My grandfather used to make barbeque shrimp with nothing but a stick of butter, lemon, and black pepper. It was good, but pungent, and I’d reach my heat threshold pretty quickly. Over the years I’ve had many a different rendition of this classic Gulf Coast dish, but since my spice palate has expanded I’ve found that sumac and cumin are sooooo good with briny shrimp and bright lemons. This is great to serve at a party or as a appetizer. Eat with your hands and sop up the succulent sauce with toasted baguette —Nicole Aandahl
Peel and devein shrimp, leaving the tails intact and reserving the shells.
In a medium saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp shells and saute until pink, about 1 minute. Add the onion and celery and saute until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir to coat the shells and the vegetables, then pour in the water. Tuck in the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook uncovered while you clear your work space and start the rest of the dish – about 20 minutes. Keep a strainer nearby.
In a small, heavy bottom saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of the butter and heat over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots and saute until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the Worcestershire, wine, and sprig of rosemary. Bring to a boil and boil until the liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. While this is cooking, strain the shrimp stock into a bowl, then pour it into the saucepan. Stir once, then boil until reduced to about 1 cup of liquid. Turn off the heat and discard the sprig of rosemary and bay leaf.
Heat the remaining teaspoon of olive oil in a large, deep skillet over high heat. Add the shrimp and sear until pink all over. Add all of the spice mix and toss with the shrimp. Pour in the sauce and bring to a boil. Then add the remaining butter and stir into the shrimp. Lower to a simmer until you have a nice sauce.
To finish, stir in the lemon juice. You can serve right out of the skillet pan. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and cilantro, and with some toasted baguette.