I remember asking my friend Jack Frye (a N. O. native who I was working with on a computer contract in N. O.) where I might get some famous N. O. Barbecued Shrimp. He brought me to Chez Helene's.
After I ordered, Chef Austin's wife (who was waiting our table) came out, and (without asking) put a large plastic bib on me. I asked "What's this for?". She replied "Oh, trust me, Honey. You're gonna need it!"
She then proceeded to bring out a plate with a baguette, one large empty bowl (for the shells) and one large bowl full of these shrimp. I gingerly picked one up (They were HOT!), peeled it, and popped it into my mouth. The second one - I didn't CARE if it was hot. I HAD to get it into my mouth. As well as the third, and the fourth , and so on and so on. I then sopped up all the juice with pieces of the baguette.
Only then did I look down at the front of my bib. Mrs. Leslie was right, I DID need it. It saved my suit jacket!
One of (if not THE) best meal I've ever eaten. I since made it a point to go to Chef Leslies's restaurant every time I was in New Orleans, and we became friends. I have an autographed copy of his first cookbook (plus several hints and secrets learned first hand, not given in his book). I was heartbroken to hear of his passing, post Katrina. He lives on, however, in his food.
Rest easy, Chef Austin. We'll take it from here.
Shrimp BarbequePrep: 15 min Cook: 30 min Servings: 6by Amos Miller101 recipes>
Watch out! There is alot of butter in this dish - but life is an adventure and we have to occasionally take some risks! You will want a good French bread for dipping in the sauce & you'd better wear a napkin - or better yet, a lobster bib, too. If you are a child of N'awlins Creole and Cajun cooking, you know how to eat mudbugs (craw - or crayfish). There is substantial flavor in the heads of these shrimps, so you are advised to give 'em a suck. This is a 'peel and eat' dish and a great recipe from my culinary mentor, Chef Austin Leslie.
- 6 lbs fresh shrimp
- 6 sticks of butter (yes, that is 1-1/2 lbs)
- 2 bay leaves, crumbled ( dried bay is more flavorful than fresh, so use dry here)
- 1 cup of good beer (no Light anything - real beer. Like wine, you want to cook with good beer)
- 5 toes of garlic, finely minced
- 1 T Italian parsley, finely chopped
- 4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- Rinse the shrimp in cold water and drain
- Saute all the other ingredients in a sauce pan for 10 minutes
- Lay the shrimps in a shallow roasting pan
- Pour the sauce over the shrinps
- Slide the shrimps into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, with an occasional stir
- Ladle into soup bowls
- There will be very little conversation while this dish is being consumed.
- SERVE WITH A FRESH, CRUSTY BREAD...
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