Yield: about 10 servings
Stocking Tip:
For the best results, use a large nonstick skillet. If you don't use one, you run the risk of the spices burning.

  • 1 pound medium-size shrimp, tails on, rinsed, patted dry, and peeled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons Hot Pepper Oil (see below)
  • 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning (see below)


Yield: about 1 quart * 6 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise

  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 4 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 pound fresh cayenne peppers (about 60)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Combine the garlic and vinegar in a small bowl and let sit for 24 hours. Drain off the vinegar.
Combine the garlic, olive oil, whole peppers, cayenne, and salt in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let steep for 45 minutes.
Pour half of the oil into a food processor with half of the peppers and half of the garlic slices and process until smooth, about 20 seconds.
Sterilize a quart-size bottle or jar. Place the remaining peppers and garlic in the container. Pour in the pureed mixture and the remaining oil. Cool and secure with an airtight lid. Store in the refrigerator for 2 weeks before using. Will keep for 1 month in the refrigerator.

Yield: about 3/4 cup * 2 1/2 tablespoons sweet paprika

  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Mix all the ingredients together and store in an airtight container. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Season the shrimp with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1 tablespoon of the pepper oil. Layer the shrimp in a concentric circle in the bottom of a cold 10 to 12 inch saute pan, leaving about a 1 inch space between the shrimp and the rim of the pan. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons pepper oil in this space around the inside of the pan. Sprinkle the popcorn kernels into the oil. Cut a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil about 14 inches long. Place the foil over the pan and press it down firmly over the shrimp, oil, and popcorn. Crimp the foil securely around the edges of the skillet. Put the pan over medium-high heat. Cook until it begins to sizzle, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook for about 2 1/2 minutes more. The corn should begin popping. Start shaking the pan at 30-second intervals. The popcorn will continue to pop for about another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat. Let sit for about 30 seconds and allow the corn to completely finish popping. Very carefully remove the foil because of the steam, pour the mixture into a large bowl, and toss it with the remaining teaspoon salt and the Creole seasoning. Serve immediately.

From Emeril's Creole Christmas by Emeril Lagasse
Copyright 1997 By Emeril Lagasse Permission by William Morrow & Company, Inc.
New York