How to Make B Smith’s Classic Dish – Robb Report

To write his James Beard Award winning book The Jemima code, journalist and historian Toni Tipton-Martin has studied two centuries of African-American cookbooks to understand their impact on cooking in America. As a continuation of this story, the Julia Child Prize 2021 the recipient adapted recipes from this cookbook cache to create guides for the modern kitchen she called Jubilee. Each entry is an interesting little education on how certain dishes and traditions came to be as they passed through the African Diaspora. Like how British pastries turned into everyday little meat pies in the Caribbean and then spread to the United States. Or how Edna Lewis put her own stamp on Borgognone beef with grated onions and an onion studded with cloves. And below, she shares a shrimp recipe that will transport you to New Orleans.


You won’t find barbecue sauce at the end model / chef / restaurateur B. Smith’s dish of shrimp spicy butter sauce: “Barbecue shrimp“is just the name the Creole cooks of Louisiana gave to shrimp braised in wine, beer or a garlic butter sauce. I like to make this dish spicy, in a cast iron skillet, and served in shallow bowls with pieces of crusty French bread to soak up the sauce. It’s classic NOLA. Shaking the pan back and forth during the cooking time is a trick that helps give the sauce more body than stirring.

Louisiana Grilled Shrimps

Photo: Courtesy of Clarkson Party

For 2 to 4 people

  • 5 c. Cayenne pepper
  • 25 c. black pepper
  • 5 c. salt
  • 25 c. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 5 c. dried thyme 0.5 tsp. dried oregano
  • 25 c. paprika
  • 2 bay leaves, crushed
  • 4 tbsp. (0.5 stick) butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 25 ch. White wine
  • 5 ch. fish stock
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lb shell shrimp
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • Hot crispy French bread, for serving

In a small bowl, combine the cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, thyme, oregano, paprika and bay leaves.

In a large cast iron skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat until melted and sizzling. Add the garlic, seasoning mix, wine, fish stock, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens enough to lightly coat a spoon, about 5 to 7 minutes; shake the pan during cooking to help bring the sauce together.

Add the shrimp, reduce heat to low and cook, turning once, until the shrimp turn pink and firm, 3 to 5 minutes.

Sprinkle the shrimp with parsley and serve immediately with warm French bread


This recipe is taken from Toni Tipton-Martin’s Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cuisine, published by Clarkson Potter.


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