Monday, June 18, 2007
Envie. That's the French word my grandparents and parents used when they desired something foodwise. "Yesterday, I had an envie for some beignets."
I had an envie of my own this afternoon. My envie was for some good, Cajun BBQ shrimp. You know, the kind loaded with butter and spices. The kind where you've used up two napkins after you've eaten about five shrimp. When I got home from work and had completed my workout for the day, I perused some of my favorite BBQ shrimp recipes. I realized they all had one thing in common -- about a 4:1 butter to shrimp ratio. Ouch. While that sort of cooking is fine by me on special occasions like dinner parties, I prefer not to ingest that much butter in one day.
What was I going to do? Could I concoct a recipe that had way less butter and as much flavor as the original? Would my envie ever be sated?
I was down, but not out. I built the recipe around a great Louisiana brew -- Abita Turbodog. I made some tweaks and used some local Louisiana ingredients from home. I served up the shrimp with a salad of greens from my garden and some crusty French bread for sopping up the broth.
Soon enough, my envie was gone and my tummy was full.
Cook's Notes: I was out of shrimp in the shell, so I used those with their tails on. I recommend using shell on whenever possible. It makes the dish that much better!
This dish starts out somewhat hot, but builds into a slow burn as you eat. If you can't stand the heat, don't make this dish. ;P
Beverage Note: Pair with a crisp Prosecco or an ice cold Abita Purple Haze!
Turbodog BBQ Shrimp
2 lbs shrimp, shell on (tail on, at the very least)
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 oz Abita Turbodog
1 oz dry vermouth
2 Tbsp Try Me Tiger Sauce
2 - 3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 Tbsp liquid smoke
1 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsp Steen's Cane Syrup
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
juice of one lemon
1 tsp Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce
1/2 tsp Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce
a dash or two of bitters (Peychaud's or Angostura)
freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Tony Chachere's salt-free seasoning, to taste
sea salt, to taste
Preheat grill at medium heat. In a large grill-friendly pan, place all ingredients except for the shrimp. Place the pan on low heat on the stove and let butter melt. Whisk together and adjust seasonings as necessary. Remove pan from heat. Add the shrimp, stir, and sprinkle more Tony Chachere's on top. Take the pan over to the grill and cover loosely with foil.
After 3 - 4 minutes, turn the shrimp over. Cook another 3 - 4 minutes. (Don't forget to throw your bread on the grill while the shrimp finishes up!) Turn shrimp over again, then turn off heat. Let sit one to two minutes. Ladle shrimp and broth into bowls. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.