New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp
From Cook's Country
We started by determining the best cooking method for our version of New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp; in this case, searing the shrimp first, then sautéing the aromatics before returning the shrimp to the skillet to gently finish cooking in the rich sauce proved best. Sautéing the aromatics with some tomato paste enriched the sauce—the paste also reinforced the “barbecue" color.
To thicken the sauce, we turned to a classic New Orleans technique for thickening: starting the sauce with a roux. A bit of flour added to the sautéing aromatics created a sauce that was thick enough to coat the shrimp. Instead of a time-consuming seafood stock, we used bottled clam juice as the base for our sauce. To round out the liquid, tasters preferred mellow beer to acidic wine.
Although authentic barbecue shrimp is always made with shell-on shrimp, peeled and deveined shrimp may be used. Light- or medium-bodied beers work best here. Serve with Tabasco sauce and French bread, if desired.
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