Flamin' Cajun Shrimp

By • March 23, 2011 • 96 Comments

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Author Notes: Actually, I think the spicing of these shrimp is a little more Creole, but that doesn't make a slant rhyme with flamin' now does it? Anyways, this is actually a recipe from a college boyfriend of mine. I think I've said it before (I have a terrible habit of repeating myself), but I'll say it again, there is no relationship that doesn't wind up leaving you with something worthwhile, and this dish is certainly one of those things. It's one of my very favorite dinners - super fast, super easy, and super delicious. I've tweaked it over the years, and now I finally decided it was time to let it go up in flames, but only literally. The addition of cognac and the lick of the flame over the shrimp adds a whole new dimension of wonderful flavors to those already in the dish. Make sure to have lots of good French bread on hand because you really don't want to let any of the sauce go un-sopped up. This dish is fabulously messy, as you have to peel the shells off of the sauce slicked shrimp as you go. And then you get to lick your fingers, yum. If you need to, you can use peeled shrimp, but I really recommend shell on shrimp because the shrimp meat cooks to a nicer texture and has more delicate flavoring, while the sauce also winds up with better flavor. - fiveandspicefiveandspice

Food52 Review: Tender and garlicky, fiveandspice's shrimp skew more towards gumbo than other boozy shrimp dishes like scampi or shrimp with beurre blanc. There's a subtle background tingle of cayenne, and fiveandspice capitalizes on both the fragrance of lemon zest and the gentle astringency of its juice. Worcestershire sauce and paprika give the sauce an earthy quality, while the Cognac envelops the shrimp like a warm, sweet blanket. We love any recipe that embraces the ritual of peel-and-eat, and like fiveandspice, we suggest serving this with plenty of crusty bread to sop up the sauce. - A&MThe Editors

Serves 2-4

  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • zest from one half lemon
  • 25-30 large shrimp, shell on (though, I have discovered by necessity that it also does work with peeled shrimp, if you must)
  • 5 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon shallot, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup cognac (or brandy)
  1. In a bowl, combine the shrimp with the spices and the lemon zest. Toss the shrimp to coat it well.
  2. In a large frying pan, heat 2 Tbs. of butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Stir in the garlic, shallot, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Saute for about 2-3 minutes, until the garlic and shallot have softened. Then, add the shrimp and saute until they just turn pink, about 3 minutes.
  3. Carefully tilt the pan away from you, pour in the cognac with a ladle and use a long match or one of those lighters with a long handle to light the cognac. Let it blaze itself out -- this should only take 15 or so seconds. I once had a friend add way too much cognac to a flambe and the fire just kept going and going ... if this happens, please just blow it out!
  4. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the remaining butter until melted. Serve with lots of crusty French bread, a big green salad (and heck, why not eat that with your fingers too?!) and some cold beer.
Jump to Comments (96)

Tags: creole, Easy, fast, finger food, shrimp

Comments (96) Questions (1)

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9 months ago Sylvia9000

Oops. That's my family's favourite way to eat it. Here's a note, if you don't have prawns, it works with scallops too. Rum works equally well but it seems to flambé MUCH more dramatically.

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9 months ago Sylvia9000

I love this dish. Absolutely.
It goes well with pasta and Carrots Cooked Forever really well. That's my fam'

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about 2 years ago phyllis

I just found and cooked this and it was delicious. I only had peeled raw shrimp and we were only two, but with a little smile arithmetic, it worked perfectly. Will definitely cook this again. Thank you.

Sausage2

about 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Excellent! Happy to hear it!

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over 2 years ago frog

This is definitely more Creole, not Cadien. Add beer and rosemary and you have New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp.

Sausage2

over 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Yum.

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over 2 years ago Elizabeth George

Oh my Lord! Just made this and it was awesome. I used peeled shrimp and no butter but it was so awesome! With butter it will be TO. DIE. FOR.

Thanks for sharing!

Sausage2

over 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

That's great! Really glad you liked it so much!

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over 2 years ago biocarolyn

Made this about four times in the past three weeks! It has definitely entered our rotation, delicious and I'm not really a shrimp person. Really great recipe, thank you!

Sausage2

over 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

That's so fantastic!!! I'm absolutely thrilled!

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over 2 years ago nesticlose

Made this last night. It was absolutely Yummy; will definitely make again. We did add a little beer to the sauce so there would be more to sop. I didn't get the too much sodium comments at all.

Sausage2

over 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Glad you liked it! And, I love the idea of adding a little beer to the sauce. Yum! Also, I think the sodium comments were just from the perspective of someone who is sodium sensitive and therefore has to really severely restrict their intake. For someone with that kind of diet Worcestershire sauce, and even shrimp, can be too high sodium. But, for people with a normal sodium tolerance, it should be no problem.

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almost 3 years ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Happy Mardi Gras fiveandspice. Just made these for our expat LA dinner (here in DC). Delicious!!!

Sausage2

almost 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Happy (belated) Mardi Gras to you! I hope you all had a completely wonderful party! And, I'm so happy you enjoyed the shrimp!

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almost 3 years ago HungryForMore

Just made this over the weekend! It was totally awesome and I am immediately putting it into my regular rotation!

Sausage2

almost 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

That's wonderful! Thanks so much for letting me know!

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over 3 years ago silverspringcat

This looks spectacular but too high in sodium for me BUT I will make it for friends and watch them jealously enjoying it - love your recipes

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thank you! I'm sorry you won't be able to eat it. But, between the salt and the Worcestershire, I can definitely seeing it be pretty high in sodium. I hope your friends like it. And I hope you prepare something absolutely Fabulous for yourself as well!

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over 3 years ago silverspringcat

This looks so delicious and I will have to make it for my friends - for me though it has got to be very high in sodium so I will enjoy them enjoying it

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over 3 years ago bricksoj

Made this over the weekend for a dinner party - amazing. The best part was sopping up the sauce with warm french bread. Will definitely add into heavy rotation in my kitchen!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Yay! I'm so happy you liked it! And, I'm so with you on sauce sopping as being the best part.

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over 3 years ago chef lew

Congratulations. This is a fine and fast dish. Shells on always makes for more flavor. I served this with mashed potatoes instead of rice, the sauce substituting for gravy. Pascale Manale's got nothing on these shrimp. Great work..

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thank you! I'm so happy to hear you liked it! And, I bet mashed potatoes were quite delicious with the sauce.

Lorigoldsby

over 3 years ago lorigoldsby

Congrats! We make a very similar dish but with dark beer--but like a fool, I've been peeling the shrimps for everyone! Thanks for the "peel and eat" idea.

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over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Mmm, bet a beer version would be very tasty! And, definitely go for the peel and eat - it's fun for everyone!

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over 3 years ago debbinick

Just made it with my kids (age 4 & 5) without the alcohol and they were practically licking their plates!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

I'm so happy they enjoyed it! Thanks for letting me know.

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over 3 years ago Waverly

Congratulations! I make a version of this often (in the oven and without the brandy and flame) and know how outstanding it is. Lemon, butter, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and shrimp...there is no better combination of food!

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over 3 years ago Waverly

Add some brandy....I must try this soon.

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks Waverly! And it's true, pretty much the only thing that can make shrimp, lemon, garlic, butter and Woozy-sauce better would be brandy! That's why I gave it a try! :)

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over 3 years ago kmartinelli

Congrats! I love the simplicity of this recipe and amazing flavors. Can't wait to try!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks kmartinelli! You're so kind!

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over 3 years ago cheese1227

Fabulous dish. Congrats on the win! Perhaps I will make this for the main and your salted caramel pudding for dessert.

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Mmmm, that sounds like pretty much a perfect meal! I may copy you! :)

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over 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Major congrats!! This looks killer!! So happy you won!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks ChezSuzanne! That means a lot to me!

Zester_003

over 3 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

Brava chica!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Mil gracias, senor!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Oh my goodness!!!! I'm SO excited!!! Thank you all so, so much for your support and your kind words! I'm all in a tizzy!

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over 3 years ago lapadia

Congratulations on your winning recipe!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thank you so much lapadia!

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over 3 years ago Midge

Hurrah fiveandspice!!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks Midge, and a huge congratulations to you too!!

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over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

Can't wait to try this fiveandspice - congrats!!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thank you healthierkitchen!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Great congratulations to you!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks boulangere! I'm really looking forward to trying your recipe soon as well.

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Hooray fiveandspice!! Congrats!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thank you so much mrsl! I'm just thrilled to pieces.

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Yipee!! Congrats Emily! So thrilled for you, congrats on a well-deserved win!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks Jenny! And thank you for your kind words.

Cakes

over 3 years ago Bevi

Yay! Congrats on the win!!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thank you Bevi!!

Stringio

over 3 years ago JacquieMDFR

Made this last night. The flavors were outstanding. I used a semi wok and mostly peeled (tails on) shrimp with moderate results. I think the pan's shape caused some of the shrimp to slightly overcook. Lots of juice, thought that a little side of rice might help but we did eat 2 baguettes. (Whoa!!!)

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over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Hi Jacquie! I'm glad you enjoyed the flavors, and I hope you get a chance to cook it sometime with full shell-on shrimp - this stops the shrimp from getting overcooked and soaks up more of the sauce. I love the idea of serving the shrimp with some rice on the side as an option too. Thanks so much for the feedback!

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over 3 years ago Lise Lunge-Larsen

I made this and it turned out amazingly. So easy and finger-licking good! It's going into my repertoire.

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thank you! I'm so happy you liked it.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh this is too beautiful! And I also love the peel and eat of it. Congratulations!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thank you. You're so sweet!

Ashtaco

over 3 years ago wanderash

YUM! Congrats!!!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thank you wanderash!!!

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over 3 years ago ALittleZaftig

Congratulations! As soon as we can eat outdoors, this is what's next for dinner.

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thank you. It definitely makes for fabulous outdoor eating. I'm dreaming of the day when we can go sit out on our porch to eat too!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Oh my gosh! I just got out of a super long intense meeting, and this is literally the very, very best surprise I could possibly come back too! I'm jumping up and down in my office! (my office mates are kind of looking at me funny.)

Hib_kitchen

over 3 years ago MyCommunalTable

Congrats! Sounds great!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thank you MCT! It's truly one of my all time favorite meals.

Dscn2212

over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I'm so honored to be a finalist with you!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks boulangere, and same to you. Your recipes are always wonderful!

Gator_cake

over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Congrats! This sounds amazing, and I love the peel-and-eat aspect, too.

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks hla! Aren't dishes that you can really get your hands into the best?!

Cakes

over 3 years ago Bevi

Yay fiveandspice!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thank you Bevi!

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over 3 years ago Midge

Yay fiveandspice! This looks awesome.

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thank you Midge!! Maybe I should go celebrate with some Toscanini's ice cream :). Also, I can't wait for rhubarb preserving!

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over 3 years ago Midge

It's definitely in order! Can't believe I walked past Toscanini's yesterday without stopping in (but then I was on my way to Craigie where I had the most amazing buttermilk ice cream..). Very excited for rhubarb preserving too!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Ah, well there's nothing like a trip to Craigie to steel one's willpower beforehand!

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Yay fiveandspice! Congrats on a great recipe!!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thank you so very much mrslarkin! I'm completely thrilled.

Lorigoldsby

over 3 years ago lorigoldsby

Congrats! Boyfriends come and go, but good recipes...those are keepers! thanks for sharing!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

You said it, sister! :)

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Congrats fiveandspice! Thrilled this is a finalist.

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks gingerroot! We're making your flaming pork chops tomorrow for dinner!

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Hooray! Hope you enjoy them...let me know what you think.

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Will do!

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over 3 years ago TiggyBee

Congrats fiveandspice!!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks TiggyBee! By the way, made a version of your "sensory overload bread" this weekend. Amazing - it only lasted 2 days, and there are only 2 of us!

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over 3 years ago TiggyBee

Thanks so much for trying my bread, it looked fantastic. That's the trouble with it, it doesn't last long enough does it? I'm so excited to try this, we're making it Saturday night and I can't wait!!! Huge congrats again!!! : )

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Please do let me know what you think after you make it!

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over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

This sounds great - congrats!!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thank you hk!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

How did I miss this? Congratulations on being a finalist!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thank you so much drbabs! But I bow to you as a true expert on this style of cooking!

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Not really! This is a great recipe and congratulations on your win!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Well, I'm going to insist on calling you an expert anyway :). And, thanks!

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

YUM! This sounds delicious!

Sausage2

over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Thanks! It's one of my faves!