Ever since our very first trip to New Orleans, Louisiana, Jonathan and I have been OBSESSED (and I really mean that.. obsessed) with N’awlins cooking. One of the banes of my existence is Tom Fitzmorris’s New Orleans Style Barbecue Shrimp. It is quite literally one of the most delicious things I have ever put in my face, and it is also one of the unhealthiest.
So! Most of you know I’m cleaning up my diet so I can shed the “bringing forth a tiny human from my loins” weight. So when I got a craving for my New Orleans cuisine (which isn’t hard to do, living only three hours away with Mardi Gras in full swing), I started looking for a healthy alternative to New Orleans style Barbecue Shrimp, which literally calls for one and a half sticks of butter per pound of shrimp. (Not. Even. Kidding.)
Now, for those of you unfamiliar with Barbecue Shrimp as served in the south, it has zero barbecue sauce, aaaaand it’s not even barbecued. I really don’t know how this name came about, and apparently neither does The Big Easy. Land of mystery and voodoo and all that. Anyway.
The dish is characterized by LOTS of butter and LOTS of pepper, that makes for sinfully delicious shrimp and dipping sauce with a kick. So! After trolling the interwebs for some ideas, I’ve tweaked this classic recipe for a guilt free fit into my South Beach Phase 1 diet. Enjoy!
How To Make It
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons dry white wine or cooking sherry
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 pounds of extra large (26-30 count) raw shrimp (for classic New Orleans style, cook heads-on
Combine the oil, lemon juice, wine, garlic, paprika, salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes in s 5 or 6 quart slow cooker, stirring until blended. Cover and cook on high for 25 to 30 minutes to soften the garlic and develop the flavors.
Stir in the shrimp and coat evenly. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, then stir to ensure the shrimp are cooking evenly. Cover again, and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until all of the shrimp are done.
Transfer the shrimp and sauce to a wide, shallow serving dish and serve!
You can sop up the juice with bread, (how its served in New Orleans) but since I am trying to cut out breads in my “lose the baby fat” quest, I kept the juice in the crock pot, chopped up some cabbage and threw it in for another meal! YUM!
Before trying out this method, I had never cooked shrimp in the slow cooker, I always sautéed them. But dang! The gentle heat of the slow cooker is terrific for producing shrimp that are tender, juicy and not overcooked.
While it’s not the original, it’s pretty dang close in flavor, and is a delicious and suitable substitute for someone watching their diet! This is definitely going in my family recipe arsenal.
Have you tried New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp? Interested in trying some?
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