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Louisiana Barbecued Shrimp from B. Smith and Toni Tipton-Martin

Louisiana Barbecued Shrimp from B. Smith and Toni Tipton-Martin
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The lure of cooking shrimp is both the time it takes and the taste you can achieve

I would be hard-pressed to find a protein that’s quicker to cook. If anything, you have to hover over it for the best results.  But with just a little lemon and lots of garlic and butter, the shrimp will be ready before the pasta water boils.  Now this recipe combines the speed of Scampi with an entirely different palate.  These shrimp come to the table in their bright, spicy Creole pan sauce. They’re made to be savored with a great loaf of bread to mop up every drop of that irresistible sauce. Serve it with a green salad and this can seriously be put together in an amazingly short space of time—the cooking time ranges from 8 to 12 minutes.  The time it takes to put the Sauce ingredients together is maybe 5 minutes.  That’s hard to beat any day of the week

Guess what? You don’t have to barbecue the shrimp.

Toni Tipton-Martin made today’s dish her cover shot. After all, it’s a recipe from a Cover Girl

The whole dish comes together in the skillet.  There’s no smoke, no grilling, just a meeting of all the sauce ingredients in that skillet. There’s wine, stock, lemon, a raft of spices and herbs, minced garlic, and the secret umani of Worcestershire sauce. You shake the pan, reducing the sauce, and only then do the shrimp go into to the pan.  Toni Tifton-Martin was so taken with this recipe, she made it the cover of her cookbook : “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American cooking” (Clarkson Potter 2019). She explains “ ‘Barbecue shrimp’ is just the name Louisiana Creole cooks assigned to shrimp braised in wine, beer, or a garlic butter sauce.” You’ll find this dish all over Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. The difference in their recipes is generally confined to how much Worcestershire sauce is used.  Paul Prudhomme’s version used a teaspoon per pound of shrimp.  And the restaurant often credited with inventing the original dish in 1953, Pascal’s Manale, uses a full half cup. Go to www.pascalsmanale.com for a peek.

Toni Tipton-Martin gives credit to a dear friend of ours, B. Smith

Barbara “B. Smith”…unforgettably beautiful inside and out.

Jubilee” came together from Ms. Tipton-Martin’s collection of almost 400 African-American cookbooks spanning two centuries of publications. Wanting to recreate her own family’s beach dinners while vacationing on the Texas Gulf Coast, Tipton-Martin found the recipe she was looking for in “ B.Smith Cooks Southern Style” (Scribner 2011). Now B. Smith may not be a household name because tragically “the Black Martha Stewart’s” career—and life–was cut short by early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.  Barbara Smith had a number of firsts. She was born in 1949 in Everson PA. She paid her own way through John Robert Power’s Modeling School and at age 20 her modeling career took off.  She was signed by the Wilhelmina Agency and her girl-next-door looks were ideally suited for Oil of Olay and Noxzema.  In 1976, the became the second-only model to grace the cover of Mademoiselle magazine. In the 1980s she started her own restaurant, B.Smith’s, began writing cookbooks, and built a tremendous following. It’s hard to imagine anyone nicer or more friendly –a demeanor she attributed to joining her father as he, a Jehovah’s Witness, went door to door distributing The Watchtower and Awake! “One thing about being a Jehovah’s Witness”, she said, “you learn to talk to people.” RIP dear Barbara. Here is today’s recipe and some other African-American recipes to enjoy.

Louisiana Barbecued Shrimp

January 25, 2023
: 2 to 4
: 5 min
: 5 min
: 10 min
: It does not get any easier than this.

These shrimp come to the table in bright, spicy Creole pan sauce. They’re made to be savored with a great loaf of bread to mop up every drop of that irresistible sauce.


  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 bay leaves, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup fish stock (or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pound shrimp--either shelled or whole shrimp deveined
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • Hot crusty French bread, for serving
  • Step 1 In a small bowl, combine the cayenne, black pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, thyme, oregano, paprika, and bay leaves.
  • Step 2 In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the butter over medium-high until melted and sizzling. Add the garlic, the spice mixture in step one, wine, fish stock, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens enough to lightly coat a spoon, about 5 to 7 minutes. Shake the pan as it cooks to help bring the sauce together.
  • Step 3 Add the shrimp, reduce the heat to low, and cook, turning once, until the shrimp turn pink and firm, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Step 4 Sprinkle the shrimp with parsley and serve immediately from the skillet with hot French bread to soak up the sauce.

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14 thoughts on “Louisiana Barbecued Shrimp from B. Smith and Toni Tipton-Martin”

  • Sounds wonderful, thank you and thanks for the story behind it. Beautiful, both ladies. Question: How much Worchestershire Sauce do you recommend?

    • Dear Studio Gal, I was going to answer this “2 tbsp.as per the recipe”…but for your help. Regards Monte

  • I can’t wait to try it! I can’t find the ingredients and their amounts. Please post, my mouth is watering…

    • Dear Betsy, I am so sorry but I screwed up and the recipe did not appear. I have since corrected it. And I think you will love it. Bon Appetit, Monte!

  • Sorry, I do not see where step 1 is used afterwards. At what point are all those ingredients added to the dish/skillet?

    • Dear Olga, Sorry for any confusion. Those ingredients are the spices added in step 2. I will go back and make it clearer thanks to you. Bon Appetit! Monte

  • My husband introduced me to Southern BBQ Shrimp (no grill required) 20 years ago and the recipe is a constant on our table and has been share over and over not one could compare until now. This recipe maybe it’s replacement. I had to pry the empty container out of his hands. Thank you again and again etc.

    • Tina, thank you so much for taking the time to write. We love this recipe too. Try it and come back and tell us how you fared. It’s always hard to replace a recipe with a 20 year history. Bon Appetit! Monte

      • I’m sorry I wasn’t clear that I had made it and the above recipe was a HUGE hit . My husband loved it so much he ate what little was leftover for breakfast the next day.

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