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Saturday, 25 June 2011 00:28

One of our favorite recipes to prepare for friends and family is the barbecued shrimp recipe obtained by my mother (over 40 years ago) from cousins who married into the Pascal Manale’s Restaurant family—the originators


of this delicious recipe. They have been operating in New Orleans since 1913 and are located on Napoleon Avenue. The first time I recall ordering this special dish was in their main dining room one Saturday evening. As the waiter assisted with our plastic bibs, our concerns over just how sloppy an experience we could expect were quickly dismissed as the inviting aromas emanated from that great Italian kitchen.

The dish was then and still known as Barbecued Shrimp. I’m not certain as to why the wordbarbecue is used because there is no grilling or basting of barbecue sauce involved. When you’ve reviewed the Manale’s Barbecued Shrimp recipe on the website, note the large quantity of butter, garlic and black pepper suggested; but don’t you back off.

Perhaps the only ingredient preventing this from being truly Italian, would include a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese over the shrimp. This however would not do well with the sweet juices from the orange and lemon slices. I would perhaps suggest that the shrimp dish takes on a more Caribbean flavor because of the fruit. So if you cared to experiment, you might try sprinkling a generous amount of jerk seasoning into the mix or in the interest of maintaining a truly Cajun theme, add your favorite Cajun spice but reduce the amount of black pepper. These variations are indeed in the spirit of what cooking is all about.

Feel free to visit You Tube for a very brief slide presentation called Cajun Barbecued Shrimp. As you’ll quickly realize this is not a complicated recipe; and as you receive the oohs and aahs over the fantastic flavor, you might choose to refuse sharing the recipe since involves so little preparation and we just don’t want your dinner guest know how easy this was.

I’d like to add just a couple of important notes—

Don’t be shy with the quantity of black pepper used; in fact, Mama used to say that when you think you’ve added too much black pepper, add more! The garlic may be whole pods, but I prefer cutting them in half to disburse a more intense garlic flavor.

Also, find a seafood market or grocer that carries unpeeled, heads-on, fresh jumbo shrimp. After rinsing and thoroughly draining, use the entire shrimp in the dish. The heads add a wonderfully distinct flavor that you will not achieve with previously frozen headless shrimp or even worse, peeled shrimp.

As you serve each guest be certain to use a large spoon or ladle to add a generous quantity of the yummy juices to each bowl. Watch your first-time guests quickly get into the routine of sucking the shrimp, peeling, dredging through the juice, devouring and then retrieving a nice piece of hot French bread to sop up more of the juice. Now, don’t invite your next-door cardiologist or nutritionist to these shrimp events—you’re liable to send them into cholesterol shock or even worse, a heart attack! Lastly, Manales always made available damp, hot face towels to each diner following the feast. Good luck and give me some feedback—or better yet, an invitation! I’ll be sure to wash my hands and bring my own bib.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 July 2011 16:18