Cajun Barbecue Shrimp

Use either heads-on or tails-on Gulf shrimp for this recipe.

I love sharing recipes and stories like this one. Barbecue shrimp is one of my absolute favorite summer dishes, taking me back to hot summer days and nights in South Louisiana. The best part about this recipe is that there’s no grill to prepare, smoker to stoke nor secret barbecue sauce involved.
The history of this dish goes back to the mid-1950s at Pascal’s Manale, a New Orleans restaurant. The dish was created somewhat by accident when a regular customer asked chef Pascal Radosta to duplicate a dish he couldn’t stop thinking about since returning from a trip to Chicago. The customer could only recall it was made with shrimp, butter and pepper. Pascal created something that wasn’t quite the same but was, in fact, even better!

The beauty of this dish is that it’s fast and simple. It involves cooking huge, whole shrimp at high heat in a rich bath of butter and black pepper. The essential ingredient is large, heads-on shrimp, with the fat in the

After shrimp turn pink, coat with a layer of pepper.

heads providing most of the flavor. If you can’t find heads-on shrimp in Utah, don’t fret—tails-on shrimp work just fine.

Due to the richness of this dish, you won’t eat it often—though you’ll probably want to! Don’t forget the French bread to soak up the extra sauce. It makes for a perfect summer supper with the rest of that bottle of wine and a big green salad.


• Rinse the shrimp and drain. Place them in a large skillet over medium heat. Add wine, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and bring to a light boil. Cook, shaking the skillet, until the shrimp just turn pink.

• Sprinkle black pepper over the shrimp. Be bold, and know it’s impossible to use too much pepper at this stage! Continue cooking for 2 minutes, sprinkling in paprika and hot sauce.

• Lower the heat to simmer. Add 3 tablespoons of butter at a time to the skillet, swirling the butter over the heat as it melts. When the butter melts, keep adding 3 pieces, continuing until all the butter is used. Keep gently

Add butter a tablespoon at a time.

swirling shrimp in the skillet until the sauce turns orange.

• When all the butter is incorporated, sprinkle chives on top, give one last stir and place the shrimp and lots of the sauce in bowls. Serve with hot French bread for sopping up the sauce.

• Remember to provide plenty of napkins and perhaps bibs. It’s messy! Serves 4-6.





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