There's nothing 'barbecue' about this New Orleans originated dish. It is based on the red color the shrimp becomes when cooked. There are a multitude of variations, the defining characteristic being lots and lots of butter. Our version uses much less fat, but by using lots of a St. Augustine style hot sauce (that contains datil peppers and tends to be sweet) to douse the dish at the dinner table, we think you'll never miss all that butter. ZAB's Hot Sauce,available at Howie's, adds a unique twist to this Louisiana favorite. The datil peppers are relatives of habaneros with somewhat fruitier characteristics, making for a delicious, fruity, sweet hot twist on this Louisiana favorite, while cutting down on a lot of fat.
Purists will purchase "head on" shrimp for additional flavor (but they are hard to find). You can, but we do not, peel the shrimp. We like to suck on the shells. If you don't want the shells, but prefer a nice handle, peel them, leaving the tail shell intact.
"BBQ" Shrimp with St. Augustine Style Hot Sauce
1 pound jumbo (or bigger) shrimp
2 TB Creole or Cajun seasoning (readily aviailable or make your own like this one)
2 TB olive oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2 TB fresh rosemary, minced
2 TB fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup beer (or white wine)
6 TB hot sauce (such as Frank's or Tabasco. Or start with ZAB's if you like, using more at the end)
6 TB Worcestershire
5 TB fresh lemon juice
1 cup chicken stock (preferably low sodium)
2 TB unsalted butter
ZAB's St. Augustine Style Hot Sauce
Crusty French Bread
In a bowl, coat the shrimp with Creole seasoning and set aside.
Using a pot, reduce the chicken stock to 2/3rds cup to concentrate it a bit.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the garlic and cook until just turning golden, about a minute. Add the rosemary and basil. Stir.
Add the shrimp, turning once, and cook until they start to turn pink, about 1/2 to 1 minute. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.
Add the beer, hot sauce, Worcestershire, lemon juice and chicken stock to the pan. Cook, stirring, until it is thickened a bit.
Remove pan from the heat and stir in the butter. This will thicken the sauce a bit more. Add the shrimp back into the pan, tossing them to coat. Cook over medium heat until the shrimp are just cooked through.
Place equal amounts of shrimp and sauce in warmed bowls and serve immediately with chunks of crusty bread and lots of ZAB's St. Augustine Style Hot Sauce to taste.
TIP:A big part of this dish is the dipping of crusty bread into the sauce. if it seems too reduced, just add some more beer/white wine, Worcestershire and a little lemon juice and cook a bit without letting it get as reduced as it was before.
DECADENT TIP: We've substantially lowered the fat in this dish, but if you'd like to experience what you are more likely to get in many restaurants, feel free to eliminate the chicken stock. Instead, use a stick or two of butter, cut up into pieces and stir it in where indicated above.
WINE SUGGESTION: Zinfandel