Welcome to the month of April where it is oddly appropriate to deceive friends, so I thought I would kick off our series of Wild Card Wednesdays on food from the Mississippi Delta with a deceptive dish. How many of you, like me, fondly remember Benjamin Buford “Bubba” Blue from Forrest Gump listing all the ways to prepare shrimp. The intriguing list went on and on, but on the first thing he says is “you can barbecue it” and well you guys, this is it.
It is deceptive because it is not grilled, not cooked over a flame or even on a flat top. The shrimp is slowly sauteed in a bath of butter, worchestershire and spices. It is almost as though it is mimicking the flavors of barbecue without coming close to a smoker. It is a favorite of New Orleans shrimp joints and fine dining establishments alike, all with different spins, different flavors or techniques, but the basics are always butter, garlic, and worchestershire. More specifically:
This is actually a very simple dish in execution. It doesn’t take long, has relatively few steps, and it is best served with a big hunk of bread and a bib. With a dish like this, you’ll get messy, get full, and get happy (just like a trip to the place of my birth- New Orleans).
I chose to serve this with grilled broccoli and Fresh Market’s wonderful rosemary and sea salt bread. It was a wonderful compliment to the layers of spices and seafood flavors.
New Orleans Style Barbecue Shrimp
1 1/2 pounds wild caught, shell on shrimp
2 sticks of butter
2 lemons, juiced and peeled
1/2 cup Lea and Perrins Original
1 tbsp kosher salt
1tbsp paprika (the spice of bbq)
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp white pepper
5 whole bay leaves
1/2 tsp minced onion
4 cloves fresh garlic
1Tbsp heavy cream
Green onion to garnish
In a heavy pot, melt the butter over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and add the lemon juice and peel, worchestershire, and all the spices. Bring to a simmer and let it rest for five minutes.
Add the shrimp and bring the heat to medium. Stir until the shrimp start to turn pink. Add the cream. Cover the dish and remove the pan from heat and let it sit for 15 minutes to allow all the flavors to marry.
Transfer to a bowl and top with the green onion.
Dig in with your hands and get to sopping!