New Orleans… just typing that name brings forth so many unforgettable memories. I am not world traveled by any means but I like to think that if I were, New Orleans would still be my favorite place on earth. I could go on for hours and hours about the food and the people and the architecture and the food and the vibe and the music and .. did I mention the food? Did I? Because I can promise you there is no where else you will eat like you EAT when you are in New Orleans. It’s nothing short of amazing.
Big Scary Mike and I were married two days before Halloween a few years back. We took our honeymoon in New Orleans .. French Quarter to be exact and when we returned there a couple of years later, our list of Must Go Back To See Again was a list of nothing (except the cemeteries) but food joints. If you need to know where to and find the best grub in the Quarter.. I’m your girl!! See? I’m typing all of this and now I want to slap someone for not affording me the means of teleportation in the year of 2014…. WHAT IS TAKING SO LONG WITH THAT???
Seriously, if you ever have the opportunity to go.. especially if you have never been.. please take the adventure. Like anywhere, it has it’s good and it’s not-so-good points but it truly is a place that is hard to put into words how it FEELS to be there and there is no where else in the world like it. All I know is if I ever win the lottery, I’ll be on that plane within the hour headed to my new home .. I’m just hoping Mike can keep up with me and decides to come along too 🙂
Now that I have yakked your ear off about how great it is.. let’s get down to business, shall we? Let’s get into some BBQ shrimp. New Orleans BBQ shrimp is absolutely NOTHING like rest of the United States BBQ shrimp. It’s not sweet and tangy… it is the complete opposite. We are talking spicy and sultry and smokey and the shrimp are usually served still in their shell, smothered in goodness and poured over white rice. There is just nothing more delicious… or messy. That being said, I am switching up the norm and cooking them out of their shell and over homemade fettuccine Alfredo. Personal preference.
It’s worth mentioning here that you will need to marinate your shrimp overnight so be sure to start this the day before you plan on chowing down.
New Orleans BBQ Shrimp
You will need:
2 lbs jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup melted butter
4 tbl Heinz Chili Sauce
2 tbl lemon juice
1 tbl fresh parsley
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
5 cloves minced garlic
3 tbl olive oil
2 tbl Worcestershire
1 1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke (hickory)
1 tsp smoked paprika
This is a super easy recipe and very fast, other than the whole waiting overnight part. You want to add all of the ingredients except for the shrimp into a saucepan, mix everything together and let the sauce simmer for about 15 minutes.
I would be remiss if I did not offer a warning, at this point. I am a taster.. I love food.. I like to check my seasonings in the middle of my cooking process. This is the point when you are going to want to swipe your finger across the back of your stirring spoon to see what this tastes like. DON’T DO IT!!!! Consider this to be molten lava .. this will burn your face off!!! Seriously, hottest thing I ever blind tasted.. of course, it didn’t help that I was probably a little heavy handed with my hot sauces but trust me… don’t do it!!!
Remove the pan from the heat and let the sauce cool .. you may want to transfer the sauce to a different bowl at this point to speed the cooling process up.. just be sure you scrape out every delicious molecule of sauce out of your pan when you do!!
When your sauce has cooled down, pour your clean, peeled and deveined shrimp into an oven safe bowl and pour the sauce over the shrimp, stirring the little critters all around so that every piece is covered in this amazing sauce. Cover your bowl and put it to bed overnight in the fridge.
The next day, when you are ready, remove your bowl from the fridge and pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Bake your shrimp for about 17 minutes. Remove and be ready to eat!!
Now, like I said previously this style of shrimp is usually served over plain white rice. It’s to die for! Definitely go that route if you so choose. Apparently, the night I was making this I was feeling that just one stick of butter wasn’t enough for one meal so why not go for two?? What can I say? … Don’t judge.
For the record, I am not a fan of canned / jarred / pre-made Alfredo sauce. It is just as easy to make your own so I have included the recipe before for that too.. you know, unlocking the secrets of butter sauces is a true sign of friendship.. lol
Homemade Alfredo Sauce
You will need:
2 cups heavy cream
3 cloves minced garlic
1 stick of butter
1 cup Parmesan
1-2 tbl cornstarch
Salt & Pepper to taste
Melt your butter and then add in your garlic, cream, salt and pepper and let the sauce come to a simmer. Add in your cheese and let it continue to simmer for another 10 minutes, minimum. This is one of those sauces that the longer you let it go, the more the flavors come out in it. Be sure to babysit this though, it gets crabby if neglected and you will come back to stir and all your cheese will have crusted up on the bottom of the pan. Not that it has ever happened to me before .. or anything like that… just a random thing I may have seen somewhere…. or .. something…
After the 10 minute simmer, see how your sauce is thickening up. I find that I usually need to add in a cornstarch slurry at this point. Take 1 tbl of cornstarch, add it to a small cup or bowl and pour in 1 tbl of cream (or water) … mix together to remove the lumps and pour into your sauce. Mix together and let it simmer a bit longer. If the sauce is still not thick enough for your, repeat with another tbl of cornstarch. Two usually does the trick for me.
Boil off some pasta and you are ready to have a party in your mouth!! Serve up a big bowl of fettuccine noodles with that delicious Alfredo over top and then rain down Cajun shrimp all over it!!! Spoon some of the BBQ sauce over the shrimp and garnish with some leftover parsley.
Hopefully, you bought some crusty bread to sop all that flavor up with and I promise you, no one in your neighborhood will be enjoying their dinner like you are about to enjoy yours!!
** If you find that you have shrimp left over, may I suggest making wraps the next day? Some BBQ shrimp, some broccoli slaw, onion, diced tomato.. little squeeze of lime?… Trust me.. It works!!!
Laissez les bons temps rouler!