Chef Emeril Lagasse’s Easy Barbecue Shrimp Recipe
August 4, 2016

Chef Emeril Lagasse’s Easy Barbecue Shrimp Recipe

This lovely creole barbecue shrimp comes from the well-known, Emeril Lagasse of Emeril”s — catch him at Harlem EatUp! where he will be a guest chef during the Dine-In alongside Chef Marcus Samuelsson of Ginny’s Supper Club. To bring out the smoky barbecue element, try pairing the shrimp with a Merlot dominant red such as an AOC Montagne Saint-Émilion, or for something with more of a contrast to the creole seasoning, a sweet Bordeaux white such as a Sauternes.

“‘Barbecue shrimp’ originated at Pascal’s Manale Restaurant & Bar in New Orleans in the 1950s and became hugely popular. When I was getting ready to open Emeril’s, I developed my own white tablecloth version, with a kicked-up flavor base that simmered for hours. It’s still a signature dish at Emeril’s. Here I simplify my interpretation for the home cook, served with jalapeño biscuits.”


Easy Barbecue ShrimpYields: 4 First-Course Servings


  • 24 large head-on shrimp (about 2 pounds), peeled and deveined, tails left on, shells and head reserved

  • 1 tablespoon cracked black peppercorns, divided

  • 2 teaspoons Emeril’s Creole Seasoning (recipe follows) or other Creole seasoning, divided

  • 11⁄2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 3 cups water

  • 3⁄4 cup Worcestershire sauce, preferably homemade (recipe follows)

  • Juice from 2 lemons (about 1⁄4 cup)

  • 1⁄2 cup chopped onion

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce

  • 1⁄4 cup (1⁄2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

  • Jalapeño Biscuits (recipe follows), for serving



  • In a medium bowl, toss the shrimp with half of the cracked pepper, 1 teaspoon of the Creole seasoning, and the rosemary until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over high heat. Add the shrimp shells and heads and cook, stirring a few times, for 3 minutes. Add the wine, water, Worcestershire, lemon juice, onion, garlic, and hot sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and let gently bubble for 45 minutes. Strain through a coarse strainer; you should have about 1 cup of barbecue base.

  • Heat a 14-inch skillet over high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, then the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes, searing on both sides. Pour in the barbecue base, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until the shrimp are cooked through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat; whisk in the butter, one piece at a time, not adding another until the previous piece is fully incorporated into the sauce.

  • Transfer the shrimp to a serving platter or small individual plates. Spoon the sauce over the shrimp and serve immediately with the Jalapeño Biscuits.

  • Wine Paring

    This shrimp dish allows for many different wine pairing options – depending on what you prefer. If you want to bring out the smoky barbecue element of the shrimp then a Merlot-dominant red would really work – something plump with supple tannins and a touch of smoky spice. Examples include wines from Montagne-Saint-Émilion, Fronsac or the Côtes de Bordeaux.

    A wonderful contrast could be a sweet Bordeaux white wine – such as a young Sauternes or a lighter Loupiac or Saint Croix du Mont – here the sweetness adds a delicious contrast to the heat of the creole seasoning and is a also a super foil for the Jalapeño Biscuits.

    Jalapeño BiscuitsYields: 24 Mini Biscuits


    • 1 cup all-purpose flour

    • 1 teaspoon baking powder

    • 1⁄8 teaspoon baking soda

    • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt

    • 1⁄4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

    • 2 tablespoons chopped seeded jalapeño pepper

    • 1⁄4 cup buttermilk, or as needed



  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Sift the dry ingredients into a small bowl. Work the butter into the flour with a fork until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the jalapeño. Mix in the buttermilk a little at a time, adding just enough so that it comes together into a smooth ball of dough. Do not overwork the dough.

  • On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough into a 7-inch round, 1⁄2 inch thick. Using a 1-inch cookie cutter, press out 12 rounds. Reroll scraps to make additional biscuits. Transfer the rounds to the baking sheet. Bake until the tops are golden and the bottoms browned, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.


    Emeril’s Creole SeasoningThis is a close approximation to my Emeril’s Original Essence, sold in supermarkets.


    • 5 tablespoons sweet paprika

    • 1⁄4 cup salt

    • 1⁄4 cup garlic powder

    • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

    • 2 tablespoons onion powder

    • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper

    • 2 tablespoons dried oregano

    • 2 tablespoons dried thyme



  • In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients thoroughly.

  • NOTE: Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

    My Homemade WorcestershireYields: About 6 cups


    • 2 tablespoons olive oil

    • 6 cups coarsely chopped onions

    • 4 jalapeño peppers, with stems and seeds, chopped (3⁄4 cup)

    • 2 tablespoons minced garlic

    • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

    • 4 (2-ounce) cans oil-packed anchovy fillets

    • 1⁄2 teaspoon whole cloves

    • 2 tablespoons salt

    • 2 medium lemons

    • 4 cups dark corn syrup

    • 2 cups Steen’s 100% Pure Cane Syrup

    • 2 quarts distilled white vinegar

    • 4 cups water

    • 12 ounces fresh horseradish root, peeled and grated (about 3 cups)



  • Combine the oil, onions, and jalapeños in a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot over high heat. Cook, stirring, until slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic, pepper, anchovies, cloves, salt, lemons (just put them in whole), corn syrup, cane syrup, vinegar, water, and horseradish, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let gently bubble, uncovered and stirring occasionally until the mixture barely coats a wooden spoon, about 6 hours.

  • Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into an airtight container; discard the solids. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month, or you can process it as directed in Step 3 and it will keep in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. Once opened, it must be refrigerated and will keep for a month.

  • Sterilize 3 pint-size jars and their metal lids according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Spoon the hot mixture into the jars, filling to within 1⁄2 inch of the rim. With a clean, damp towel, wipe the rims and fit with a hot lid. Tightly screw on the metal ring. Place, without touching, on a rack in a large, deep canning kettle or stockpot of rapidly boiling water; the water should cover the jars by 1 inch. Boil and process for 15 minutes. Using tongs, remove the jars from the water, place on a clean, dry towel, and let cool completely before storing. Test the seals and tighten the rings as needed. If the jars have properly vacuum-sealed, the lids will be concave. (If they aren’t, store the jars in the refrigerator and use within a month.) Store in a cool, dark place for at least 2 weeks before using.

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