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Barbecued shrimp

June 15, 2007

The first shrimp (and last) I ever ate in the shell was in New Orleans at a hole in the wall restaurant. I elicited the recipe, more or less, and made my own variation. It is never the same twice, except that it is always messy to eat, best served with plenty of kitchen towels and bibs, as well as some crusty bread for dipping. Shrimp may be marinated in the mixture, but should be removed to reheat the sauce before baking with the shrimp.

The recipe may be used for peeled shrimp, with a sacrifice in texture of the shrimp.

1 pound butter
1/3 cup olive or peanut oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
3 tablespoons rosemary leaves, preferably fresh
1 tablespoon roughly chopped basil, preferably fresh
1 tablespoon roughly chopped thyme and/or oregano, preferably fresh
1/2 -1 small hot pepper, seeded and chopped, or
1-2 tablespoons ground cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2-3 pounds raw large shrimp in their shells, with head if desired
salt to taste

1 crusty loaf of French or Italian bread

Melt the butter and oil in a oven to table pan. Add the garlic, shallots, rosemary, basil, thyme, oregano, peppers, bay leaves, paprika and lemon juice. Bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring as needed. Remove from the heat and let the flavors marry at least 30 minutes, or refrigerate covered overnight.

When ready to serve, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Reheat the sauce, add the shrimp to the hot sauce and bake 20 to thirty minutes more. Taste for seasoning, adding salt if necessary.

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