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Dorothy Dean: New Orleans Shrimp blends heat, smoke and tang

New Orleans Shrimp starts with a simmered marinade of butter, olive oil, sweet chili sauce, Worcestershire, liquid smoke, Sriracha, garlic, and lemon juice, along with spices. (Audrey Alfaro/FOR THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
New Orleans Shrimp starts with a simmered marinade of butter, olive oil, sweet chili sauce, Worcestershire, liquid smoke, Sriracha, garlic, and lemon juice, along with spices. (Audrey Alfaro/FOR THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
By Audrey Alfaro For The Spokesman-Review

I’m a sucker for bargains. So when I saw a few packs of Argentine jumbo shrimp on sale, plus an additional 50% off, it was a no brainer to buy them all.

When seafood, or any food, is marked down like that, it’s usually because it’s reached its sell by date and has to be either immediately frozen or eaten.

So my wheels were already turning as I placed them in my cart as to what dish I would turn them into. Then I remembered a gem of a recipe I had saved – Spicy New Orleans Shrimp.

It starts with a simmered marinade of butter, olive oil, sweet chili sauce, Worcestershire, liquid smoke, Sriracha, garlic, and lemon juice, along with spices. The mixture is cooled, then tossed with the shrimp and chilled for 30 minutes, or overnight. The marinated shrimp is then baked to succulent perfection.

I serve mine over rice, but pasta or grits would go well, too. And no matter what you serve yours with, French bread is a must. Believe me, you’ll want to savor every drop of the delicious, buttery sauce. It’s spicy, smoky, and finger-licking amazing, with a perfect balance of flavors and vibrant hint of lemon.

And the spice level isn’t overwhelming, as my father-in-law – who can’t even handle hot cinnamon candies – was gobbling them right up.

For a more rounded meal, serve it creole style by adding diced tomatoes and the holy trinity of Cajun cooking, onions, bell peppers and celery. Just add the veggies in before simmering the sauce, which I’d recommended doubling so there’s plenty to coat everything.

You can also use this marinade with chicken, fish or even wings – which are next on my list to try.

Spicy New Orleans Shrimp

Adapted from Jocooks.com

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 tablespoons butter, unsalted

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon liquid smoke

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce or Tabasco

4 garlic cloves, minced

juice from 1/2 lemon

3 tablespoons parsley, chopped and divided

salt and pepper to taste

Place shrimp in a large glass (or other non reactive) bowl or dish.

Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat and add the butter, olive oil, sweet chili sauce, Worcestershire, chili powder, liquid smoke, paprika, oregano, Sriracha, minced garlic, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of parsley. Stir, season to taste with salt and pepper, and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, until garlic is softened and sauce is slightly thickened. Remove pan from heat and let cool. Once cooled, pour sauce over shrimp and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pour sauce and shrimp on to a foil lined baking sheet, in a flat even layer, and bake for 10 to 14 minutes.

Sprinkle with remaining parsley and serve over rice or with crusty French bread.

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