Years ago, when I was in New Orleans with a bunch of friends to watch the Gators in the Sugar Bowl, I had the pleasure of going to Mr. B’s Bistro. This restaurant is one in the pantheon of Brennan family fine and famous, New Orleans restaurants. One of their most famous dishes is BBQ shrimp, which is quite the misnomer since it doesn’t go anywhere near the BBQ. I love this dish and have made it many times since I tasted it at Mr. B’s, changing it quite a bit from the original recipe. So I immediately thought about this dish for an appetizer in my personal Iron Chef fennel challenge.
- 4 T butter
- 1/4 C diced fennel
- 3 cloves garlic, minced/crushed
- 1/4 C dry white wine
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 1/2 t dried rosemary
- 1/2 t dried thyme
- 1/2 t dried marjoram
- cayenne pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 t)
- 2 T Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 pound shrimp, shelled and de-veined
- French bread, thinly sliced
- Grated three cheese blend (fontina, asiago, parmesan)
Heat butter in a saute pan over medium high heat. When the butter has melted add the fennel and stir regularly. When the fennel is starting to get translucent, add the garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for another minute or so, till the garlic starts to brown. Deglase the pan with the white wine and then add the lemon juice.
Turn off the heat and add the spices, the Worcestershire sauce, and salt to taste. Mix thoroughly and pour into an oven safe baking dish (10×10). You can make this part ahead of time and let marinate in the fridge. Or you can immediately make the shrimp.
Preheat the oven to 425 °F. Place the sliced bread on a baking sheet and cover each generously with the three cheese blend.
Place the shrimp in the baking dish with the sauce. The shrimp should all be in one layer. Sploosh the sauce around to cover the shrimp.
When the oven is ready put the shrimp and the crostini in the oven at the same time. They’re going to become intimately acquainted in your mouth, so give them this opportunity to warm up to each other.
After about 15 minutes, flip the shrimp over. They should be pink on the side that was down and now up. Put back in the oven and cook until the shrimp are completely pink and the crostini are starting to brown.
To serve, pour the shrimp and the sauce in a bowl. Serve with the crostini to mop up all the yummy sauce and scoop up some of the fennel.