Thursday, 16 February 2017

Voodoo Shrimp

I gotta tell you - there have been very few recipes that I have done over and over.  But this is one of them. 
Originally, one of the things that attracted me to the recipe itself was the name - Voodoo Shrimp...  If that doesn't make your tastebuds anticipate something exciting - I don't know what would!
But then.  Then it became about the overall flavor of the dish.  It's dark, and smoky, and complex.  It's quite beautiful actually.
Buuuuuut - there were a few things that needed changing.  For myself.  The original recipe is blazing, stupid hot.  Like - you won't be able to taste anything or feel your tongue for a couple days hot.
And the consistency of the broth..  I wanted it to be more like a gravy instead of a broth.  It might be fine with mashed potatoes, but I really wanted a thick sauce that would coat the shrimp and the rice.
So I experimented a couple of times and here's how it's going to look in my recipe book...
The line-up for this is loooooooong.  Missing from this lineup is butter and flour.

Measure out all the spices and combine them in a bowl.  Then stir them together.

Make sure you get raw shrimp with the shells on.  Then you have to pull off the shells.

Pour half the spice mix into the bowl with the shrimp and put in the fridge until ready to cook 'em.

Then - in a medium saucepan, start heating the oil.

Then throw in the onion and the garlic.  Don't worry about cutting that onion too fine.

Stir the onions and garlic around for a few minutes and then throw in the shrimp shells.

And the remaining half of the spice mixture.

Then the bay leaves.

And the peeled and quartered lemon.

Stir it all together. And add the water.

Pour in the beer.  And the Worcestershire.

And simmer.

Simmer until the juices have been reduced, and strain out the liquid from the shells and other solids.

Then the broth is going to be reduced even more.  Straight up - I use a measuring cup to make sure I can tell how much further I have to reduce.
Once the broth has been reduced according to the recipe, leave it in the measuring cup and add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of flour into the pot and cook until golden brown.

Then, gradually add in the broth and whisk to combine.  Then add in the half and half.

And the brown sugar.  Cook until thickened.

and the drained tomatoes.  Can you see how the liquid has thickened and is coating the sides of the pot?  That's what you want to see!

Stir in the shrimp and cook a few minutes until the shrimp are pink and cooked through.

Add in 1 tablespoon butter.

And fresh basil.

Then serve on rice.

For me, this was perfect.  The spices warmed up your mouth, the shrimp was perfectly cooked, the sauce was the perfect gravy-like texture, but retained all the complexity of the flavors of the original dish.
I loved this dish!  I served it with homemade hush puppies (and rice of course).  I absolutely recommend finishing this off with some type of cool dessert.  Ice cream, a lemon meringue or key lime pie would be totally perfect.
Serve it for your Mardi Gras or Halloween party and wow your guests with (what I think) is a little treat from the South.
Enjoy! - Heather

Voodoo Shrimp
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 pounds large shrimp, raw, shelled and divined - shells reserved
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3 bay leaves
1 lemon, peeled and quartered
1 cup water
12 ounces black lager (I used Guinness)
1/3 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup half and half
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes, well drained (should be about 3/4 cup)
1 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  1. In a small bowl, combine the paprika, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, and thyme.  Stir to ensure the spices are well-combined.
  2. Stir half the spice mix into the peeled shrimp, ensuring the shrimp are well coated, and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over high heat.  Add the onions and the garlic.  Cook until fragrant, about one minute.  Add the shrimp shells, the rest of the spice mixture, the bay leaves, the lemon, water, Worcestershire sauce, and the beer.  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes to reduce.  Strain the liquid from the shells and other solids.  The liquid should be reduced to about 1 1/2 - 2 cups.
  4. In the pot, melt one tablespoon butter over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon flour.  Cook until golden.  Slowly stir in the reduced liquid.  Stir in the half and half, then the brown sugar.  Bring to a boil and cook until thickened, stirring constantly. 
  5. When the sauce coats the sides of the pot, stir in the shrimp and the tomatoes. Cook until the shrimp are pink and just cooked through - about 4 - 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the butter until melted.  Stir in the basil.
  7. Serve over rice.
Source:  Home Sweet Jones

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