Saturday, June 29, 2013

Rick's New Orleans BBQ'd Shrimp



Its been over 20 years since I traveled to NOLA for a broadcast convention (back when I worked for Westinghouse Broadcasting.)  I remember walking along the “Mississippi Riverwalk” (about 2 blocks from the famous Café Du Monde) and stopping at a restaurant for dinner.  I wish I remembered the name of the place, but that brain cell is long gone.  It might have been Mr. B's, as they are famous for the dish. Anyway,  the menu said "New Orleans BBQ’d Shrimp," so being a BBQ nut, I thought I’d give it a try.  It wasn’t at all what I expected, but it was absolutely delicious!!  Now in New Orleans, BBQ’d shrimp means sautéed shrimp in a Worcestershire-spiked butter sauce.  I did some research on-line and looked through my cookbook library to find a recipe, and over the years, I have made this dish many times, tweaking the recipe to make it “just right.”  Mr. B's Restaurant in NOLA has their recipe on their website and that one uses THREE sticks of butter!! Hell, mine uses two sticks, but I like my recipe with its hint of rosemary,  thyme and Old Bay.  As Mr B's said "There is enough butter in this dish to scare you into cholesterol shock, but the butter is the key to the flavor and consistency of the sauce."  It’s also critical not to overcook the shrimp, or they’ll become tough and hard to peel.  The best part about eating this dish is sopping up the spicy sauce with the crusty French bread.  The shrimp ain't bad either!  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

16 Tbs. butter, (2 sticks) cut into 1 Tbs sized chunks
1 Tbs. garlic, minced
2 lbs jumbo shrimp, un-peeled and still in their shells (heads on, if you can find them)
¼ cup clam juice

1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 cups beer
1 Tbs. Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs “Rick’s Ragin’ Cajun Seasoning”*** available at www.ricksragin.com

2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1 Tbs cider vinegar
1 Tbs black pepper

2-1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crumbled
1/2 tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp. cayenne sauce
1 loaf French bread

***or you can make a basic blend from the recipe at the bottom of the page:

Directions:

Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the minced garlic, black pepper, rosemary, thyme and the other seasonings and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes until the sauce is reduced by 1/3. Add the fresh lemon juice and the Worcestershire sauce and whisk well to emulsify the ingredients.  Add the shrimp (still in their shells) stirring to coat them well.  Keep the shrimp moving around in the pan so they cook evenly.  Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the shrimp turn pink and are just cooked through.  Transfer the shrimp and sauce to a large serving platter or to individual shallow bowls and serve the sauce on the side. Serve immediately with slices of warm, crusty French bread. Remove skillet from heat. Place shrimp in a bowl and pour sauce over top. Serve with French bread for dipping.

Basic Cajun Seasoning: (if you don't have any Rick's Ragin' Cajun Seasoning on hand)
 

Ingredients:

1/2 c. paprika
4 tsp. salt (opt.)
4 tsp. garlic powder
4 tsp. onion powder
4 tsp. cayenne
1 tbsp. white pepper
1 tbsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. oregano leaves, crushed
1 tbsp. thyme leaves, crushed
2 tsp. dry mustard

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Store in a jar tightly sealed. Makes about 2/3 cups

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