Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Spicy New Orleans Barbeque Shrimp

Sadly, I've never been to New Orleans yet. I would go for the food alone. Jambalaya, beignets, crawfish boils, shrimp etouffee... need I go on?

Until I have the chance to visit New Orleans and sample everything it has to offer, I'll just have to content myself with fixing dishes with a little Cajun and Creole flair every now and then.

This shrimp certainly did the trick. It was wonderfully fragrant and had a definite fiery kick. I also enjoyed the fruity hints that must have come from the chili sauce. The shrimp itself was perfectly cooked and so succulent. The liquid smoke added a great barbeque flavor and the smoked paprika only enhanced it. If you don't have any liquid smoke in your pantry, please go get some. This dish wouldn't be the same without it. Look for a brand like Wright's, which contains only smoke and water and has no other additives like vinegar or salt.

A good crusty French bread is a must for sopping up the extra sauce. I boiled a few red bliss potatoes to accompany the meal, but I can imagine how great jasmine rice would be too. Or just keep it simple and serve it with the bread and a crisp salad.

Spicy New Orleans Barbeque Shrimp
The original recipe called for Heinz chili sauce. Though not authentic, I used a combination of Siracha and sweet chili sauce since I happened to have them on hand. I loved the flavor of this dish, substitutes included, and will continue to make it this way since those are my pantry staples.
Serves: 2 generously
Total Time: 4 hours, 45 minutes; Active Prep Time: 20 minutes; Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
1 pound shrimp (I used 31-35 counts and wouldn't go any smaller)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
1/2 -1 tablespoon Siracha sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon liquid smoke, hickory (such as Wright's)
1/2-3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2-3 dashes Tabasco sauce
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
Optional extra chopped fresh parlsey for garnish
If using frozen shrimp, allow them to thaw by running cool water over them for a few minutes.
Combine all other ingredients into a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a gentle simmer. Adjust heat if necessary to maintain the gentle simmer and allow sauce to reduce for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once sauce is finished simmering, take off heat and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, as the sauce simmers, peel and devein the shrimp. In an oven-safe casserole dish, arrange the shrimp in a single layer. Pour finished sauce over the shrimp, stirring to ensure even coverage. Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 (or up to 12) hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Take casserole dish out of fridge and remove wrap. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until shrimp are no longer translucent.
Serve immediately with a crusty French bread for dipping.
-Adjust the level of spiciness by playing with the amount of Siracha and cayenne. I used the upper levels indicated and ended up with a pretty spicy dish. You could always start low and adjust to your tastes after the sauce has had its initial reduction.

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