This trip to New Orleans I’ve learned more about this southern favorite delicious BBQ shrimps.
Don’t be mislead by the name BBQ, you don’t need a grill to cook this. In New Orleans, barbecued shrimp means sautéed shrimp in Worcestershire-spiked butter sauce. This dish was prepared entirely on the skillet, and over the stove.
I’ve tasted this BBQ shrimps in three different locations over the 4 days visit. The first one was from a food store in French market, the second was in Mr. B’s Bistro, and the third was at the restaurant Pascal’s Manale, whom was known to be the first restaurant who created this dish in the 1950’s. They all tasted different.
My personal verdict; I really like this BBQ shrimps in Mr. B’s (The picture above was from Mr. B’s). A portion of order came with eight to ten fresh big prawns, with head and shell on, steeped in a buttery, creamy, peppery and slightly spicy Creole concoction that was very flavorful. If I knew ahead of time how this dish was prepared, I would have drank the butter concoction and lick the bowl. I left the gravy behind thinking it might contain some kind of thickening agent (roux that made with flour) which most sauces or gravy does contain.
It was after the delicious meal that I looked into the cookbook they were selling in the restaurant, and with some research online that I found out that this dish was cooked entirely with butter and no flour. It is a perfect low-carb high-fat meal. Darn! I’d let the butter gone to waste!
The next day, when I tasted the BBQ shrimp in Pascal’s, I knew what causes it to be slightly less than prefect (The picture above was from Pascal’s). The sauce was thin and brothy, with lighter flavor, instead of creamy and flavorful. I’m guessing it was the way the butter was added in the end of cooking, and may be not enough of it.
Since eating LCHF, I’ve learned to use butter to cream up my sauces and gravies at home, replacing starch. I learned this gravy-finishing trick from Julia Child’s French cooking. The key to create a creamy, somehow ‘thickened’ sauce or gravy is to stir in cold sliced butter (a lot of it) in the end of cooking and before serving, with the heat turn off, or at very low. If you add the butter too early or reheating the sauce, it will break down and turn into a layer of oil floating on top of the gravy.
And that’s what I’d found in Pascal’s BBQ shrimp; the sauce was dilute with a layer of oil floating on top of the gravy, and the shell was hard to peel due to over cooked. I’m guessing they might have over heated the gravy in the end, or the gravy was prepared ahead of time. Re-heating breaks up the cream and turns into clear butter oil, like ghee.
As it was described in Mr. B’s website;
‘We are famous for our barbecued shrimp, and with reason. The biggest trick to making this taste like ours is to not hold back on the butter. The three sticks called for are enough to scare you into cholesterol shock (Kelly: is perfect for LCHF way of eating, and no we are not worry about cholesterol), but are key to the flavor and consistency of the sauce. Another tips to keep in mind: to emulsify the sauce, be sure to add a little butter at a time while stirring rapidly. And don’t overcook the shrimp or they’ll become tough and hard to peel.’
This is a delicious dish that worth to explore. If you can, serve these shrimps with heads and shell on, so you need to dig in to enjoy. I highly recommend a bib.
Back at home in Jackson Hole, I can’t find any shrimps with head on. So this is the best I can do.
To help my husband Dan with ease of peeling the shrimp shell, I use a kitchen scissors to snip open the shell along the top of the shrimp, and devein it before cooking.
In a large skillet combine shrimp, Worcestershire, lemon juice, black peppers, my home mixed Creole seasoning, and garlic. Toss and cook over moderately high heat until shrimp begin to turn pink, about 1 minute on each side.
Reduce heat to low and stir in cold butter, a few cubes at a time, keep stirring constantly and adding more only when butter is melted and creamed. Remove skillet from heat immediately. Place shrimp in a bowl and pour sauce over top.
It is best served with cold wedge ice-berg salad or the home baked low carb bread to soak up the flavorful buttery sauce. Alternatively, I prefer to serve with garlic fried cauli rice, just like what I have here.
- 16 jumbo shrimp (12 per pound, about 1½ pounds), with heads and unpeeled
- ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
- 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning (home mixed with no sugar content)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1½ cups (3 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- In a large skillet combine shrimp, Worcestershire, lemon juice, black peppers, Creole seasoning, and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until shrimp begin to turn pink, about 1 minute on each side.
- Reduce heat to low and stir in cold butter, a few cubes at a time, keep stirring constantly and adding more only when butter is melted and creamed. Remove skillet from heat immediately. Place shrimp in a bowl and pour sauce over top.
Each serving contains 17.8 g total carbs, 16.6 g net carbs, 48 g protein and 141 g fat.
Recipe source from Mr. B’s bistro: http://www.mrbsbistro.com/recipes_shrimp.php
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