Tuesday, March 9, 2010

where yat? NOLA-style BBQ shrimp

A little NOLA-meets-Nashville blog-readin' music for today:

you learned to swing with a do-si-do
but you learned to love at the fais-do-do

I can't believe it's been so long since I updated! I was exhausted all last week from my trip to Ohio, and then Nick and I ended up going on a last-minute trip to Boston this past weekend--a trip we 100% failed to document in photographs. But that gives me a chance to catch up on a few entries I've been meaning to make.

Last week Kroger had Gulf shrimp on sale for $4.99/lb, so I figured I'd better fix some New Orleans-style BBQ shrimp while the gettin was good. If you have never had NOLA BBQ shrimp, you have never truly lived. There's nothin barbeque about it, actually--no barbeque sauce (or even any tomato or sugar or vinegar), and no barbeque grilling. Just Gulf shrimp smothered in spicy butter. And what's not to like about that?

Up until this go-round, I had always used a mix like this one to fix my BBQ shrimp:

But I have a really hard time finding that mix outside of the Gulf South. So I decided to throw caution to the wind and try fixing it from scratch. Since I had to miss the last two Sunday dinners because I was out of town, we had Wednesday Sunday dinner.

1000 thanks to the good folks at Gumbo Pages for the wonderful recipe.

New Orleans-style Barbecue Shrimp

Feeds 8-10. I used 1.5lbs shrimp and did a 3/8 batch (fun with fractions!)

* 2 pounds/eight sticks butter
* 2 tbsp Creole seasoning, OR 2-3 tsp cayenne pepper and 3-4 tsp black pepper
* 2 tbsp chopped rosemary leaves
* 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
* 6 ounces good beer (we used the Guinness left over from car bombs at the Super Bowl as a shoutout to our favorite newlyweds Meghan and Ryan)
* 1 medium onion, very finely minced
* 3 ribs celery, very finely minced
* 5-10 cloves garlic (I keep mine whole and use way more than this)
* 3-4 tablespoons chopped parsley
* 2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
* 4 pounds shrimp, heads and shells on (even if you think it's gross)

Melt the butter in a skillet. Saute the garlic, onions, celery, parsley, rosemary and seasoning blend for about 2 - 3 minutes.

Add the beer; drink what's left. It ain't a NOLA party unless you got a buzz on. Add Worcestershire and lemon juice.

Arrange shrimp in a baking dish and drown the shrimp in the seasoned butter. Make sure the shrimp are more or less submerged. If they're not ... melt more butter and add to the sauce. Go big or go home, right?

spotted in the top left corner: pillsbury crescent rolls for dipping, which you might remember from this post.

Bake in a 350 degree oven until the shrimp turn pink, about 15 minutes. Serve in big bowls with LOTS of french bread for soppin. (Lani brought gluten-free bread for hers, and we used crescent rolls instead since we have approximately 10,000 cans of them.)

Perfect companion dish to this artery-buster? Steamed artichokes. Just steam them in the microwave according to these idiot-proof directions, and dunk the artichoke leaves in the spicy butter. We also had steamed broccoli and some strawberries.

Survey says: Nawlins BBQ shrimp is a winnah! Spotted beside Lanier: giant canister of cheesy poofs I bought her on manager's special for $2)

The final verdict? I'll never use a mix again. The BBQ shrimp was perfectly flavored and amazing. I was a little concerned because the seasoned butter didn't taste right before I drowned the shrimp in it. It was missing a distinct red note of some kind. Tomato? I thought. More cayenne pepper? But I trusted the Gumbo Pages and it's a good thing I did. The missing note turned out to be shrimp! It tasted perfect when it came out of the oven. If only I could eat this all the time and not have to warsh myself with a rag on a stick.

*golf clap*

QuidQuidQuidQuid Question of the Day:
Do you prefer the spelling barbecue, barbeque, or BBQ?


  1. Barbeque shrimp: nothing barbequed about it. And I maintain that I would happily warsh myself with a rag on a stick if you would make me bacon bog every day.

  2. Lani, even though I will never eat bacon bog again, I will happily fix it for you on your birthday. And Canadian Civic Holiday.

  3. This looks amazing. Can I just say, I hate that you decided to become a domestic cooking goddess *after* moving away from me! If only I could get in on one of these Sunday dinners! I bet I'd appreciate them more than all your other friends and relatives, combined! ;)

  4. Hey now! I seem to remember bringing a whole bucketload of this stuff to a certain ailing blond back when I lived on the wrong side of the Mississippi... :P

  5. BBQ. I like actually saying each letter. Bee Bee Cue.

  6. Meghan, thank you for actually weighing in on this important issue.

    I like barbeque, abbreviated BBQ when lazy

    I mean wtf barbeCue? apparently the preferred spelling in Merriam Webster