New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp

New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp

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Barbecue shrimp, one of the four or five best dishes in all of New Orleans cooking, is completely misnamed. They're neither grilled nor smoked, and there's no barbecue sauce. It was created in the mid-1950s at Pascal's Manale Restaurant. A regular customer came in and reported that he'd enjoyed a dish in a Chicago restaurant that he thought was made with shrimp, butter, and pepper. He asked Pascal Radosta to make it. Radosta took a flyer at it. The customer said that the taste was not the same, but he liked the new dish even better. So was born the signature dish at Manale's.

The dish is simple: huge whole shrimp in a tremendous amount of butter and black pepper. The essential ingredient is large, heads-on shrimp (since the fat in the shrimp heads makes most of the flavor). Resist the urge to add lots of herbs or garlic. I know that the amount of butter and pepper in here are fantastic. But understand that this is not a dish you will eat often — although you will want to.




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