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
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.