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New Orleans-Style Barbecue Shrimp—BUT It’s Not BBQed!

Feb 08, 2018 05:09PM ● By Linda Ditch
Are you ready for Mardi Gras? It’s next Tuesday, February 13! Traditionally, this is the last day to party before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. (Yes, Mardi Gras has a religious history!) It’s also a great day to eat a traditional dish from the city that knows how to throw the best Mardi Gras party—New Orleans.
This recipe for New Orleans-Style Barbecue Shrimp is quick and easy—perfect for a weeknight party. The original recipe came from Chef Sean Burt of Tooky Mills Pub in Hillsborough, New Hampshire. He puts a lot of New Orleans-inspired dishes on his menu because of his many trips to the city’s annual jazz festival.

The name Barbecue Shrimp is misleading since the recipe does not use a smoker, grill, or barbecue sauce. An Internet search shows the dish’s name comes from the color of the sauce. Trust me—the sauce for this dish is so amazing you will want to swim in it, which explains why bread is served alongside for dipping purposes. 

The huge amount of butter is what makes this sauce so amazing. The key to keeping the sauce smooth is to cut the butter into chunks, and then swirl a few chunks at a time into the sauce until blended. However, don’t worry if the sauce separates. It still tastes delicious. 

New Orleans-Style Barbecue Shrimp
Serves 4 
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 32 extra-large (16–20) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 1/3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup of your favorite Creole spice mix, or more to taste (see below)
  • 12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and chilled
  • A loaf of crusty French bread

  1. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat until hot. Add olive oil. When oil is hot, add the shrimp and cook until almost done, about 30 seconds to 1 minute per side.
  2. Add the chicken stock and lemon juice to the pan. Turn off the heat. Add the spice mix (more or less, depending on your taste.) Let the pan sit while stirring for about 30 seconds.
  3. When the pan has cooled slightly, add the cold butter a few pieces at a time. (If the pan is too hot, the butter will break and not make a smooth sauce.) Swirl the pan until the butter melts, then add a few more butter chunks, and repeat until all the butter combines to create a creamy, spicy lemon sauce.
  4. Place the shrimp in individual bowls and pour the sauce on top. Serve with French bread to sop up any leftover sauce.

Almost Emeril Lagasse’s Creole Spice Mix
Makes 2/3 cup
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper, or more to taste

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine well. Store in an air-tight container. (A Mason jar works great.)

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