After having had such a fun and delicious time in NOLA with Matt last week, I kind of want to keep the good times rolling at home, at least in the kitchen. So I’ve been doing a bit of Cajun/Creole cookin’ this week!
I began with a classic that I’ve never actually sampled on its home turf, New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp. Actually, I wasn’t even sure what this dish was until I made it last weekend. I saw it on tons of menus in New Orleans, but I assumed, incorrectly, that it was either grilled shrimp, or maybe shrimp tossed or basted with barbecue sauce. Truthfully, it sounded a tad boring.
Well, I was wrong on all counts. I’m not sure why it’s called barbecued shrimp because the grill is not involved. Instead, it’s shrimp tossed in a buttery, tangy sauce and usually eaten peel-n-eat style with plenty of soft French bread for mopping. It’s hardly dull, and pleasantly messy.
I should warn you, this sauce calls for an absolutely OBSCENE amount of butter. I swear my cholesterol rose five points just by reading the recipe. And don’t kid yourself into thinking that some sauce will remain in your bowl; you will mop up every, single last little drop with your bread, because it’s so unbelievably yummy.
Okay, here goes – the recipe calls for … three STICKS of butter. For two servings. Yeah… I actually wish I had stopped with two sticks though, and that’s what I would recommend. My sauce started breaking on me a little after I started in on the third stick, and two sticks is still plenty rich and decadent. Unless you’re Paula Deen, I doubt you would notice the difference. So that’s what I’ll recommend.
I made one other change – I decided to make this dish with peeled shrimp, so it wasn’t really a peel-n-eat meal. But still quite tasty and I think it worked. I hope all you shrimp-lovers will make this one soon, it’s freakin’ awesome! Crack some cold Louisiana beers, grab a very tall stack of napkins, put on some jazz, and have yourself a wonderful evening – Cajun style!
Source: adapted from Mr. B’s Bistro Cookbook
1 ½ lbs. large or extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
3 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
2 tsp Creole seasoning
1 tsp minced garlic
2-3 sticks cold, unsalted butter, cubed
French bread or a French baguette
In a large skillet combine the shrimp, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, black pepper, Creole seasoning, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat until shrimp are cooked through, about 3-4 minutes.
Remove the shrimp to a plate with a slotted spoon. Take care to leave all the sauce in the pan.
Reduce the heat to medium and stir in butter, a few cubes at a time, stirring constantly and adding more butter only when the previous batch has completely melted. When the butter is added, remove the skillet from the heat. Place shrimp in bowls and pour the sauce over top. Serve with the bread for dipping and mopping.