I gotta tell you - there have been very few recipes that I have done over and over. But this is one of them.
Originally, one of the things that attracted me to the recipe itself was the name - Voodoo Shrimp... If that doesn't make your tastebuds anticipate something exciting - I don't know what would!
But then. Then it became about the overall flavor of the dish. It's dark, and smoky, and complex. It's quite beautiful actually.
Buuuuuut - there were a few things that needed changing. For myself. The original recipe is blazing, stupid hot. Like - you won't be able to taste anything or feel your tongue for a couple days hot.
And the consistency of the broth.. I wanted it to be more like a gravy instead of a broth. It might be fine with mashed potatoes, but I really wanted a thick sauce that would coat the shrimp and the rice.
So I experimented a couple of times and here's how it's going to look in my recipe book...
The line-up for this is loooooooong. Missing from this lineup is butter and flour.
Measure out all the spices and combine them in a bowl. Then stir them together.
Make sure you get raw shrimp with the shells on. Then you have to pull off the shells.
Pour half the spice mix into the bowl with the shrimp and put in the fridge until ready to cook 'em.
Then - in a medium saucepan, start heating the oil.
Then throw in the onion and the garlic. Don't worry about cutting that onion too fine.
Stir the onions and garlic around for a few minutes and then throw in the shrimp shells.
And the remaining half of the spice mixture.
Then the bay leaves.
And the peeled and quartered lemon.
Stir it all together. And add the water.
Pour in the beer. And the Worcestershire.
Simmer until the juices have been reduced, and strain out the liquid from the shells and other solids.
Then the broth is going to be reduced even more. Straight up - I use a measuring cup to make sure I can tell how much further I have to reduce.
Once the broth has been reduced according to the recipe, leave it in the measuring cup and add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of flour into the pot and cook until golden brown.
Then, gradually add in the broth and whisk to combine. Then add in the half and half.
And the brown sugar. Cook until thickened.
and the drained tomatoes. Can you see how the liquid has thickened and is coating the sides of the pot? That's what you want to see!
Stir in the shrimp and cook a few minutes until the shrimp are pink and cooked through.
Add in 1 tablespoon butter.
And fresh basil.
Then serve on rice.
For me, this was perfect. The spices warmed up your mouth, the shrimp was perfectly cooked, the sauce was the perfect gravy-like texture, but retained all the complexity of the flavors of the original dish.
I loved this dish! I served it with homemade hush puppies (and rice of course). I absolutely recommend finishing this off with some type of cool dessert. Ice cream, a lemon meringue or key lime pie would be totally perfect.
Serve it for your Mardi Gras or Halloween party and wow your guests with (what I think) is a little treat from the South.
Enjoy! - Heather