New Orleans BBQ Shrimp




Yield: 4 to 6 servings as a starter

Sadly, I have never been to New Orleans, but I imagine they wouldn’t hate me there for this one, even if it’s not authentic.  Oddly enough, the best shrimp I’ve ever eaten is from a restaurant in Iowa City, Iowa called The Atlas; they have a Voodoo Shrimp appetizer on their menu that I MUST order any time I go there.  The restaurant serves the shrimp on crostini drowned in sauce and I suggest you do the same.  It’s rich and flavorful, slightly spicy, buttery, shrimpy, rosemary-y goodness in a bowl.  Honestly, you could just leave the shrimp out and just give me a big bowl of the sauce and some crusty bread, but I suppose other people might want some actual substance to their meal so I will include the shrimp.


5 tablespoons butter, divided

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 large sprigs of rosemary

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 large garlic cloves, finely minced

1-1/2 cups Budweiser beer

3 tablespoons Worcestershire

2 to 3 tablespoons hot sauce, or to taste

1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Cajun seasoning, to sprinkle (optional)


1 baguette, sliced 1/2-inch-thick

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Melt 4 tablespoons of butter and the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat.  Add one sprig of rosemary and allow to infuse for 1 minute; remove and discard.  Add the flour into the butter mixture, whisking constantly to dissolve any lumps.  Cook for about 5 minutes, whisking frequently, until the roux is a light blond color.  Add the beer and whisk constantly to avoid any lumps.  It will foam up quite a bit, but will start to dissipate as it cooks.  Add the second rosemary sprig to the sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking frequently, and cook until the mixture is reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes.  Add the Worcestershire, hot sauce and cream and continue to reduce for another 5 to 10 minutes.  Rinse the shrimp under cold water and dry; toss with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and add to the skillet.  Cook over medium-low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until pink and no longer translucent.  Add the lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon butter and stir to combine.  Transfer the shrimp to a serving dish, leaving the sauce in the skillet.  Remove the rosemary sprig and discard.  Reduce the sauce for 1 to 2 minutes more over medium heat; taste for seasonings and adjust as necessary, adding more salt, pepper, Worcestershire and/or hot sauce, as desired.  Spoon the sauce over top and sprinkle with chopped parsley and Cajun seasoning if using.  I suggest serving the crostini around the serving dish and allow it to soak up as much of the sauce as possible.


For the crostini: preheat oven to 350°.  Lay the baguette slices on a large aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, until lightly golden.


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