Blackened Shrimp with Red Pepper Coulis.
Blackened Shrimp with Red Pepper Coulis-1

Trivia of the Day:What does the term coulis mean?

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Trivia Answer: a sauce made with puréed vegetables or fruit and used as a base or garnish.

About a month or two ago a group of friends and I began going to trivia night at a local bar. $5 Jack Daniel's drinks. $10 domestic pitchers. 25¢ wings. Trivia with your friends. What else could you ask for? Week after week, we have continued going, each time realizing more and more how good we are at trivia.

Name 1 of the 3 U.S. Presidents to have gotten married while in office. Grover Cleveland

Name the two books from an Anne Rice trilogy that have been made into films. Interview with a Vampire Queen of the Damned

Before Cairo, what is the most populous city in Africa? Lagos

It quickly became apparent that our brains were filled with a vast amount of random, potentially useless, facts covering an array of categories - food, geography, commercials, sports, advertising, history, chemistry. It was so apparent that the trivia host approached me last week and asked why our team was not an official league team. League? A trivia league? That's right! I, Tommy Engstrom, am officially a member of a trivia league. Don't worry, it's okay to be jealous. I would be too.

And following this article, you will have been blessed with a number of useless facts, including the definition of coulis, which I had no idea was a culinary term until I made this recipe. I am not sure what that says about me considering I am a food writer, but that is besides the point.

This recipe is hands down one of my favorites that I have made in recent months. But be warned - it packs a kick. The spices in the rub and coulis are sure to clear your sinuses - a nice dollop of sour cream will be much welcomed.

Give the recipe a try and let me know what you think in the comments below.


| Blackened Shrimp with Red Pepper Coulis |
Recipe from The Black Dog Summer on the Vineyard Cookbook


Chili Rub:
2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon dry marjoram
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Red Pepper Coulis:
3-4 large red bell peppers
1 small red onion
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon tomato purée salt and pepper, to taste

18- 20 large shrimp
2-3 tablespoons olive oil

sour cream
1/2 cup chopped scallions


  1. Mix the dry-rub ingredients together in a pie pan and set aside.
  2. Roast the peppers whole and the onion in quarters under a broiler or on a charcoal grill until the skin blisters on the peppers and the onion wilts.
  3. Put the peppers in a paper bag for ten minutes and then peel and seed them. Set aside.
  4. Heat the canola oil in a heavy-bottom saucepan over hight heat. Add the crushed pepper flakes and heat for a minute to flavor the oil.
  5. Add the minced garlic and sauté quickly for about one minute. Do not let the garlic burn.
  6. Add the onion and roasted pepper. Sauté for 1 minute. Now add the red wine, water, and tomato purée.
  7. Continue cooking for about another 3 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and purée this mixture in a blender or food processor, and pass through a fine-holed sieve. Correct seasoning and keep warm.
  9. Peel and devein the shrimp.
  10. Preheat a heavy-bottomed pan on high. Add the olive oil and heat.
  11. Dredge the shrimp in the chili rub and sear in the hot pan on both sides until just done. This should take about two to three minutes maximum per side.
  12. Garnish the cooked shrimped with the warm coulis, sour cream, and scallions.