Sunday, March 2, 2014

Louisiana Roasted Barbecue Shrimp

In New Orleans, this dish is simply known as barbecued shrimp despite its method of cooking, which doesn’t get anywhere near hot coals or even an electric grill. I’ve added “Roasted” so you know that the oven is where the action takes place. 

I came to barbecued shrimp late in life. It wasn’t something either of my Cajun grandmothers made, at least, I don’t recall ever eating it at their houses. Fresh gulf shrimp in their hands became an étouffée or were boiled whole in spicy seasoned water along with baby new potatoes and corn on the cob. Even my mother, born and raised in New Iberia, Louisiana, is more likely to bread and deep-fry shrimp or, if company is coming, cook them in a cheesy rich Newburg sauce. Now we are going back a few years but it was my cousin, Misty, who first introduced us, me and the barbecued shrimp. It was love at first bite.

We were visiting Misty one summer at her lovely home in New Orleans and she baked the shrimp with a full cup of butter and a package of wonderful seasonings from the folks at Bolner’s Spices. You know I had to go buy a packet or two right after that. But, living as we do overseas, remembering to buy enough spice packets to keep us going from year to year often just didn't happen. It was time to figure out how to do it on my own, from ingredients I could get. This week’s Sunday Supper theme of Fat Sunday - sharing decadent or Mardi Gras inspired recipes – was just the motivation I needed. I am calling this homemade version of roasted barbecue shrimp a great success based on my husband’s comment after the meal, “We could have this again, and often.” Why, yes. Yes, we could!

Ingredients (to feed two greedy people on shrimp and bread or four normal people, if you include side dishes like potatoes and salad)
1 lb 10 oz or 750g fresh shrimp or prawns (without heads, shells still on)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
4 cloves garlic
Olive oil
1 lemon
1 small purple onion
1/2 cup or 115g unsalted butter
1/4 cup or 60ml Worcestershire sauce
To serve: Chopped green onions for garnish and French bread for sopping up the sauce. Sides of boiled baby new potatoes and salad – optional

Use a mortar and pestle to grind together into a thick paste the paprika, black pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, the leaves off of your sprigs of rosemary and thyme and the cloves of garlic.

Add in a couple of glugs (perhaps two tablespoons) of olive oil and stir until loosened.

Spoon the spice paste into a medium-sized bowl with your shrimp. Using a microplane or a fine grater, zest the yellow peel off of your lemon.

Give everything a thorough stir to make sure that the spices and zest are well mixed with the shrimp. Set aside.

Finely mince your purple onion. Put the minced onion and the butter into a large ovenproof pan on the stovetop. Gently melt the butter and sauté the onions over a medium heat.

When the onions are translucent, turn the fire off and remove the pan from the stove. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and allow the mixture to cool.

When the pan is cool enough not to cook your seasoned shrimp on contact, pour them in and mix thoroughly. Set aside to marinate further.

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.  When the oven is hot, give the shrimp another good stir and pop them into the oven, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until they have turned pink and are cooked through. Squeeze on some of the lemon juice from your zested lemon.

Sprinkle with a little chopped green onion, if desired. Serve barbecued shrimp with sliced French bread to dip in the pan juices because, honestly, that’s the best part! This is a meal you will eat with your hands. It's gonna get messy but it's gonna be good!


Whether you celebrate Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, the final day of indulgence before the start of Lent, or just love decadent dishes, desserts and cocktails, you are going to love our round up today, hosted by the talented Leslie of La Cocina de Leslie. I know I want to try everything on the list!

Cocktails & Other Beverages:
Main Dishes:
Side Dishes:


  1. What a perfect pot of spicy deliciousness, Stacy! I'd love this for my dinner!!!

  2. We are big shrimp fans! Looking forward to trying this one soon!

  3. Stacy! I LOVE this Louisiana Roasted Barbecue Shrimp!!! my fave part is to dip the bread into the sauce. . ah this is one of my faves. . love it! looks so good!

  4. I love shrimp! But have never had it this way, and I totally need to change that!

  5. This recipe is just fabulous! Absolutely gorgeous photography too!

  6. What an amazing looking recipe. I have shrimp in the freezer and this one is going on the menu for sure!!

  7. Wow, this looks incredible! I love all the seasonings and flavors you have in the recipe! It looks just wonderful!

  8. *I Die* (and I'm taking these with me wherever I go...)!

  9. Oh my goodess this is absolutely incredible. I didn't use all the prawns I bought on my recipe so I think I have to try this recipe this week.

  10. I had the BBQ shrimp at Emeril's restaurant when I was in New Orleans and it was delicious. Great all the flavors you used, pinned!

  11. Your picture is fantastic! I love the crusty bread and the beads! Perfect for Mardi Gras!

  12. Stacy, this shrimp recipe looks so flavorful. I want to reach into that pot and spoon out a bowl. Yum! Pinned.

  13. Thank you Misty for introducing Stacy to bbq shrimp!

    I LOVE what you made for this Mardi Gras party!!

  14. Wow this picture simply has me want to jump through the screen. Please pass me a bowl of that shrimp.

  15. Um, these look nothing short of amazing! And I LOVE that they're roasted in the oven. Oven roasted makes anything taste out of this world, right?

  16. Absolutely beautiful! This makes me want to break out the Dutch oven I have had for almost 4 years and still have not used...

  17. My favorite meals begin with Shrimp. I am so in love withe this gorgeous dish!

  18. I love that this has authentic Louisiana roots and really isn't barbeque. I love a hearty spice mix and roasting brings out all the flavors -- yes!

  19. Oh my, this looks luscious! Definitely making this!

  20. I like to serve BBQ shrimp Po Boy style! Yum!

  21. I could dive right into that big ol' pot of goodness! Just spectacularly deliciousness - that's all I can say about it!

  22. Dude, this looks amazing. Me and my stupid seafood allergies. Gr, I wish I could try this.


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