Friday, August 9, 2019

Grilled New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp

The flavors of a New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp, made with brined and marinated, peeled and deveined grilled shrimp, making it much less messy to eat. Serve with plenty of French bread to sop up the sauce though!

Grilled New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp

Most of you know by now about New Orleans style BBQ shrimp and that it has nothing to do with anything remotely linked to smoke cooking or even barbecue sauce. It is thought that the recipe originated with Pascal's Manale Restaurant - a nearly 100 year old eatery located on Napoleon Avenue in New Orleans, Louisiana. The name likely comes from the smokey flavor that the shrimp gets from the spicy, heavy on the butter, yummy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and the spicy, peppery seasonings.

There is no doubt that we love our shrimp in this country - we eat more than a billion pounds of shrimp alone every year! Unfortunately, 90% percentage of the shrimp we are consuming is imported - and frankly many of us who live outside of the coastal regions, don't even realize it.

Y'all know I talk constantly here about being cautious when purchasing shrimp, and to always look on the bottom of the back of the package for the country of origin. Of course, those of us who live here along the waters of the Gulf of Mexico are particularly fond of our own Gulf seafood, but you should always look for products labeled as wild caught American shrimp. Reports have spoken to the crowded conditions imported shrimp are raised in and the harmful chemicals and antibiotics that have been found in testing - most of which are not even legal to use in this country. That's a pretty strong case to stick with our own if you ask me.

Always, always look for "Product of U.S.A." and/or "Wild Caught" on the packaging, and if you're lucky enough, this symbol:


Our Gulf shrimpers have had a few pretty hard seasons down here - first with Hurricane Katrina, then with the BP oil disaster, and more recently with the opening of the Bonnet Carre spillway in Norco, Louisiana, releasing tons of freshwater into our salty Mississippi Sound, reducing salinity levels to near nothing and causing shallow water species of sea life like dolphins and sea turtles to die. Mother Nature will recover, as she always does, but it's been especially tough on the oyster industry, because the beds are in the more shallow waters, that have been badly affected by low salinity levels.

Still, shrimp from deeper waters can be found and for those of you who cannot just go down to the docks to buy shrimp like we do, I wanted to share a resource with you. I had the opportunity to try Anna Marie shrimp out of Louisiana, and you can have shipped right to your home too. Shrimpers typically take off for the deeper waters for days at a time, and while all fishermen keep shrimp iced down of course, the method that is used on the Anna Marie is one that is quite unique. They practically have a mini shrimp processing plant right on board!


As the catch is brought in and sorted and graded, the shrimp are first chilled in 34 degree sea water. From there they are weighed, bagged and boxed and loaded immediately into the deck freezer at minus 45 degrees. This quick-frozen method suspends the freshly caught shrimp in their natural state. By the time the ship returns they're ready to store at minus 10 degrees F onshore and ready to be delivered. What this results in is incredible fresh flavor, the way that seafood was intended to be.

Shrimp are sold by the pound, but the more important thing to note is the count. Shrimp this size run 10 or less per pound and they are considered the Colossal of the jumbo shrimp, best suited for baked dishes, grilling or stuffing. You wouldn't want to use them for things like shrimp cocktail, gumbo or stews, etouffee or shrimp creole, or for frying, where a smaller shrimp, somewhere between 41/50 and 31/40 count, is more appropriate. The ones I used, were for a total of 10 shrimp in 1.3 pounds, over 2 ounces a piece. Despite having traveled across state lines to get to me, these shrimp had such a wonderful sweet scent, just like they do when they are fresh from the seawater and purchased at the docks.

And, just look at these beauties! You won't likely find this in the freezer section of your grocery store.


New Orleans style BBQ shrimp is superb, but since it's served with oven baked or skillet cooked, shell and head on shrimp, that buttery sauce can make for a messy eat. I thought that if I used some of the big, colossal sized shrimp, then I could peel and grill them, making them much easier to eat. French bread is not optional y'all - those saucy, buttery juices must be sopped up with it!

Here's how I did it.

When grilling shrimp, it helps to brine it first in salt water to serve as a little insurance against overcooking. Brining isn't quite as critical with shrimp this size, but it's a good idea and 30 minutes is all you'll need. Head and remove shells from shrimp and devein, leaving tail fan intact and reserving heads and shells. Add water to a gallon sized zipper bag or non-reactive bowl, add salt, seal and mash bag until salt is dissolved. Add the shrimp and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.


While the shrimp is brining, add the reserved heads and shells to a large saucepan and cover with 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce and simmer until liquid has reduced to about half. Strain and discard the heads and shells, reserving the broth. To that, add the butter, olive oil, garlic, onions, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, Cajun seasoning, paprika and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to low and simmer for 20 minutes; remove from heat and cool. Drain the shrimp and place into the cooled marinade; refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.



Remove shrimp and bring marinade/sauce to a boil in a small saucepan, while you skewer the shrimp - and I do recommend that you use skewers. These double pronged skewers are a nice choice. Oil the grates of the grill, and grill over direct heat, about 3 minutes on the first side, and an additional 2 to 3 minutes on the other, brushing several times with the marinade. Time will be dependent on the heat level on your grill; remove shrimp just before you think they are done to take into account continued cooking - just take care not to overcook them, whatever you do!


Serve in a shallow bowl, with sauce and plenty of fresh, hot sliced French bread to sop it up. Yum, y'all!


Disclosure: I received a box of Anna Marie frozen shrimp to test. The recipe and opinions are my own. Follow Anna Marie on their Facebook page.

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Recipe: Grilled New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep/Inactive time: 1 hour
Cook time: 30 min

Total time: 1 hour 30 min
Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
Ingredients

For the Brine:
  • 2 pounds colossal shrimp (9/12 count), peeled and deveined, tail fan left intact
  • 1 quart water
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
For the Marinade and Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Creole or Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Instructions

Head and remove shells from shrimp and devein, leaving tail fan intact and reserving heads and shells. Add water to a gallon sized zipper bag or non-reactive bowl, add salt, seal and mash bag until salt is dissolved. Add the shrimp and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the reserved heads and shells to a large saucepan and cover with 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce and simmer until liquid has reduced to about half. Strain and discard the heads and shells, reserving the broth. To that, add the butter, olive oil, garlic, onions, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, Cajun seasoning, paprika and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to low and simmer for 20 minutes; remove from heat and cool. Drain the shrimp and place into the cooled marinade; refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

Remove shrimp and bring marinade to a boil in a small saucepan, while you skewer the shrimp. Oil the grates of the grill, and grill over direct heat, about 3 minutes on the first side, and an additional 2 to 3 minutes on the other, brushing several times with the marinade. Time will be dependent on the heat level on your grill; remove shrimp just before you think they are done.

Serve in a shallow bowl, with sauce and plenty of fresh, hot sliced French bread.

Cook's Notes: Colossal shrimp counts generally are at 10 or under per pound and each shrimp should average around 2 ounces in weight. Can substitute jumbo shrimp, but be mindful of the grilling time so as not to overcook. Shrimp marinade/sauce can be prepared, cooled and kept refrigerated until ready to add the shrimp. Do not marinate the shrimp any longer than 4 hours.

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Posted by on August 9, 2019

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4 comments:

  1. I was just having a envie for shrimp! thanks for this recipe, I know what I'm having tonight. I hear ya about our gulf shrimp. it'a the best. I can't believe what shrimp costs in other places. Even in North Texas the price jumps way up!.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They can get a little proud with it even here in the fish markets!

      Delete
  2. These babies look and sound great

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sounds incredible! In our house any foods that are served at a BBQ get to don the title BBQ. So yeah we even have BBQ Jello LOL.

    ReplyDelete

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