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Chef John Besh's Barbecue Shrimp

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1 Chef John Besh's Barbecue Shrimp on Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:01 pm

Crybaby

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I don't know if the rest of you do this, but often times I pull out a cookbook or two to read through to get ideas for something new or to look to see how a certain cookbook or chef makes something.  I often end up reading the cookbook through, especially those like this one with stories about his youth, growing up, hunting, etc.  Chef John Besh put out a cookbook about three or four years ago called "My New Orleans, The Cookbook," which a friend gave me for Christmas a few years ago (autographed, too -- "To Michelle, Good Cooking! John Besh").  

At any rate, I was reading through it the other day and came across his Barbecue Shrimp recipe.  I thought it's a good one for a dinner party and thought some of you might like it, too, for reasons below.  So here it is.

Besh Barbecue Shrimp
Serves 6.  Recipe from “My New Orleans,” by John Besh.

This is a bit different from the regular barbecue shrimp in New Orleans, as we normally make it with peel on.  This is a good variation for company or a dinner party, as lots of people either don’t know how to peel a shrimp or it’s going to be too messy.  
Chef’s Note:  This version is a bit more complex [than the regular way we make it] but is well worth the added preparation time because you can make the sauce base ahead and store it in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready for the shrimp.  It’s easier to eat, too.

For the Sauce Base:
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cups shrimp heads and shells
1/2 cup Worcestershire
2 Tablespoons cracked black pepper
2 Tablespoons Basic Creole Spices* (see recipe below)
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
2 bay leaves
Juice of 1 lemon

For the Shrimp:
2 pounds medium Louisiana or wild American shrimp, peeled and
   deveined
Salt
Cracked black pepper
1 cup Sauce Base
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup butter

1.  For the sauce base, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over high heat, add the shrimp heads and shells, and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
2.  Add the Worcestershire, black pepper, Creole Spices, cloves, bay leaves, and lemon juice along with 2 cups water and bring to boil.  Once the liquid is boiling, reduce heat to moderate and simmer until it has reduced by half.  Strain and reserve.
3.  For the shrimp, season the shrimp with a little salt and lots of pepper.  Put the shrimp and the Sauce Base, cream, and butter in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat.  Bring the sauce to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.
4.  Remove the shrimp from the skillet and arrange on a platter on in individual bowls.  Reduce the sauce by half until it’s a rich mocha color.  Pour the sauce over the shrimp and serve with French bread [buy more than you think you need, as it's great to dip into the sauce].


Basic Creole Spices
Makes 1/2 cup.
Chef’s Note:  Using this spice blend is truly the easiest way to consistently achieve the flavors I grew up with.  Once made, the spices will last for six months in an airtight container.

2 Tablespoons celery salt
1 Tablespoon sweet paprika
1 Tablespoon coarse sea salt
1 Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon onion powder
2 Tablespoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1.  Mix together the celery salt, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, and allspice in a bowl.  Transfer the spices to a clean container with a tight-fitting lid, cover, and store.

2 Re: Chef John Besh's Barbecue Shrimp on Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:13 pm

bethk

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Michelle, I HAVE MADE THAT!

My Andrea has the same cookbook and I wrote down the recipe when I was visiting one time.

It is really good. I did cheat a bit and just bought a seasoning blend instead of mixing my own. I liked that the cream seemed to cling to the shrimp more than the kind of BBQ shrimp recipes that are all butter based.

3 Re: Chef John Besh's Barbecue Shrimp on Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:16 pm

Crybaby

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bethk wrote:Michelle, I HAVE MADE THAT!

My Andrea has the same cookbook and I wrote down the recipe when I was visiting one time.

It is really good.  I did cheat a bit and just bought a seasoning blend instead of mixing my own.  I liked that the cream seemed to cling to the shrimp more than the kind of BBQ shrimp recipes that are all butter based.
That's so funny, Beth! We normally don't use seasoning blends, made or bought, but it's often helpful to see what someone uses in their blend. I usually just season things on my own.

Glad to hear it's good. Though I love the butter based ones (the sauce is sooo good), I'm glad to get your review of this one.

4 Re: Chef John Besh's Barbecue Shrimp on Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:19 pm

bethk

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Well, lets just admit that your access to really fresh shrimp will far exceed anything the rest of us get...so make it and ENJOY. I think I made brown rice to go with the meal so I could drip sauce on my rice, sort of a BBQ Shrimp jambalaya....LOL

5 Re: Chef John Besh's Barbecue Shrimp on Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:21 pm

Crybaby

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bethk wrote:Well, lets just admit that your access to really fresh shrimp will far exceed anything the rest of us get...so make it and ENJOY.  I think I made brown rice to go with the meal so I could drip sauce on my rice, sort of a BBQ Shrimp jambalaya....LOL
I'll wait for company, B, as though Brian will dip his bread in the sauce, he will not eat shrimp. Evil or Very Mad 

6 Re: Chef John Besh's Barbecue Shrimp on Tue Aug 13, 2013 4:34 pm

bethk

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I'm wondering, Crybaby, how it would be if you used chicken chunks....hmmmm, bet it would work.

As long as he doesn't mind the slightly seafood fragrance from the stock, you could easily make two small pans - his & hers!

It's like when Dane wants salmon, something I don't care for. I'll get that for him and a nice piece of cod for me. Or making surf & turf and he only eats the seafood because he rarely wants a steak when there is a choice. So much easier to cook those variety meals when you only have to consider its for the two of us. When the girls were young it was impossible to do because then they all treated me like a short order cook!

7 Re: Chef John Besh's Barbecue Shrimp on Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:16 pm

Barbara101

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is that the recipe someone over on cooking.com made? Nancy maybe?

8 Re: Chef John Besh's Barbecue Shrimp on Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:23 pm

bethk

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Didn't she make the butter based one?

Then there was the recipe for killer shrimp...same thing

9 Re: Chef John Besh's Barbecue Shrimp on Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:30 pm

Barbara101

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bethk wrote:Didn't she make the butter based one?

Then there was the recipe for killer shrimp...s

ame thing

that is it killer . geek I don't think I made it.

10 Re: Chef John Besh's Barbecue Shrimp on Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:21 pm

NormM

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We love the killer shrimp but I peel the shrimp and simmer the liquid with the shells for 30 minutes then cook the shrimp. Makes a big difference.  I got the ingredients to make Crybaby's BBQ shrimp. If everyone is home tomorrow, I'll make it then.   BTW got a Kitchenaid food processor and plan to make cream biscuits to go with it.  Now I can't find the electric coffee grinder/spice mill.

I got extra cream for the shrimp and biscuits. I'll make butter out of the leftover cream.

http://r2j1cp@gmail.com

11 Re: Chef John Besh's Barbecue Shrimp on Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:25 pm

bethk

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OR....make a dessert and make whipped cream.

Ah, just a suggestion. LOL

12 Re: Chef John Besh's Barbecue Shrimp on Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:35 pm

Crybaby

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NormM wrote:We love the killer shrimp but I peel the shrimp and simmer the liquid with the shells for 30 minutes then cook the shrimp. Makes a big difference.  I got the ingredients to make Crybaby's BBQ shrimp. If everyone is home tomorrow, I'll make it then.   BTW got a Kitchenaid food processor and plan to make cream biscuits to go with it.  Now I can't find the electric coffee grinder/spice mill.

I got extra cream for the shrimp and biscuits. I'll make butter out of the leftover cream.
I remember you did that with the killer shrimp, Norm -- nothing makes good stock like shrimp peels and heads.

Laughed about your buying the food processor and now you can't find the spice mill. Bet you wll find the FP now!

13 Re: Chef John Besh's Barbecue Shrimp on Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:38 pm

Crybaby

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bethk wrote:I'm wondering, Crybaby, how it would be if you used chicken chunks....hmmmm, bet it would work.

As long as he doesn't mind the slightly seafood fragrance from the stock, you could easily make two small pans - his & hers!
Thanks for the suggestion, Beth, but that sauce on chicken doesn't appeal to me, and I'm sure he wouldn't eat it either (grin). He would have a problem with seafood-flavored shrimp, even if he will eat the sauce. But I appreciate the tip, nonetheless!

14 Re: Chef John Besh's Barbecue Shrimp on Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:51 pm

bethk

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That's OK, Crybaby, it was just a thought.

I'm still jealous of all the really fresh seafood you have access to on a regular basis. You and Barb...one of these days I'm gonna come knockin' on your doors...fat lady at the door...just smile and let me in! LOL

15 Re: Chef John Besh's Barbecue Shrimp on Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:58 pm

Crybaby

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bethk wrote:That's OK, Crybaby, it was just a thought.

I'm still jealous of all the really fresh seafood you have access to on a regular basis.  You and Barb...one of these days I'm gonna come knockin' on your doors...fat lady at the door...just smile and let me in!  LOL
Just let me know ahead of time so I can start the seafood, as it's always a blessing for me when I have someone to share it with. I'd make stuffed shrimp for an appetizer, crab chops for an entree with fresh haricot verts on the side, along with a caprese salad and garlic bread. You can even have a piece of Brian's grilled steak if you want! For dessert, we'd have homemade ice cream!

Yep, we're lucky as far as seafood goes, as it's plentiful and pretty cheap compared to what others pay. Almost always I can buy JUMBO fresh shrimp at the grocery for $4.99/lb. -- and I mean jumbo: about 12 to 14 to the pound. They also sell peeled flash frozen shrimp by the pound here, too, which comes in different shrimp sizes -- cheap, too, and always at the ready (though I hate to use frozen when fresh are so readily available). I also make a mean crab and shrimp stew, which I'd send you home with.

16 Re: Chef John Besh's Barbecue Shrimp on Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:54 pm

bethk

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Admin
I should be there by September 20 th.....

17 Re: Chef John Besh's Barbecue Shrimp on Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:39 am

Crybaby

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bethk wrote:I should be there by September 20 th.....
What city in Florida are you in, Beth?

18 Re: Chef John Besh's Barbecue Shrimp on Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:10 pm

bethk

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Admin
The community goes by the name The Villages...and if our mail is addressed that way, as the city, it gets delivered. Technically, I think we are in Lady Lake, south of Ocala and north of Orlando, just off I-75.

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