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Old 03-16-2018, 08:18 PM   #1
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NoLa BBQ Shrimp

For those of you who don’t know Creole and Cajun cuisines, NoLa is New Orleans, and New Orleans BBQ shrimp never gets near a grill, although there are many ways to cook it. My preferred method is to make the sauce in a cast iron skillet on the stove, then add the shrimp and put it in the oven; it reduces your chance of overcooking the shrimp.

We visited New Orleans on our last great family vacation when I was sixteen (the Crusades had just started). Dad took us to a very posh restaurant one night. Deep red velvet seating, service staff in tuxes and pinafores, so dark that Dad needed the server to bring a flashlight to read the check (and an AED after he’d read it!). I don’t remember what everyone else had; I ordered the BBQ shrimp, thinking I’d get a couple of skewers of, well, barbecued shrimp. What I got was a huge platter of heads-on shrimp in a buttery very spiced and extremely spicy sauce. A finger bowl was served with the shrimp (an absolute necessity!), and my 16 year old self thought it was a dipping sauce to cut some of the spiciness! Much hilarity ensued.

Anyway, I’ve never been able to accurately recreate the recipe, and none of the recipes I’ve found on the web really come close. But I did come really close the other night, and I’d like to share it with you! You can still make this if you don’t have heads-on shrimp, but you will be missing the complex, creamy flavor that the heads add. And one of the joys of this dish is sucking on the heads.

NEW ORLEANS BBQ SHRIMP (for two)
1/2 pound large heads-on shrimp
1/4 cup clarified butter or ghee, more if necessary (the ghee adds a lovely nutty flavor)
Don’t use regular butter; the smoke point is too low and your dish will be bitter.
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
8 cloves of garlic, smashed, peeled and finely minced
2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp Cajun or Creole seasoning
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (more or less to taste, but this is the signature flavor in the dish)
2 cups flat lager beer or dry white wine (according to your preference)
1 tbsp finely ground black pepper. (If that doesn’t spice it up enough for you, add a few dashes of Louisiana hot sauce, like Crystal). You can start with less, of course!

Preheat the oven to 350°F
Heat the clarified butter in a medium cast iron skillet over medium heat.
Add the onions and sauté until soft and translucent.
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, but not browned.
Add the other herbs and stir.
Deglaze the pan with a bit of the beer, then add the rest of the beer. Bring to a simmer and reduce the sauce just a little for about 5 minutes. The sauce should not be thick.
Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the shrimp, coating them with the sauce.
Place the skillet in the oven. Turn the shrimp after about 5 minutesand let cook another 5 minutes, until shrimp are just pink.
Serve over rice or with crusty French bread.

If you try this and have suggestions, please let me know! Better yet, share your recipe with me!

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Old 03-16-2018, 09:51 PM   #2
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If you overcook the shrimp, will the shells stick?



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Old 03-16-2018, 10:20 PM   #3
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I didn’t think black sugar was a typical Cajun/Creole recipe ingredient.
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Old 03-16-2018, 11:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I didn’t think black sugar was a typical Cajun/Creole recipe ingredient.
Haha, thanks for pointing that out! I’ll fix it.
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Old 03-16-2018, 11:38 PM   #5
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No edit button!

There’s no “edit” button on the bottom of my original post; please allow me to make two corrections here:
It’s not “black sugar,” of course. It’s black pepper. And slice a medium lemon and lay them on top of the shrimp before you put them into the oven.
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Old 03-17-2018, 02:20 AM   #6
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Yeah, that edit button...

Your option to edit disappears about ten or twenty minutes after you post your comment, JJ. After that, all mistakes are locked in forever unless a moderator notices that you need your post corrected.

Those of us who have been here seemingly forever still have that same 10- to 20-minute limit. Other forums I've been on give you 12 or 24 hours edit window when you're new, then extend it to as long as a year if you edit responsibly and don't change the meaning of your post after many other posts have followed after it. Never did get the short edit time, since I often catch my mistake the next time I read through a thread...hours and hours after my mistake. Oops.
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Old 03-17-2018, 04:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJoel View Post
For those of you who don’t know Creole and Cajun cuisines, NoLa is New Orleans, and New Orleans BBQ shrimp never gets near a grill, although there are many ways to cook it. My preferred method is to make the sauce in a cast iron skillet on the stove, then add the shrimp and put it in the oven; it reduces your chance of overcooking the shrimp.

We visited New Orleans on our last great family vacation when I was sixteen (the Crusades had just started). Dad took us to a very posh restaurant one night. Deep red velvet seating, service staff in tuxes and pinafores, so dark that Dad needed the server to bring a flashlight to read the check (and an AED after he’d read it!). I don’t remember what everyone else had; I ordered the BBQ shrimp, thinking I’d get a couple of skewers of, well, barbecued shrimp. What I got was a huge platter of heads-on shrimp in a buttery very spiced and extremely spicy sauce. A finger bowl was served with the shrimp (an absolute necessity!), and my 16 year old self thought it was a dipping sauce to cut some of the spiciness! Much hilarity ensued.

Anyway, I’ve never been able to accurately recreate the recipe, and none of the recipes I’ve found on the web really come close. But I did come really close the other night, and I’d like to share it with you! You can still make this if you don’t have heads-on shrimp, but you will be missing the complex, creamy flavor that the heads add. And one of the joys of this dish is sucking on the heads.

NEW ORLEANS BBQ SHRIMP (for two)
1/2 pound large heads-on shrimp
1/4 cup clarified butter or ghee, more if necessary (the ghee adds a lovely nutty flavor)
Don’t use regular butter; the smoke point is too low and your dish will be bitter.
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
8 cloves of garlic, smashed, peeled and finely minced
2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp Cajun or Creole seasoning
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (more or less to taste, but this is the signature flavor in the dish)
2 cups flat lager beer or dry white wine (according to your preference)
1 tbsp finely ground black sugar. (If that doesn’t spice it up enough for you, add a few dashes of Louisiana hot sauce, like Crystal). You can start with less, of course!

Preheat the oven to 350°F
Heat the clarified butter in a medium cast iron skillet over medium heat.
Add the onions and sauté until soft and translucent.
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, but not browned.
Add the other herbs and stir.
Deglaze the pan with a bit of the beer, then add the rest of the beer. Bring to a simmer and reduce the sauce just a little for about 5 minutes. The sauce should not be thick.
Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the shrimp, coating them with the sauce.
Place the skillet in the oven. Turn the shrimp after about 5 minutesand let cook another 5 minutes, until shrimp are just pink.
Serve over rice or with crusty French bread.

If you try this and have suggestions, please let me know! Better yet, share your recipe with me!
This is the ingredient list from the recipe we use for BBQ shrimp.
3 pounds large Gulf shrimp, in their shells
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning, recipe follows
Cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 bay leaves
3 lemons, peeled and sectioned
2 cups water
1/2 cup homemade Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter



Creole seasoning

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme



The butter doesn't make anything bitter.


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Old 03-17-2018, 05:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigC View Post
This is the ingredient list from the recipe we use for BBQ shrimp.
3 pounds large Gulf shrimp, in their shells
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning, recipe follows
Cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 bay leaves
3 lemons, peeled and sectioned
2 cups water
1/2 cup homemade Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter



Creole seasoning

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme



The butter doesn't make anything bitter.

Thanks for the Creole seasoning recipe; I always wondered what was in it, but too lazy to look it up!

The heavy cream makes the dish too rich for me, which is odd, as I love creamy rich seafood bisques!
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Old 03-17-2018, 06:04 AM   #9
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BTW, it's NOLA, not NoLa.
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Old 03-17-2018, 09:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigC View Post
This is the ingredient list from the recipe we use for BBQ shrimp.
3 pounds large Gulf shrimp, in their shells
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning, recipe follows
Cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 bay leaves
3 lemons, peeled and sectioned
2 cups water
1/2 cup homemade Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter



Creole seasoning

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme



The butter doesn't make anything bitter.

YUM! I make this and after the oven time, pour out on to newspaper or butcher paper, every man/woman for themselves. Best eaten outside where the water hose is close for rinsing off.
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