BBQ Shrimp N’Awlins Style!
Hey everyone, hope you are enjoying some of the beautiful weather that we are having in New England after the miserable, cold wet winter we had this year! It is actually raining out now as I write this, but the last two days were a Godsend, to say the least. Last weekend, Eric and I made a dish that we enjoyed when we went to New Orleans in 2004. We were there the year before Katrina let loose her fury on the beautiful city the following year. What an awful thing, and as far as I understand it, the city is still impacted by that horrible storm. Such a shame, and it happened to the nicest people you would ever want to meet. So, that being said, make some plans to go on down – the city could use your commerce and you will not be able to find a crappy meal anywhere.
This dish is crazy easy, but fattening, so we only make it 2 times a year. We first had it in a little place called “Deanie’s” Eric had found the restaurant in the guide book and wanted to try it. We obviously didn’t know what we were getting into, but I guess the giant frosted glass of beer should have been our first clue. We ordered barbeque shrimp as an appetizer and then a giant fried food extravaganza – oysters, clams, soft shell crab, catfish, French fries…lovely, but I needed to be wheeled out of there in a wheelbarrow to get back to the room and have a nap. The Barbecue Shrimp was extraordinary!!! We liked them so much we went back again and ordered a larger order only for one of our last lunches there. I am not sure if the restaurant is still there, but if you go – and if it is – I would encourage you to try it out.
Unfortunately, we can’t get shrimp with the heads on like they serve them there, so we use regular old uncooked shrimp – unpeeled. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT PEEL THE SHELLS OFF BEFORE YOU COOK THEM….they are essential for flavor in the dish….
1 stick of butter
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
sprigs of thyme, rosemary and oregano, fresh, tried together in a little bundle
2 bay leaves
cayenne pepper (start with 1/8 of a teaspoon and add more to your liking)
salt and pepper to taste
Paprika (1 teas. or more to taste – if you have smoked, even better)
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup of chicken stock, or beer or clam juice – whatever one you like best – I usually just use chicken stock
1 loaf of crusty French bread for sopping up the juice.
You definitely need a black cast iron pot or a large heavy frying pan for this one. You will serve it directly to the table in that pot.
Slowly melt butter in pan, add olive oil, herbs, bay leaves, garlic and onion and cook slowly until everything smells good. Add cayenne, paprika, salt and pepper. Then add shrimp, and add stock – between 1/2 c to a cup depending on how you like it.
Cook until the shrimp just turn pink. That’s it. Honest.
Bring it to the table with a nice crusty French bread. When you eat these – and this is very important – put the whole shelled shrimp in your mouth and suck the juice out of it before you peel it. YUM. I served mine with some pan fried sugar snap peas with shallot and butter.
Bring on the napkins, and an extra bowl for shells and enjoy!!! Talk to you all soon!!!!