If you have been to New Orleans, then you have probably had New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp. If you haven’t heard of it, this is a classic dish originating from the 1950’s said to have been first created at Pascal’s Manale restaurant. The shrimp have never been near a barbecue grill, smoker, and certainly not near barbecue sauce. Instead the head on shrimp are sauteed in copious amounts (think at least a pound) of butter, along with Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and black pepper. There are many variations of this famous recipe which can also include beer, onions, garlic, hot sauce, lemons and rosemary.
One thing that all of the recipes for this dish have in common is that it is extremely messy. You better roll up your sleeves and have lots of napkins to wipe away the butter that drips down your elbows as you pull apart the shrimp. It is served with crusty bread to soak up all that butter. Needless to say it is delicious.
Over the years I have adapted this dish to be served at a dinner party without having to pay for our guests dry cleaning bills. My Spicy New Orleans Style Shrimp has great taste without the mess. I have taken liberties with the ingredients and preparation but it is still in keeping with the wonderful food found in New Orleans. I serve this dish with Herbed Rice.
Spicy New Orleans Style Shrimp
- 8 to 12 colossal sized shrimp
- 2 Tbs. butter
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1/4 onion, finely chopped
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 to 2 inches of anchovy paste, from tube
- 2 inches of tomato paste, from tube
- 2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 to 2 tsp. Tabasco or to taste
- 1 Tbs. Wondra (flour). Wondra is a special instant flour that doen’t create lumps. Regular flour can be used in its place
- 1/4 c. dry white wine
- 1 Tbs. fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. salt or to taste
- broth from shrimp shells*
*Peel and devine shrimp but leave tail. Place shells in 1 cup of water and bring to boil. When shells have turned pink, remove from heat, discard shells and save broth to use thinning, if necessary.
Melt butter and olive oil in saute pan, add onions and garlic and cook until translucent. Add shrimp and saute about one minute on each side until they turn pink. Remove shrimp from the pan. Add anchovy and tomato pastes and stir to incorporate. Sprinkle Wondra over and stir to cook the flour but do not let brown. Add wine, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and stir until a sauce consistency. If mixture gets too thick use shrimp both to thin. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Add shrimp back to the pan along with the lemon juice and cook for approximately one minute more on each side. Serve immediately.
- 1 c. rice
- 2 c. water
- 2 to 3 Tbs. butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- a bouquet of herbs, stemmed and chopped fine*
I use thyme, oregano, sage and tarragon in equal amounts. It is important is use a lot of fresh herbs in this recipe.
Add chopped herbs to a large bowl, along with the butter, salt and pepper. Cook rice (approx. 20 min.) to desired doneness. Drain and add to bowl. Toss and serve.
This is a spicy, flavorful dish to be enjoyed anytime of the year. Put on some jazz music, have a few friends over and have a good time.