I think my title is definitely too much. Over the top, without a doubt.
Yet it is so very true.
Growing up on the Gulf Coast of Florida I never really liked seafood. Fish. Shrimp. Crab. It didn't matter. I was never a huge fan. However, one day, somehow, I found myself considering seafood items on restaurant menus and enjoying what I was eating. Maybe my tastes branched out all-around and it led me to try seafood done in ways other than how I had typically tried it.
No matter what it was or how it came about, I came to appreciate the bountiful harvest that our Gulf provides those fortunate souls who live along her shore.
So here's one of my favorite seafood recipes of all time: New Orleans BBQ Shrimp.
I'll be honest. I pretty much follow this recipe. I made a few changes from the recipe when I made it a few weeks back since I originally learned how to make this from my Memere. I'll note those changes here.
This recipe called for 1 pound of shrimp, but I was preparing 3 pounds so I'm giving you the measurements I used. Quite frankly this dish is more fun to eat when you have a few couples over whom who you don't mind getting messy around ... and, besides, everyone knows you can't eat just a 1/4 pound of shrimp. Come on.
1 TBS garlic powder
1 TBS onion powder
1 TBS dried basil
1 TBS dried oregano
(my own addition)
1 - 1/2 TSP dried sage
(original recipe calls for thyme but I didn't have it so I used sage)
3/4 TSP cayenne pepper
1 TSP paprika
Dash of red pepper flakes
(my own addition)
Salt to taste
1 - 1/2 cups butter
12 cloves garlic
(I shoved them through a garlic press but the original recipes calls for them minced)
3/4 C beer, room temperature
(We used the beer we wanted to drink that night which happened to be the Breckenridge Agave Wheat ... and I was drinking it as I poured it in so it wasn't room temp)
3 TBS Worcestershire sauce
3 LBS medium shrimp skins on
(original recipe calls for the shrimp to be peeled and deveined but I disagree, since I think it's best that the juice gets trapped inside the skins and cooks that way ... and the fresher shrimp usually have their skins on but as they age they get beheaded then deskinned ...)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
First measure your herbs and spices and combine in a small bowl and set aside. Using a pan that can go from stovetop to the oven (I used my cast iron skillet), melt the butter on medium heat. Add the garlic to the melted butter until aromatic (Mmmm). Add your spices, Worcestershire, and beer, then stir together.
Add your shrimp and stir/turn it for about 4 - 6 minutes, letting the shrimp begin turning pink and letting the liquid begin to bubble. Like so:
Then place your skillet into the oven and let it bake for about 20 minutes.
The best way to eat this is to do it simply: with a tossed green salad, some warm crusty French bread, and your favorite glass of wine or cold beer. Ladle your shrimp and juices into a big bowl and dip your bread into that spiced, buttery, beer goodness as the shrimp in your bowl quickly disappear.
I'm afraid I didn't get a picture of the final product because I was rushing to finish before our guests arrived and during dinner Sebastian was demanding our full attention.
However, at the end of the night we had an unexpected visitor -- a dove flew into our apartment and kind of went spastic. Excuse cousin Alex in the background ... the excitement was too much for him to handle.
Anyway, this dish is what made me positively fall in love with shrimp, and I hope you enjoy it if you decide to embrace the thought of beer and butter melding together for a one dish kind of goodness.