Cajun Shrimp Recipe
I basically threw this cajun shrimp recipe together over the weekend and just had to share it. OK, so I ain't Cajun or Creole or even from the South. But I was inspired to start making more New Orleans style food after coming back from a recent trip to the area. BBQ shrimp, as they call it, is a staple there are it is hard to imagine a better way to serve shrimp.
For those of you about to email me saying "this isn't a traditional cajun shrimp recipe!", please refrain. This is my concoction that attempts to recreate the highly spiced and buttery shrimp I tasted in NOLA. Whatever you want to call it, this barbeque shrimp was absolutely delicious. My wife loved it so much we made it again two days after the first time I made it!
Important Note! Part of what makes this BBQ shrimp so amazing is all the extra spicy, buttery sauce that is left over. I personally used that to turn it into a big feast. I baked red potatoes on the grill first with this recipe. I also grilled some andouille sausage and cut it into chunks and boiled some half cobs of corn. When everything was done I mixed the sausage pieces in with the shrimp and its sauce. I also cut open the baked potatoes and poured a bunch of the spiced butter all over them. Everything (shrimp, sausage, corn, potatoes) was delicious slathered in all that buttery goodness! If that weren't enough, we also had some French baguette bread to sop up all the delicious sauce that was left! Don't let that delicious butter go to waste!
What You Need:
- 1 lb shrimp: You can really use any shrimp. I prefer shell on large shrimp but you can use anything.
- 4-8 tbsp Cajun/Creole seasoning mix: You could use any cajun mix you find in the supermarket but I make my own. I'm not gonna give an exact recipe here because I think part of the fun is coming up with a mix on your own, its a bit different every time. I used a mix of a lot of cayenne pepper, smoked paprika and chili powder along with dried thyme, dried oregano, dried basil, white pepper, black pepper, gumbo filé, and sea salt. If you don't have any of these, don't worry, use what you have. The cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, chili powder, pepper and salt are the most important but the others can be mixed and matched as you please.
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter
- 2-10 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or crushed: depending on how garlicky you like it. I used practically a whole head of garlic for this Cajun shrimp recipe!
How to Cook the BBQ Shrimp:
- Once your shrimp is cleaned to your liking and the seasoning mix is ready, start up your grill for direct heat cooking. I personally first cooked baked potatoes on the grill so that took about an hour at lower, indirect heat. After they were done I let them sit in a bowl under foil while I opened the vents and brought the grill temp back up. Place a medium to large cast iron skillet on the grill over direct heat and allow it to get nice and hot.
- Melt the butter in the skillet, cutting it up to help it melt faster.
- Once the butter is all melted and nice and hot, add in the chopped or crushed garlic. Allow it to stew in the butter for just 30 to 60 seconds, stirring.
- Add the shrimp and toss to coat with the butter. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally to cook evenly.
- Just as the shrimp start to turn opaque, shovel on that delicious spice mixture. You can adjust to taste, but I personally think the more the better! For my Cajun shrimp recipe I added something like 8 tbsps of the stuff. You'll literally end up with a thick layer of the spice mix in the bottom of the pan. Mix to evenly distributed the seasoning and continue to cook a few more minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once the shrimp are done to your liking, pull the skillet off the heat onto a trivet and taste for salt, adding more if needed. You can also adjust the spices here as well. If you think it needs more, add another tbsp or two and mix.
Thats it! Simple, eh?!
Like I said above, serve up those BBQ shrimp with other Cajun accoutrements such as bread, rice, baked or boiled potatoes, corn on the cob and andouille sausage. Although the shrimp are delicious on their own, you'll be left over with a ton of that spiced butter sauce which should not go to waste. Dip anything you can in it! Pour it over the potatoes or rice or anything else you can think of. I didn't say it was going to be healthy, but oh boy is it delicious!!!
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