New Orleans Style Barbecue Shrimp

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According to New Orleans premiere food blog, “New Orleans Menu Daily”, barbecue shrimp has been lauded as one of the four or five best dishes in all of New Orleans cooking.
This is THE New Orleans dish that has completely dethroned jambalaya and gumbo and beignets and all other New Orleans dishes combined as “favorite New Orleans food” in the Freeman household. It’s messy, it’s barbaric (never let it be said that Gingi did not rip off a creatures head with her bare hands) and it’s sinfully delicious.
This was another discovery on our journey cooking through Tom FitzMorris’s cookbook Hungry Town, and now Barbecue Shrimp is on the top of our list of “must eats” whenever we visit The Big Easy.
This is an “eat like the locals” flavor, one that normally flies under the tourist radar. What throws people off about this dish, is that it is completely misnamed. These shrimp are neither grilled nor smoked, and there’s absolutely no barbecue sauce in the recipe!
So why is it called Barbecue Shrimp? Well… No one really knows!
The current story, listed on New Orleans food guru Tom FitzMorris’s website is that:
Barbecue shrimp was created in the mid-1950s at Pascal’s Manale Restaurant. A regular customer came in and reported that he’d enjoyed a dish in a Chicago restaurant that he thought was made with shrimp, butter, and pepper. He asked Pascal Radosta to make it. Radosta took a fly at it. The customer said that the taste was not the same, but he liked the new dish even better. So was born the signature dish at Manale’s.
The dish is actually quite simple: huge whole shrimp in a tremendous amount of butter and black pepper. The essential ingredient is large, heads-on shrimp, since the fat in the shrimp heads is what gives the meat it’s signature flavor.
I know that the amount of butter and pepper in this recipe seem ridiculous. But BE BOLD. This dish is unlike anything you’ve ever tried, I assure you. Ignore the calorie count for one day and give this a try. It’s not a dish you will eat often – although you will want to!
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You Will Need

3 lbs. fresh jumbo shrimp with heads on, 16-20 count to the pound
1 Tbs. lemon juice
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 Tbs. black pepper (or more!)
1/4 tsp. salt
3 sticks butter, softened
2 tsp. paprika
1 loaf French bread
1. Rinse the shrimp and shake the excess water from them. Put them in a large skillet (or two) over medium heat, and pour the lemon juice, wine, Worcestershire, and garlic over it. Bring the liquids in the pan to a light boil and cook, turning the shrimp over with a spoon every two minutes or so, until all the brown-gray color in the shrimp is gone. Don’t overcook! At the first moment when you think the shrimp might be done, they will be: lower the heat to the minimum.
2. Cover the shrimp with a thin but complete layer of black pepper. You must be bold with this. When you think you have enough pepper in there, you still need a little more. Add the paprika and salt.
3. Cut the butter into tablespoon-size pieces and distribute over the shrimp. With a big spoon, turn the shrimp over. Agitate the pan as the butter melts over the shrimp and emulsifies into the liquid at the bottom of the pan. When no more solid butter is visible. Remove the pan from the burner.
4. Serve the shrimp with lots of the sauce in bowls. Serve with hot French bread for dipping. Also plenty of napkins and perhaps bibs.
Serves four to six! Enjoy!

So what’s your favorite New Orleans dish? Share below!

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Gingi Freeman
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Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls.

Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Gingi Freeman

Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls. Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

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