sriracha and mayo is how we like it) followed by some shredded Asian salad mix (bok choy, cabbage, carrot)
All that is left to do is pile on the shrimp. In an act of reverse Jenga, try to pile the shrimp mixture as high as possible without it collapsing over the side of the bun.
There’s just something about rich seafood and buttery soft bread (just ask our friends in the northeast) that makes something so simple so unbelievably delicious.
Wiseacre Brewing Co. Tiny Bomb – Seafood to us almost always calls for light and crisp beers. There are some exceptions, but for the most part that’s our pairing of choice so off we went seeking out pilsners, kolschs and lagers. The bright yellow cans from Wiseacre Brewing stood out as did the bold block letters spelling out “TINY BOMB”. They stood out so much, the six pack landed in our cart and our pairing was set. This beer was actually pretty aptly named for the often easily quaffed pilsner. Tiny Bomb possessed a pretty full bodied, almost creamy texture and mouthfeel to go along with the crisp drinking experience. It was a really excellent beer and great match for the rich sandwich.
Haunt “Luminous Eyes” – We’ve got the killer label Riding Easy records to thank for turning us on to their fellow statesmen Haunt as they’ve been singing this band’s praises since the release of their “Luminous Eyes” EP last year. From the first “The Hellion”-esque notes of the album’s title track we half anticipated a dragon riding wizard to appear before our very eyes arriving in a cloud of bright purple smoke. Then the twin guitar hook kicks in right before the vocals that take on a catchiness all its own. You won’t find many opening tracks that are better than this one. Even more frenetic paced metal goodness is delivered on the hard driving “As Fire Burns”. The EP ends with a couple more high energy tracks “No Master” and “Fallen Star”, both put on a clinic in heavy metal guitar shredding. The whole album is a throwback to a time of when twin guitar fueled, arena vocals metals ruled the music world and “Luminous Eyes” would hold its own alongside Maiden and Judas Priest in your NWOBHM collection.