Barbecue Shrimp for Mardi Gras
Pascal’s Manale in New Orleans claims to be the “Home of the Original Barbecue Shrimp”. Barbecue Shrimp New Orleans-style doesn’t involve a grill. It’s basically shrimp, spices, and butter—lots of butter—quickly cooked in a pan. You’ll find Barbecue Shrimp on the menu in a lot of restaurants in New Orleans, but we always enjoy going to Pascal’s Manale when we’re in town.
I decided to make Barbecue Shrimp for our Mardi Gras dinner last night. I like the version in Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen, although I use less cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes than he recommends. His recipe serves 2. If you want to make more, he suggests making separate batches because the shrimp need room in the pan.
You really should use shrimp with their shells. Yes, it’s messy to eat, but the shells add a lot of flavor. Unfortunately, I found I came home with shrimp that had already been shelled. They were still very good.
I serve Barbecue Shrimp in shallow bowls. You can serve them with a small mound of white rice in the bowl, or with French bread to soak up the delicious buttery sauce. I chose to use the French Batard made by Metropolitan Market’s bakery. It’s a light French bread similar to the breads found in New Orleans. It was perfect!
Don’t skimp on the butter. It’s what makes this dish special. Mardi Gras only comes once a year. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
(Adapted from a recipe in Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen)
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
½ teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, minced
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
2 dozen shrimp with their shells (about 1 pound)
¼ pound (1 stick) plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1½ teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ cup shrimp stock (or chicken broth)
¼ cup beer at room temperature
Rinse and clean the shrimp.
In a small bowl, combine the seasoning mix ingredients.
In a large skillet, melt 1 stick of butter with the seasoning mix, garlic and Worcestershire sauce.
When the butter is melted, add the shrimp and cooking, shaking the pan or gently stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the 5 tablespoons butter and the stock and cook, shaking and/or stirring for 2 more minutes. Add the beer and shake and cook for 1 more minute.
Serve in shallow soup bowls with plenty of French bread.
(The first daffodil of spring bloomed today!)