Ralph Brennan's Barbecue Shrimp

Main Course

Recipe courtesy of Ralph Brennan's New Orleans Seafood Cookbook

Serves 2

  • 12 raw colossal shrimp,* unpeeled, with heads and tails left on
  • 2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons coarsely ground pepper**
  • 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning Ralph Brennan's Creole seasoning mix
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons water, divided
  • 1 lemon half, seeded
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • warm crusty French bread for serving

*If colossal shrimp are not available, use the largest you can find.

**Use a blender or peppermill to coarse-grind the peppercorns. The grind is important to the taste of the finished dish.

Ralph Brennan's Barbecue Shrimp

 Ralph Brennan's BBQ Shrimp

  Click to enlarge image


 Place the unpeeled shrimp, worchestershire, coarsely ground pepper, Creole seasoning, garlic, and 1 tablespoon water in a heavy 10-inch, stainless-steel sauté pan. Squeeze the juice from the lemon half over the shrimp and add the rind and pulp to the pan.

Over high heat, cook the shrimp while gently stirring and occasionally turning the shrimp.

After about two minutes of cooking, the shrimp should start turning pink on both sides, indicating they are nearly half cooked.

If the shrimp are the colossal size, now add 2 tablespoons water to the pan. Otherwise, don't add water.

Reduce the heat to medium-high and continue cooking as you gradually add the cold pieces of butter to the pan. While turning the shrimp occasionally, swirl the butter pieces until they are incorporated into the pan juices, the sauce turns light brown and creamy as it simmers, and the shrimp are just cooked throught. This will take about two minutes total if the shrimp are extra-large, and about three minutes total if they're colossal. Do not overcook the shrimp.

Serving Suggestion: Pour the shrimp and sauce into a heated pasta bowl with the lemon half turned cut-side down in the center. Serve the shrimp and sauce immediately, alongside slices of warm, crusty French bread for sopping up the sauce. Make sure there are plenty of napkins on the table.

Note: this dish is prepared only two servings at a time because increasing the number of shrimp beyond 12 would require increasing the dish's amount of sauce. Reducing the larger amount of sauce would require more cooking time, resulting in over-cooked shrimp.



Louisiana Recipes Weekly


Every Thursday you'll receive new recipes, events & festivals and more. See archive