Baton Rouge Catholic Radio Apostle and Cook David Dawson (with a Recipe for Shrimp Remoulade)
‘When I talk about my Catholic faith, it’s like talking about a gumbo,’ says Dawson. ‘There’s a lot to it and we have plenty to share.’
David Dawson has made a large imprint on Catholic life in his native Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is president and general manager of Catholic Community Radio, a media apostolate that operates within the Archdiocese of New Orleans and the Dioceses of Baton Rouge and Houma-Thibodaux. He was recently interviewed on Catholic Life about his great work:
“We have one AM station in Baton Rouge and a larger AM station in New Orleans that covers all of Southeast Louisiana and the Gulf Coast east to Mobile, Alabama, as well as two low-power FM signals in Baton Rouge and another low-power FM in New Orleans. Many folks are also switching to online media and listening on their phones and other digital media as well, so we stream our live morning show called ‘Wake Up’ and our EWTN network programming over Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as well as our own app.”
He explained that Catholic Community Radio’s mission is to broadcast the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all of Southeastern Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.
“Through the use of modern technology,” he said, “we provide compelling programing showcasing our rich Catholic heritage that we inherited through Louisiana Catholic culture.”
Dawson was also born and raised Catholic, and attended two Catholic schools in Baton Rouge. Cooking has always been a key element of his life.
“Our family were all an hour away from New Orleans,” he said, noting that New Orleans is food centric, “and we who live in South Louisiana love helping prepare meals in house. My father was always grilling, and we always have an abundance of seafood here. We have always loved fishing and crabbing.”
During his childhood, Dawson said he was sure to watch his mom cook and the two had kitchen conversations.
“I was watching what she was doing,” he said, “and when you grow up you remember the good things you ate. … I cook one of her recipes, like a peach cobbler. It was a favorite I can remember though it was not written down.”
Now as an adult with four children and 15 grandchildren, Dawson said that after attending Mass on Sundays, family members come to Baton Rouge to eat together.
“So gathering is a huge crowd …it is like a family reunion. My wife and I carry on the tradition, and now I am cooking in high volume.” After all, he noted, through “the sharing of food at the table it is like living the Eucharist. Our best memories are families around the table. We have great foods, and we have good company … very Eucharistic.”
At other times, when he visits one son who lives an hour away in Thibodeaux, they get together to boil crabs. “That is my father’s recipe,” he said. “Another son loves to cook boudin and he makes his own. So the tradition is handed down.” (Note: boudin, pronounced “boo-dan,” is a sausage made with pork, rice, onions and other seasonings all stuffed into a casing. The recipe originated in Southwest Louisiana.)
What is Dawson’s plan for his Catholic Community Radio?
“We want to reach as many people as possible because so many people don’t know what the Catholic faith has to offer,” he said. “We want to share the message, and my goal to reach as many as possible in a quality way. So when I talk about my Catholic faith, it’s like talking about a gumbo — a lot of ingredients and when you cook one and taste it, all of those ingredients come together and make a magical flavor. You don’t just make a little gumbo, either — you make enough to gather a lot of family and friends. Just like our Catholic faith, there’s a lot to it and we have plenty to share.”
* * * * * * *
- 8 cups water
- 2 lemons, sliced
- 1/4 cup liquid crab boil (Zatarain’s)
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 pounds peeled medium-sized fresh shrimp
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
- 1 tablespoon Creole mustard
- 1 tablespoon catsup
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 small bunch green onions, finely chopped
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- Shredded iceberg lettuce
- Hard-boiled eggs, sliced, as garnish
Bring water, lemons, and seasonings to a boil and add the shrimp. Bring back to a boil and then turn off the fire. Let the shrimp soak for 10 minutes. (Longer if you want it spicy) Set aside and chill.
In a mixing bowl, stir the remaining ingredients and chill for an hour. To serve: Toss the shrimp in the remoulade dressing and serve over shredded lettuce on chilled plates. Garnish with sliced hard-boiled eggs.