Mint Juleps with Shrimp Avocado Chips and Dip

“You go to my head, like a sip of sparkling burgundy brew, and I find the very mention of you, like the kicker in a julep or two.”

It’s been awhile since I’ve sung You Go To My Head, but in these early summer days when I come home to my warm and sunny porch, rot iron lacing with mint vines, these lyrics ring in my brain. It’s julep season in New Orleans.

Mint Julep

Adapted from Oak Alley Plantation recipe

2 cups sugar

1 cup water plus 12 oz more

8 mint sprigs for boiling; 5 for garnish

3 cups bourbon

Crushed ice

Dissolve the sugar in 1 cup of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low add mint sprigs. Stir until leaves are wilted and soaked. Simmer for 10 minutes uncovered, let cool. Strain. When the sugar water is cool, add bourbon and 12 oz water and mix well. Add crushed ice to six 16 oz glasses and pour the mixture over ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.

 

Shrimp and Avocado Dip with Chile and Lime

Adapted from Food and Wine

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

1/2 pound shelled and deveined shrimp, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

Kosher salt

1/3 cup sour cream

1/4 cup cream cheese, at room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 Hass avocado—peeled, pitted and finely diced

2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish

Thinly sliced scallions and jalapeños, for garnish

Hot sauce, chips and crudités, for serving

In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the shrimp, garlic and a pinch of salt and cook over high heat, stirring, until the shrimp are white throughout, about 2 minutes. Let cool.

In a medium bowl, mix the sour cream with the cream cheese, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, lime zest and lime juice. Fold in the shrimp, avocado and 2 tablespoons of cilantro and season the dip with salt. Garnish with cilantro, scallions and jalapeños. Serve with hot sauce, chips and crudités.

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