I have this thing for shrimp.
It’s not because of how they look.
They’re not particularly pretty.
And let’s face it, they look kind of alien too.
Now, not that I have anything against aliens — I’m sure they could be very nice — but I’m not quite sure putting anything on one’s plate (let alone one’s stomach) that looks like it could pilot a space ship would be such a good idea.
And then there’s the whole bottom-feeder thing.
I won’t even get into that.
And yet l still have a thing for them.
They unassumingly do what they do at the bottom of the ocean while the big guns swim past above.
And though a lot of people love ’em, dig a little deeper and you’ll find they rarely get much respect.
(See: bottom-feeder thing).
They are you could say, the underdogs of the sea.
And yet there’s no denying it, they are delicious.
But we’d never see that if we just focused on the fact they have antennae.
Funny thing is, life kind of has a way of turning magical when you think about it just right.
The very thing that could look a certain way — when you look at it a certain way — changes when you look at it differently. And just like that, you see it for what else it is too.
How many times do we see ourselves and others in that way too?
Looking at the things we think are not so pretty or great and failing to see how beautiful we really are too?
Imagine all the things we’d be missing out on if we didn’t see past things that really didn’t matter.
Bubba of Forest Gump said:
Shrimp are the fruit of the sea
And as Lisa Harris said, light can shine through a broken bottle just as it does through a diamond.
And it’s not what you think. This BBQ sauce is unlike any other.
It’s got this lemon-y, vinegar-y, beer-y tang and trust me, as strange as that may sound, when married with this shrimp, you’ll wonder why you’ve never had it ’til now.
And you won’t even need to fire up a single briquette to make it.
Pretty impressive for a little guy with antennae, don’t you think?
New Orleans-Style Skillet BBQ Shrimp with Bacon
Inspired by The New Comfort Food
Makes 2 servings
3 slices nitrate-free bacon, chopped width-wise
25 extra large shrimp (about one pound), peeled, deveined and with tails left on
2 tablespoons Cajun (or Creole) seasoning
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, minced
2 teaspoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons sunflower seed oil (or any light-flavored oil)
1/2 cup beer, preferably a lager
1/2 – 1 1/2 tablespoons jalapeno pepper hot sauce, to taste
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and sliced
splash of half and half
Small sourdough boule bread, sliced, for serving
In a small skillet or saucepan over medium heat — using a wooden spoon or spatula — cook chopped bacon until crispy, stirring often. Drain on paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl — using a wooden spatula or spoon — gently fold shrimp, Cajun seasoning, minced rosemary leaves and garlic powder together until well combined and shrimp is evenly coated. Set aside.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add sunflower seed oil to skillet and then the seasoned shrimp. Cook until shrimp is just starting to turn pink, about a minute, stirring occasionally. Transfer partially cooked shrimp to a large, clean plate and set aside.
Add beer, jalapeno pepper hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice to hot skillet and stir well — scraping skillet bottom well for all those tasty bits — and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Remove skillet from heat and slowly add unsalted butter — a tablespoon at a time — to sauce, stirring well each time until all butter has been added.
Add in a splash of half and half. Stir well.
Return reserved shrimp to skillet and gently fold to coat evenly.
Return skillet to medium heat and cook shrimp for another 3 – 4 minutes or until just cooked through.
Note: Stir shrimp occasionally and be careful not to overcook (which will just make them rubbery and no one likes rubbery shrimp).
Divide shrimp and sauce among two large serving plates, sprinkle bacon bits evenly over top of each and serve immediately with lots of sourdough bread to mop up all that delectable sauce.