Georga's Barbecue Shrimp/ Barbara's Barbecue Shrimp

April 18, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

There's a restaurant in New Orleans called Pascal Manale's that is famous for their "Barbecue Shrimp," which isn't barbecued at all; it's shrimp poached in butter with tons of seasonings. I remember (and my mother confirmed this today) going there for lunch on Yom Kippur after morning services. (For those of you who are not Jewish, Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year, is a fasting day. We won't even discuss the shrimp.) My father LOVES Barbecue Shrimp, so my mother invented a recipe for it. It calls for whole shrimp (including the heads--my father likes to suck the heads) served in bowls with lots of bread for dunking. After my mother told me the recipe, I told her my (much lighter but equally delicious) version, and she said that peeling the shrimp is half the fun, and anyone who doesn't want to peel hot buttery shrimp is "chicken." Also hilarious to me: the recipe calls for a POUND of butter and 2 POUNDS of margarine (because she is under the impression that margarine is HEALTHIER than butter!!) and NO salt (because, you know, my father is a heart patient and salt just isn't good for him). My mother and I have a great relationship, and the conversation I had with her about this had us both laughing hysterically--especially when my father was calling out tips from the next room: "Use lots of black pepper!" and "Don't overcook the shrimp!" —drbabs

What You'll Need
  • Georga's Barbecue Shrimp
  • 1 pound butter
  • 2 pounds margarine (but seriously, if you decide to make this--and it is really good--I recommend that you use a combination of butter and olive oil and skip the margarine)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 capful Zatarain's liquid crab boil
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and left whole
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • generous sprinkling of kosher salt (It will improve the dish, I promise.)
  • lots of fresh ground black pepper (You should be able to see it.)
  • 2 pounds medium-large shrimp, shells and heads (if available) left on (Use Gulf of Mexico shrimp if you can find it.)
  • 2 loaves French bread for dunking (New Orleans French bread has a crisp crust and a light airy crumb. If you can't get this, use Italian bread and warm it to crisp the crust.)
  • Barbara's Barbecue Shrimp
  • 2 pounds medium-large shrimp, peeled and deveined (Use Gulf of Mexico shrimp if you can find it.)
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil (you may need a little more to cover the shrimp)
  • juice and zest of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 stick butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  1. Georga's Barbecue Shrimp
  2. Put the butter, margarine, olive oil, crab boil, garlic, lemon, salt and pepper into a large roasting pan and bake at 300 degrees until the garlic is soft. (It may become lightly golden but don't let it burn.) This could take an hour or more. If you're not planning to serve the shrimp till later, you can make the sauce ahead and put it in the refrigerator and put it back into the oven to warm about 15 minutes before you start cooking the shrimp.
  3. About 45 minutes before you plan to serve the shrimp, place it in the roasting pan with the sauce. The shrimp should be completely submerged in the sauce. Add more butter or olive oil if it isn't. Oven-poach at 300 until the shrimp turn pink (approximately 30-45 minutes). Remove the shrimp from the oven. (Don't overcook the shrimp!!)
  4. Serve the shrimp in bowls with lots of french bread for dunking and lots of napkins.
  1. Barbara's Barbecue Shrimp
  2. Mix the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, cayenne, thyme, marjoram and garlic in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and toss gently until the shrimp is completely covered with sauce. (The seasoning here is very forgiving. If you like lemon, add more. If you like things hot, increase the cayenne and black pepper.)
  3. Lay the shrimp in a roasting pan in a single layer. Pour remaining sauce over the shrimp, and place the bay leaves into the sauce (make sure they're covered). The shrimp should be almost submerged in sauce--you may need to add a little more olive oil if it isn't.
  4. Scatter small pieces of butter over the shrimp. Bake at 325 until shrimp are pink and just barely cooked through (about 20 minutes). (They will continue to cook when you take them out of the oven and, as my father said, You don't want to overcook the shrimp!)
  5. Remove the bay leaves, taste and adjust seasoning, sprinkle with parsley, and serve over rice or in a bowl with French (or Italian) bread for dunking.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • aargersi
  • drbabs

4 Reviews

TheWimpyVegetarian April 19, 2010
What a great story - I'm still sitting here smiling from it! I've spent a lot of time in New Orleans over the years and with the wonderful food there. Shrimp cooked like this is one of my favorites. I'll have to try this - it looks great and sounds like a great presentation at a table!
drbabs April 19, 2010
Thanks--I had the best time on the phone with my mother yesterday. This was really a great gift. Enjoy the shrimp!
aargersi April 19, 2010
This is great - the recipes are awesome and I love that you included both versions ... but more, the story is just wonderful .... I think a lot of good calls with our moms happened over the weekend!!!
drbabs April 19, 2010
Thanks--I'm making mine tonight and will photograph it--but my camera has been on the blink all weekend. Yes, I think this contest was really inspired--so many great stories and it's only Monday!