Monday, July 10, 2017

Barbecue Shrimp Pascal's Manale Style

When I was a pharmaceutical specialty sales rep in Arkansas, we had a meeting in New Orleans with the rest of our district. My closest friend Kay, a Louisiana native, planned all our meals. This was one of the most unforgettable dishes I've ever had in a restaurant.



New Orleans is a beautiful city with such tremendous culture and cuisine. The first time I visited was during Mardi Gras when I was nineteen with my best friends Angelica and John. There were a lot of firsts that visit, including my first taste of an oyster, my first time to start drinking before noon, and a tattoo that ended up being not only the first but the last!

My last visit to New Orleans was just as unforgettable. My plane had arrived late to the airport, so I walked into a crowded conference room filled with about a thousand people where my work meeting had begun without me. I grabbed a seat at a table full of strangers. The Vice President of Sales was announcing the usual listing of the top reps in the country. Everyone stood when their name was announced, received some applause, then remained standing. Then he announced the last person. "The number one rep in the country is Thanh Rasico from Little Rock, Arkansas." I stood, smiled at my friends standing near the door, and looked down to notice my table staring at me in awe.

"You're number one in the COUNTRY?!" a girl asked. I nodded joyfully. I had been for ten months. It had taken over a year to climb from a much lower ranking to get there.

"You're cardiovascular specialty now aren't you?" I nodded again. It was as if the division had been created just to fulfill my dream of being promoted. That night, my manager took our district to Pascal's Manale for dinner. There was an hour wait, but the bar was spacious. And the wait was so very worth it!

I've been making Pascal's Manale's signature New Orleans barbecue shrimp at home a lot lately. Although the original recipe was made with olive oil, I found another recipe that made it with butter. I tried both, and I've decided I'm sticking with butter.

One of the things I miss most about Arkansas is the close proximity to Louisiana crawfish, Texas barbecue, and Memphis fried chicken. Not that I'd ever move back. I can find plenty of that stuff right here up in the Pacific Northwest. But here's how I make myself feel like I'm back home again when I miss a little part of it!

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound (21-25 count) shrimp, heads removed
  • 5 tsp Manale Spice (see below)
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp Louisiana hot sauce
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
Manale Spice:
  • 4 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
(Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.)

Directions:
  1. In a large skillet, add shrimp, Manale Spice, garlic, Worcestershire, and hot sauce, stirring constantly. Pour olive oil in, then white wine. Stir to blend thoroughly.
  2. Cook over high heat for 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add butter, cook an additional 2 minutes until butter is thoroughly melted. 
Note: I also have combined all the ingredients in the oven and cooked for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Stir well before serving.

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