Bbq ShrimpAs featured in Brennan's New Orleans Cookbook !
Why this dish goes by the name of barbecue shrimp is anybody’s guess, since it’s not barbecued and it’s not cooked or served with barbecue sauce. The original version is said to have originated in New Orleans’ Italian community a half-century or more ago, to be added to a very long list of the city’s Italian-Creole classics.
Improvisations on the original recipe are many, but no authentic barbecue shrimp dish could be described as dainty, considering the spices called for. Since the shrimp themselves are cooked and served with heads and shells intact, they’re usually eaten as one would eat whole boiled lobster—with a bib and a willingness to use your bare hands. While the head and tail are always removed before eating, many New Orleanians like to retain the shell covering the shrimp meat, as long as the covering is soft and thin enough to chew properly. In this recipe, the emulsified sauce’s richness is a result of combining butterfat with the shrimp’s natural juices, black pepper and worcestershire sauce. The shrimp are cooked just to the point of being done, remaining succulent. And the sauce is a prime candidate for dipping into with crusty bread. Finger lickin’ is optional.
This dish is prepared only two servings at a time because increasing the number of shrimp beyond 12 would require increasing the dish’s amount of sauce. Reducing the larger amount of sauce would require more cooking time, resulting in over-cooked shrimp.