It passed the five easy questions test with flying colors. It was quite easy to make, with prep time of only about 30 minutes. Best of all, we had an utterly magnificent experience eating it.
A couple of brief introductory comments: The brand of beer I happened to use in the recipe has already brewed up (sorry) a bit of an amusing controversy. Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with my rule for new recipes to do it one time by the book, so I saw no reason to start imposing my own beer snobbery without first having some context on how the recipe would come out. If anybody wants to do a side-by-side control test of the recipe using different types of beer, go for it. Let me know the results.
Finally, there also seems to be minor controversy on whether this is technically “barbecue” or not. Heck, there are no coals, no broiling, and no cooking over an open pit. Perhaps we can get some barbecue purists to weigh in on this one, but my guess is they won’t consider something cooked in a pan as barbecue.
But man, those are just semantics to me. The recipe was so amazing that Chef Paul could call it anything he wants! I’ll cut him some slack.
Paul Prudhomme's Barbecued Shrimp
(Very slightly modified from Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen.*)
2 dozen medium-large raw shrimp with shells included (about 1 pound)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (yes, we're bending the salt rule here because it's Paul Prudhomme)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon rosemary leaves, crushed
1/8 teaspoon oregano
1/4 pound (1 stick) butter, plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, in all
1 to 2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup seafood stock or vegetable stock
1/4 cup beer at room temperature
1) Rinse the shrimp in cold water and drain well. Leave shells on.
2) In a small bowl, combine seasoning mix ingredients.
3) Combine one stick of the butter, the garlic, Worcestershire sauce and seasoning mix in a large skillet over high heat. When the butter is melted, add the shrimp.
4) Cook for 2 minutes, shaking the pan (do not stir), in a back and forth motion. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and the stock, cook and shake pan for 2 more minutes. Add the beer and cook and shake the pan 1 minute longer. Remove from heat.
5) Serve immediately on a platter with a mound of white rice or seasoned rice in the center and the shrimp and sauce surrounding it.
A few quick extra notes:
- Along with the rice, this dish made exactly enough food for two hungry people with enough left over for a lunch for Laura.
- If you want to double this recipe, the cookbook says you should do it in separate batches. Note therefore that this dish does not scale well.
- Don't ignore the specific instructions to shake the pan back and forth rather than stir (just think James Bond here). When you're working with melting butter, especially in a dish with a high ratio of butter to other ingredients, stirring can cause the oils in the butter to separate out, and it will make the sauce seem oily.
A Wine Suggestion
I’ll admit up front that this isn’t really the kind of blog you should visit to find painstaking details on wine pairings (at least not until I quit my job and go to sommelier school…!), but this dish will go very well with a light semi-dry or semi-sweet white wine, which will balance the hot spicy flavors in the dish. A Riesling, for example, would be perfect. We knocked back most of a bottle of Seyval from the Hosmer Winery, which is in the Finger Lakes region of New York State (quite good and yet only $10 a bottle!).
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* Full Disclosure: if you purchase this book using any of the links provided, I get paid a miniscule affiliate fee.