Al Roker's New Orleans-Style Grilled Shrimp Will Be the Star of Your Next Cookout

Al Roker's New Orleans-Style Grilled Shrimp Recipe Review

As an aficionado of celebrity recipes, I've developed a particular fondness for exploring the creations of notable figures. From Lucy Liu to Adam Sandler, there really isn't a celeb recipe I won't try at least once. While I can name a lot of celebrities whose creations stand out, one person I've had luck with in the past is Al Roker. So when I found his recipe for his New Orleans-style grilled shrimp, I knew I had to give it a try.

While traditional New Orleans-style BBQ shrimp is cooked in a skillet (the BBQ here refers to the spice blend and the color of the sauce), this one is perfect for summer because the shrimp is marinated in the buttery spice mixture and then grilled. Much like my previous adventures with Al's spicy chicken wings, this recipe promised to add a flavorful flourish to any gathering. And with summer's warm embrace upon us, I figured there was no better moment to give this dish a try. Here's how it went when I tried it in my kitchen.

Get the recipe: Al Roker's New Orleans-Style Grilled Shrimp

Al Roker's New Orleans-Style Grilled Shrimp Prep<p>Courtesy of Choya Johnson</p>
Al Roker's New Orleans-Style Grilled Shrimp Prep

Courtesy of Choya Johnson

Ingredients for Al Roker's New Orleans-Style Grilled Shrimp

For this recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients: chili powder, salt, fresh or frozen shell-on jumbo shrimp, unsalted butter, a medium onion, garlic, ketchup, extra-virgin olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, light brown sugar, freshly squeezed lemon juice, dried oregano, dried thyme, cayenne pepper, bay leaves and one sliced lemon.

Related: 26 Savory Seafood Burgers To Make With Leftover Shrimp, Salmon & Lobster From Memorial Day

Al Roker's New Orleans-Style Grilled Shrimp Sauce<p>Courtesy of Choya Johnson</p>
Al Roker's New Orleans-Style Grilled Shrimp Sauce

Courtesy of Choya Johnson

How to Make Al Roker's New Orleans-Style Grilled Shrimp

Mix 3 tablespoons of chili powder and 1 tablespoon of salt in a small bowl. Rub the shrimp with the chili mixture, ensuring that some gets into the open cuts where the shrimp have been deveined (if applicable). Place the shrimp in a shallow, non-reactive pan, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator while you prepare the sauce.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, cooking until the mixture is soft but not browned, which should take 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the ketchup, oil, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, lemon slices, bay leaves and the remaining 2 tablespoons of chili powder and remaining 2 teaspoons of salt.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15–20 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in hot sauce. Allow to cool to room temperature before discarding the lemon slices and bay leaves. Pour 1½ cups of the sauce over the shrimp, tossing well to coat. Cover and refrigerate the shrimp for 1–2 hours. You will also cover and refrigerate the remaining sauce.

Preheat the grill for direct grilling over high heat. While the grill preheats, reheat the reserved sauce in a small covered saucepan over very low heat, being careful not to let it burn. Keep warm. Remove the shrimp from the pan and discard the marinade. Grill the shrimp for 3-4 minutes per side, or until the shells are orange-pink. To check for doneness, peel one of the shrimp and cut it in half. The flesh should be opaque and firm throughout. Serve with the warm sauce for dipping and provide a large bowl for the shells.

Related: The Civil Rights Connection Between This Vintage Shrimp Curry and the LBJ White House

Al Roker's New Orleans-Style Grilled Shrimp on the grill<p>Courtesy of Choya Johnson</p>
Al Roker's New Orleans-Style Grilled Shrimp on the grill

Courtesy of Choya Johnson

What I Thought About Al Roker's New Orleans-Style Grilled Shrimp

Preparing this dish proved to be an enriching journey, albeit one that demanded a bit of time and patience. Making the sauce and marinating the shrimp takes some time, so this isn't a quick recipe. Once it was time to fire up the grill, however, the subsequent steps unfolded swiftly and seamlessly.

Grilling the shrimp with the shell on helped to prevent overcooking and ensure that the shrimp remained succulent. Upon tasting the final product, though, the potency of the chili powder and cayenne pepper was undeniable, imparting a fiery kick that dominated the dish. Due to this, the other flavors were hidden more than I expected. But that doesn't mean that it wasn't delicious.

Al Roker's New Orleans-Style Grilled Shrimp Final<p>Courtesy of Choya Johnson</p>
Al Roker's New Orleans-Style Grilled Shrimp Final

Courtesy of Choya Johnson

Tips for Making Al Roker's New Orleans-Style Grilled Shrimp

1. Cut down on the salt. This recipe calls for a full tablespoon of salt, but I used half that amount because I was a little afraid the dish would be too salty. Thankfully, cutting it down was a smart move as the salt amount I used was just enough for the amount of shrimp used.

2. Make it your own. The heat from both the cayenne pepper and chili powder may be too much for some people, so you might want to decrease the amount of each, increase the amount of other ingredients or throw in some of your other favorite seasoning and herbs. Whatever you choose to do, just know the true essence of the dish will shine through!

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