CHEF Chuck takes on the BBQ SHRIMP from Mr. B's Bistro
Updated: May 14, 2020
After having quite possibly one of the best meals of our lives at Mr. B's Bistro in New Orleans, Chuck decided that he felt he could replicate the dish, and that he wanted to give it a shot. We needed a high quality head-on shrimp, and a solid memory of the dish. Luckily for us, Chuck’s memory of that dish will be in his mind forever, and we knew exactly what to do about the shrimp. Challenge Accepted!
Chas made a purchase from the Louisiana Crawfish Company that consisted of live crawfish, large head-on shrimp, andouille sausage, and cheesy grits. The crawfish, andouille, and some of the shrimp went into an awesome creole style boil (keep an eye out for that post) but there was more shrimp to cook up...and Chuck knew exactly how he wanted to do that. Mr. B’s does have a recipe for this dish on their website but Chuck believes there are ingredients omitted and maybe measurements that are slightly off so he was off to the races.
One of the items Chuck added to the dish that is not listed on the recipe was shallot. He felt that if there wasn’t shallot in the original dish, there should be. A nice mince of shallot and garlic and into the pan they go. After adding juice of a few lemons and a healthy dose of freshly cracked black pepper, another thing not mentioned in the recipe was a shot of cognac for flavor. Chuck then layered the shrimp in the pan and topped with Worcestershire and a nice creole seasoning. After allowing to get to a nice pink color on each side, the
shrimp were removed from the pan and Chuck slowly folded in enough butter (absolutely must be cold butter) to the pan to permanently change our cholesterol levels forever. Once the sauce reached a smooth velvetty texture and of course after tasting and adjusting the sauce a bit, the shrimp were added back to the pan and the heat was turned off.
Once the flavors had a chance to blend, the shrimp were placed in bowls with a wedge of lemon and the sauce was poured over top. We had a nice French loaf that we briefly toasted and hit with some Kerrygold butter (Chuck’s personal pick for all butter applications), and poured an ice cold Maduro from Cigar City Brewing into a glass and it was time to taste.
The time for judgement has arrived
First, we took a piece of the French loaf and dipped it into the sauce surrounding the shrimp. Chas was instantly surprised at how close to the original dish this was. He went as
far as to say even that if someone had told them they had gotten takeout from Mr. B’s and brought it here to him that he would have believed it was the same dish. Second, we had to give the shrimp a shot. They were cooked very well, not overcooked and not undercooked. Chuck typically does not do the classic move where you suck all the stuff out of a shrimp’s head...however, at Mr. B’s and with this attempt to replicate...he did. The flavors were extremely like the dish we had in New Orleans. The beer and bread was a fantastic accompaniment as well.
A dish worth re-imagining.
Chef Chuck scores one on the board for attempts to replicate here. We definitely missed the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter and all of the excitement that Chas n Chuck feel when they are in NOLA, but if you’re stuck in quarantine and need a dish that reminds you of being there, this absolutely did just that. If you close your eyes you can see into Mr. B’s open style kitchen, you can hear the conversations other excited diners are having all around you, you can smell the amazing aroma that comes from this dish. This was a victory and made being in this lockdown just a bit more enjoyable. Chef Chuck’s NOLA inspired BBQ Shrimp...Didn’t Suck!
Please check out our Gallery for images from the dish at Mr. B's as well as Chef Chuck's re--imagining of the dish!