Monday, July 19, 2010

Some Things are Worth the Time/Effort - A Recipe for New Orleans BBQ Shrimp

The first time I tried this recipe was back in 2003, when I was still in college and tinkering around with the idea of going to culinary school.  I loved putting off homework so I could bake, stir-fry, and experiment with new cooking techniques.  These days I don't have quite as much free-time as I did back then, but some things are worth making the time for.  So I decided to take the couple hours needed to create one of my favorite dishes, Emeril's New Orleans BBQ Shrimp. Here's the recipe with my additions/alterations:

Ingredients:
3 pounds large Gulf shrimp, in their shells
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning (i used Zatarains)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 bay leaves
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 cups water
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup dry white wine (I used an Aussie white blend)
1 cup heavy cream


Directions:
Peel the shrimp completely and de-vein. Reserve the shells and set aside. Sprinkle the shrimp with 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning. Use you hands to coat the shrimp with the seasonings. Refrigerate the shrimp while you make the sauce base.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the reserved shrimp shells, the remaining Creole seasoning, the bay leaves, lemons, water, Worcestershire, and wine. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat, allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Strain into a small saucepan.
Place over high heat, bring to a boil, and cook until thick, syrupy, and dark brown, for about 15 minutes. 

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the seasoned shrimp and saute them, occasionally shaking the skillet, for 2 minutes. Add the cream and enough barbecue base to coat. Stir and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp to a warm platter with tongs and whisk the butter into the sauce. Remove from the heat. Mound the shrimp in the center of a platter. Spoon the sauce over the shrimp and around the plate. 

This time around I decided to serve the shrimp with some grits (polenta), but in the past I have served it with white rice (which I think is better).  I had a little leftover BBQ base, so I have it in a storage container and have since added dollops to my mac'n'cheese, BLTs, and baked potatoes...it is so flavorful and delicious on/in so many things!  

My recommended wine pairing with this recipe is an off-dry Gewurztraminer to help quench your thirst that all the spiciness creates, while still working well with the depth of flavor the dish provides.  
Cheers & bon appetit! 

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