Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Barbecue Shrimp – So Good, and So Not Barbecued

No one’s really sure why this magnificent dish is called barbecue shrimp, but since it was invented in New Orleans, let’s just assume they had a great reason, and move on to more important issues, like making and eating a huge plate of these.

There are countless ways to make this dish, almost all containing copious amounts of butter, along with garlic, black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. This is not something you’d serve to your friend with the bland palate. By the way, can’t believe you’re still friends with that bland palate dude.

Anyway, feel free to adjust and adapt to your heart’s content. My version is fairly light, which is kind of funny to say, since I call for half a stick of butter, but I’ve seen versions that were basically deep-fried in the stuff. So, you know, compared to that, this is like spa food.

As far as seasoning goes, be careful with the salt. The Worcestershire is pretty salty, so you may not want to add it all to the shrimp stock like I did. I used about 3 generous tablespoons, since I like mine pretty salty, but it’s probably safer to just add 1 or 2 tablespoons, and then taste/adjust later on.

Other than that, and finding some colossal shrimp (the bigger the better), this recipe is a breeze. It may not have anything to do with barbecue, but like its namesake, it’s incredibly delicious and another great culinary gift from the south. I hope you try some soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 servings:
1 1/2 to 2 pounds colossal shrimp
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp Old Bay seasoning, optional
4 tbsp cold butter, cut in cubes
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary
1 1/2 cups shrimp stock (using reserved shells, sauteed in 1 tsp butter, and simmered with 2 cups stock or water for 20-30 min)
juice of 1 lemon
hot sauce to taste 
2-3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, or to taste
lots of white rice

View the complete recipe


Vinny Ferrara said...

My dad has one of those bland palates... it screws with everything :(

hershey said...

Chef john, can i substitute fresh rosemary to dried rosemary?.. i can't find fresh rosemary in near supermarkets.. :(

tashandtora said...

I just made new orleans barbecued shrimp yesterday and after eating them was wondering why they call it that. I would have to say though that they were DEEEElicious!!

Chef John said...

dried rosemary doesn't really work as well here. Go to a nursery or garden store and buy a rosemary plant! Use what you need and keep it in the window sill for next time!

cookinmom said...

You've been use that pan alot lately. Is it all-clad??? Size??

Jaime said...

Great stuff yet again! I'm a huge fan of this dish. This was one of my family's favorite dishes that my mom has perfected over the years.

Love the idea of the stock... Going to try this next time... Though I'm so used to having the shell on. We add in dry onions, minced onions or shallots, and probably a little more garlic. Also use dry thyme. There's something about having that shell on and sucking the bits of just tender garlic and onions out from the legs. Then peel and eat! Super messy and perfect.

White rice is a go to here. I also recommend a crispy baked potato. Again, this is all preference, but those babies soak up all of that fabulous sauce and make for a perfect crunchy potato skin bite.

Here's a pic from a few months ago. Enjoy!


Chef John said...

thanks Jaime!

Chef John said...

yes, its a 13 in all clad

Kris said...

Awesome! Wish seafood was a bit more affordable here in landlocked Alberta, but what can you do. One question: why didn't you finish the sauce "Mounter Au Beurre"?

JitneyGuy said...

Is a cast iron pan legal in this situation?

Monica said...

In Louisiana they use smaller shrimp, and i suspect this is a recipe based on an original Cajun recipe corrupted in LA. It is Texans who like the colossus variety which are not as sweet hence all kind of fishing wars.

Will try as your recipes are the best

JitneyGuy said...

Is a cast iron pan legal in this situation?

Chef John said...

cast iron pan legal?

Kris, No "Mounter Au Beurre" since the butter was already emulsified into the sauce. You could add more at the end, but doesn't need.

Kevin McHugh said...

I have a deadly shellfish allergy and I'm still tempted to eat this. That says a lot about your recipes! Guess I'll get out the old epi pen...

Mike said...

I made this last night. The seasoning for the shrimp is PERFECT! Chef John, I am always looking forward to your blog posts and videos. Thanks!

whtnz said...

The seasoning on the shrimp itself seems very delicious. Chef John, do you think it would be also very good to use this seasoning on a fish? (So basically, everything, but the shrimp stock)

philogaia said...

I made this to take to a friend's wedding (informal and potluck appetizers for the reception.) It was a huge hit. I was nervous about that much black pepper but the spicing is perfect. Just enough excitement without blowing away those who are more sensitive to spice. This one is going in my recipe box.

mdb139 said...

I made this a few weeks ago for the family. My wife and I really enjoyed this, but it was a bit too spicy for my kids on that particular day, and if I recall I used about half the black pepper that was called for.

My wife accidentally bought shelled shrimp, so I had to make the stock with just the tails, which was not ideal but probably fine. I strained the stock and then added it back to the stockpot to reduce for a while rather than trying to reduce it in the pan.

Anyway -- I think this was a great recipe and really easy. It vaguely reminded me of a cajun shrimp recipe my mom cooks without being feeling like a knockoff of that. I'll definitely make this again! Thanks Chef John!

Nick Nelson said...

I made this dish 3-4 times now and it is really really good. The only modifications I've made was to halve the pepper and rosemary. Now all the ingredients blend perfectly...mmmm. Thanks Chef John for this great recipe!

Labute Rabe said...

Haha, you're terrible (0:25). Can I do this recipe with the frozen pink pre-cooked shrimp?

Rudy said...

I was sitting next to a man on a plane years ago and he gave me a recipe off the top of his head just like this one, no rosemary but a couple of drops of liquid smoke. It is a hit everytime I make it.

Great recipe nd great memory.

SS4Kokoro said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH for this recipe! :D Every time I make this dish, it is absolutely LAUDED!

SS4Kokoro said...

Forgive my ignorance here, but, is there a difference in the overall outcome when using a nonstick pan vs a pre-seasoned cast-iron pan?

Clarification: I already have non-stick pans. I was wondering if I needed to also purchase a pre-seasoned cast-iron pan since I saw you used such for your tortilla and flatbread recipes. Or would a non-stick pan be the same result?