A few Sundays ago, when we were waiting for our flight back to New York from Chicago, Michael and I were wandering through the United Express terminal at O’Hare and saw that there was a flight to New Orleans was on the board, and while it was full…we saw two seats were open. For all of two minutes we toyed with the fantasy of getting a flight there instead of back home, but alas–practicality won the day. (Also helping: those two seats were gone by the time we came back from getting a bite to eat.)
So while there are no immediate plans to take in the NOLA food and music in person, at least we have this season of Top Chef to live vicariously and recipes from Saveur to transport us there…if only for a meal.
Pure luck led me to picking up the New Orleans issue mere weeks before we flew down there; we were going to check out a butcher up in Westport but couldn’t find what we needed there, so we ended up going to the Whole Foods up the road. Grabbing it on impulse as we were checking out was the smartest thing I’ve done in a long time, because not only was it a really helpful guide during our time in The Big Easy, but it’s also filled with recipes to make at home whenever we’re feeling a craving for good NOLA food. Now that Top Chef is back and very much set in New Orleans this season, I’ve been yearning for some classic fare. So I decided to whip up a batch of barbecue shrimp as done by Mr. B’s. We enjoyed our barbecue shrimp at a tiny little wine bar in the Quarter, but I think our next trip might necessitate a trip to Mr. B’s if only to compare how they really do it to my totally modified Yank version.
And when I say modified Yank version, I mean that I cut the amount of butter used to finish the sauce by a third and Michael still ended up with a bit of a stomach-ache.
Stomach issues and butter excess aside, you need to try this recipe–and if you’re feeling particularly daring, use all 12 tablespoons required to finish the sauce because why not? Its intense spiciness will warm you instantly, and given that you’re able to find some fabulous shrimp at the market, this is something you can enjoy all year long. (There should be one barbecue recipe we can easily make at home year-round, if you ask me.) The recipe can be found here, as I dare not try to rewrite an institution’s recipe.
At least not the first time around.