Apr 14 2012

Bringing Home New Orleans

Published by at 3:46 am under American,Cajun/Creole,Seafoods,Shrimp

New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp

New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp

From brass bands to cabarets, sazeracs to hand grenades,  shot gun homes to French colonials, and seafood gumbos to beignets, the city of New Orleans has an essence, a culture, and identity of its own. Whether I’m walking on Bourbon watching the ladies flaunt their flesh or on Frenchman where trumpets and saxophones pump life into an endless strip of dive bars or on the streetcar going down St. Charles passing by glorious mansions of Greek, Spanish, and French influences or at the French Market with a blood mary in one hand as I slurp an oyster with the other, in New Orleans my senses are on overload. I am intoxicated by this city.  As my husband and I biked inside the French Quarter last week, passing the glorious St. Louis Cathedral, to Bywater, and then Treme, we felt the presence of something, something missing in other American cities, a sense of community, pride, love, and most important of all just pure modesty. Unlike her ornate and elegant architecture, the detailed scrollings of her iron-wrought fences, she is a simple city, a humble city, and coming from the hustle and bustle of Chicago, we couldn’t ask for anything more than to learn from her as much as we could and try to take a part of  her home with us.

Today I’ve done exactly that. I’ve filled my home with the scent and spirit of New Orleans.  A good friend of mine who frequents New Orleans recommended Pascal’s Manale for its incredible barbecued shrimp. And I recreated the dish minus the labor. By labor, I mean the decapitation of each individual shrimp at tableside . I should have known when our waitress gave us the bibs and wet wipes, I’d be getting my hands dirty, but I didn’t think I’d be twisting and popping heads with bulging eyes off of giant shrimps. I won’t lie; to say I felt a bit squeamish is an understatement. In fact, my husband did the deed for me, and we had a bowl piled up with his labor of love. Finally, after 20 minutes, we were ready to eat, and yes it was good, darn good. I just don’t know if my husband would go through all of that again, so at home I’m making my barbecued shrimp with the same flavors, but without the heads. I know, I know, what the connoisseurs are thinking: “but that’s what gives flavor to the shrimp as it cooks”, but  I think I’ll forgo the heads and take the challenge head on, oops, I mean head off.

New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 lb large shrimp (not-peeled)

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Creole Rub Ingredients:

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon basil

1 teaspoon rosemary

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Melt the butter with olive oil in a sauce pan; add the Worcestershire and creole rub spices and stir. Place shrimp next to each other (not on top of each other) in a baking dish and pour the mixture over the shrimp. Make sure every piece of shrimp is coated with the mixture. Cover with foil and bake in 375 degree oven for 45 minutes or when shrimp is an orange opaque color. Serve with French or Italian bread to mop up all of juices. Yummy!

 

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