The Creole Quesadilla At Shorty Pants

photo by Al Griffin

Waterfront hotspot Shorty Pants Lounge and Marina has been a boaters’ favorite for years: the Cajun food is second-to-none, and boaters say Shorty Pants’ gas dock is the best at the Lake. 

The Signature Dish featured for the 2017 season is The Creole Quesadilla, fusing Mexican and Cajun cuisines. In both cultures, with ports and waterways open to the sea, shrimp is a common ingredient, but the shrimp flavor at Shorty Pants is far from common. It bursts with salty tastes from the sea.

Completing that substantial seafood filling are a mild Andouille sausage, direct from Crescent City, Louisiana in the heart of Creole country, and crawfish tail meat, packed with earthy flavors. Together the meats represent the best of sea, fresh waters, and land. 

Sautéed onions and peppers add sweet, buttery flavors to the three protein ingredients while blackening spices and good, melted pepper jack cheese add zest. A tomato tortilla provides the top and bottom for this satisfying fused Creole Quesadilla with sides of sour cream and salsa. It’s a full platter, sized to share as an appetizer or as an entrée for those with a giant appetite.

For dessert or anytime-indulgences, Shorty Pants makes the French inspired, New Orleans pastry known as beignets. Cutting into one, diners will find light layers resembling puff pastry. Outside, however, is a blizzard of powdered sugar, and on the side, a raspberry dipping sauce that heightens the sweet sugar because of the raspberry’s tart notes. They make a delicious start or finish to a meal at Shorty Pants.

The Recipe:

Creole Quesadilla from Shorty Pants Lounge and Marina

  • Melt 1 Tb butter in a pan suitable for sautéing.
  • Add a handful of finely diced green bell peppers, red bell peppers, and onions.
  • Sauté until the onions begin to become translucent and the peppers begin to soften.
  • Add 5-6 medium to large shrimp, peeled and deveined.
  • Add 1 link Andouille sausage, sliced thinly.
  • Add the meat of 6-12 crawfish tails.
  • Season with blackening spice (see recipe for blackening spice below).
  • When the shrimp begins to grow pink in color, remove the meat-vegetable mixture from the pan.
  • Place one tomato tortilla in the pan.
  • Return the meat-vegetable mix to the pan.
  • Top with Pepperjack Cheese to taste.
  • Place a second tomato tortilla on top of the meat-vegetable-cheese blend.
  • Heat only long enough to melt the cheese.
  • Remove. Cut into 8 wedges. Serve with sour cream and salsa if desired.

 

The Recipe:

Blackening Spice from Shorty Pants Lounge and Marina

 

  • Blend together all the following ingredients in a bowl or plastic, zip-lock bag.
  • 2 Tb Paprika
  • 1 Tb Chipotle Powder
  • 1 Tsp Garlic (ground)
  • 1 Tsp Onion (ground)
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Salt (optional)

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