We've been eating well this vacation.
We decided that we would try to cook most of the meals this trip. Although I do miss eating out some, I have enjoyed most of it, particularly since Tom has been doing most of the cooking.
Last night Tom made his adaptation of Chef Paul Prudhomme's Barbecued Shrimp from his cookbook Louisiana Kitchen.
The first time we had a dish similar to this was at a restaurant in Little Rock, Cajun's Wharf. Shortly after we starting dining there, the restaurant was sold and became something different. The new company completely renovated the interior and, of course, changed the menu - for the worst - and we stopped going. A few years later, the old owners bought the restaurant back, but the menu still isn't what it was. Luckily, Tom found this recipe and with his changes, it tastes very similar to the original New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp.
Adapted from Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen
Makes 2 large servings
2 dozen large fresh shrimp with heads and shells (about 1 pound)
1-1/2 teaspoons finely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 pound (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup dark beer (Tom uses Honey Brown beer)at room temperature
Rinse the shrimp in cold water and drain well. Then pinch off and discard the portion of the head from the eyes forward (including the eyes, but not the protruding long spine above the eyes). (Note: Using head on shrimp is extremely important because the fat from the head portion provides a truly extraordinary flavor.) Leave as much as possible of the orange shrimp fat from the head attached to the body. Set aside.
In a small bowl combine the seasoning mix ingredients. Combine the butter, garlic, Worcestershire and seasoning mix in a large skillet over high heat. When the butter is melted, add the shrimp. Cook for 2 minutes, shaking the pan (versus stirring) in a back-and-forth motion. Add the olive oil and beer; cook and shake pan for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
We serve the shrimp in individual pasta bowls with lots of French to soak up the sauce.
This vacation, we used a chicken rice-a-roni type rice mix and it worked out fine. At home, we usually cook long grain rice in chicken stock to serve as the base for the shrimp.