Favorite Dish: Cajun Barbecued Shrimp
This week we want to share one of our favorite dishes with you, Chef Paul Prudhomme's Barbecued Shrimp. Come to think of it, "one of our favorite dishes" isn't good enough. This dish is last meal status. However, a dish is only as good as its ingredients. While we were in Fernandina Beach we took advantage of the fresh Florida Mayport shrimp available to us and headed to the Farmer's Market.
If you can, purchase the shrimp with their heads on (assuming any of your dinner attendees aren't squeamish). It makes the sauce a bit richer. We purchased 3 lbs for 4 very hungry people. Once we got home we pulled out our Paul Prudhomme cookbook. It's been around since 1987 and is signed by Paul's wife who is also a chef. It's worn, splattered and falling apart, but to us it represents the many meals we've had together as a family enjoying this delectable dish.
A word to the wise - this dish is cooked quickly over very high heat so have all your ingredients out and ready once you start. We chose to cook on burners outside since we had house guests and this keeps the kitchen a little bit cleaner. Another pro tip: have plenty of french bread and beer to accompany your meal!
Get your butter, spices, stock, and beer out and ready before you start cooking.
The butter and spices create the most heavenly smell. Make sure to have something so you can grab on to the skillet and keep the butter moving so it won't burn.
Add your shrimp
As you pour in the shrimp stock flames will come from the butter fat being caught up in the steam . It looks super fancy and makes you feel like a real chef, but be careful.
Beautiful, isn't it?
Serve immediately and make sure to dip your french bread in the sauce while it's still hot. Once you do, you'll understand why we love this dish so much. Also make sure to have a roll of paper towels and empty bowls to place your shells in. This dish is excellent for good company and good conversation. Just make sure to cook enough so your guests aren't passive aggressively fighting over the last bit of bread to dip in the sauce.
Chef Paul Prudhomme's Barbecued Shrimp: Makes 2 servings
2 dozen large shrimp with heads and shells (about 1 pound)
1 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 teason black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 pound (1 stick) plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup Basic Shrimp Stock (can subsitute clam juice - available at most grocery stores)
1/4 cup beer at room temperature
Rinse the shirmp in cold water and drain well. In a small bowl combine the seasoning mix ingredients. Combine 1 stick of the butter, the garlic, Worcestershire and seasoning mix in a large skillet over high heat. When the butter is melted, add the shrimp. Cook for 2 minutes, shaking the pan (versus stirring) in a back-and-forth motion. Add the remaining 5 tablespoons butter and the stock: cook and shake pan for 2 minutes. Add the beer and cook and shake the pan 1 minute longer. Remove from heat.
Serve immediately with lots of French bread on the side!