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Chris Lusk's Corndogs 

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This space normally is reserved for recipes using superfoods that pack unusual amounts and varieties of nutrients and minimal calories per serving. In honor of football season and New Orleanians' penchant for tailgating, however, this recipe from chef Chris Lusk of Cafe Adelaide (Loews New Orleans Hotel, 300 Poydras St., 595-3305; focuses on a quality-of-life issue important to us all: taste. It also will put the preparer in the thick of the competition for best tailgating dish, whether it's served on china or Chinet.

  That's not to say there aren't health benefits. Shrimp, while high in cholesterol (a 3-ounce serving has 55 percent of the recommended daily amount or RDA), the same serving of the crustacean also supplies 48 percent of the RDA of selenium, 21 percent of vitamin B12, 36 percent of protein, 15 percent of iron and 12 percent of phosphorous. It also has trace amounts of Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, vitamins A, C, E, B5, B6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and the minerals calcium, potassium, zinc, copper and magnesium.

  Because I can't tolerate deep-fried foods, I tried this recipe without the breading, cooking the skewered shrimp on a grill. If you go for this option, you might want to supply extra beurre blanc in dipping cups.

  Bon appetit and laissez les bon temps rouler!

Chef Chris Lusk's Shrimp and Tasso Corndog Appetizer

Serves: 25

Frisee (curly-leaf lettuce for garnish; set aside until ready to serve)

2 cups cornmeal

1 cup flour

1 cup corn flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 ounces sugar

1-1/2 cups buttermilk

4 ounces Abita beer

2 eggs

2 ounces tasso (diced into small pieces)

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

  In a bowl, whisk eggs. Add buttermilk and beer, and combine. Mix all dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then slowly mix dry ingredients with the egg, buttermilk and beer until wet. (If mixture is too thick, add more beer.)

10 bamboo skewers (6 inches long)

100-150 shrimp, peeled with tail intact

  Season peeled shrimp with salt and pepper. Skewer shrimp through the tail end. Dip in batter and deep-fry until golden brown.



1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 pint reduced crystal hot sauce

4 ounces unsalted butter (at room temperature)

  In separate pots, reduce cream and hot sauce by half. Add together and continue to reduce, again by half. Whisk in butter and keep mixture hot.



1 cup corn syrup

1 cup distilled white vinegar

1 ounce green bell pepper (brunoised*)

1 ounce yellow bell pepper (brunoised*)

1 ounce red bell pepper (brunoised*)

1/2 teaspoon crushed pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black peppercorns

(*To brunoise the peppers, first julienne them, then turn the strips 90 degrees and cut into small cubes.)

  In a pot, reduce corn syrup and vinegar by half. Add brunoised bell peppers, pepper flakes and black pepper.

Serving suggestion:

  Spread pepper jelly on bottom of a plate. Dip fried shrimp corndogs in hot sauce beurre blanc and place on top of pepper jelly. Garnish with frisee.


Nutritional information per serving (approximate):

233.5 calories

2.15 grams fat

27 grams carbohydrates

16.35 grams protein

133.9 milligrams sodium

2.62 grams sugar


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