Al Roker's New Orleans-Style Barbecued Shrimp
In New Orleans, barbecued shrimp is actually cooked on the stovetop. This is an adaption for the grill. Cover the picnic table with brown paper, get a stack of paper napkins, and go to town. Don’t blame me if that loudmouth Emeril Lagasse shows up. I’m kidding. Really. BAM!
Recipe from Al Roker’s Big Bad Book of Barbecue, published by Scribner, 2007.
- 4 lb fresh or frozen (21 to 25 count per pound) large or extra-large shrimp, in the shell
- 5 tbsp chili powder, divided
- 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp salt, divided
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
- 2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 c ketchup
- ½ c extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 tbsp light brown sugar
- ¼ c Worcestershire sauce
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp cayenne powder
- Several dashes Louisiana-style hot sauce
You can buy large, frozen tiger shrimp that have been deveined but are still in the shell. If you use these, thaw them according to the package directioins. If using fresh shrimp, you can ask the person at the fish counter to devein them for you in the shell. You can also do this yourself, using shears. Cut the shell along the vein and pull the vein out with your fingers. Or, you can just skip the deveining process. The vein won't hurt you.
Combine 3 tablespoons of the chili powder and 1 tablespoon of the salt in a small bowl. Rub the shrimp with this mixture, making sure you rub some into the open cut where the shrimp has been deveined (if it has) to season the shrimp inside the shell. Place the shrimp in a shallow, non-reactive pan, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate while you make the sauce.
In a saucepan set over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until soft but now browned. Add the ketchup, oil, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, lemon slices, lemon juice, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, cayenne, and hot sauce, as well as the remaining 2 tablespoons chili powder and 2 teaspoons salt. Stire to mix. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes, or until thick. Remove from the heat, uncover, and cool to room temperature. Remove and discard the lemon slices and bay leaves.
Pour 1 1/2 cups of the sauce over the shrimp. Toss to coat well. Cover and refrigerate the shrimp for 1 to 2 hours. Cover and refrigerate the remaining sauce separately and save for dipping.
Prepare a charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill for drect grilling over high heat.
While the grill is heating, reheat the remaining sauce in a small, covered saucepan over very low heat-it will only take a few minutes. Watch the sauce carefully so that it doesn't burn.
Remove the shrimp from the pan and discard the marinade. Grill the shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until the shells are orangy-pink. To test for doneness, take a shrimp off the grill, remove the shell, and cut the shrimp in half: The flesh should be white and firm throughout.
Serve with the warm sauce for dipping, and a large bowl for the shells.