Voodoo Shrimp

You’re about to fall victim to some serious voodoo. Prepare to be enthralled by these shrimp.

I’ve been having dreams about this sauce. It’s so crazy complex and flavorful I don’t even know how to describe it. Spicy, creamy, and just plain mesmerizing. Pictures will never do it justice. You need to get it in your mouth.

Voodoo Shrimp

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Serves: 5 Total Time: 1 hour


  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 pounds large or extra-large shrimp, shelled and deveined, shells reserved
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs minced garlic
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon, peeled and sectioned
  • 1 c water
  • 12 oz black lager or other dark beer
  • 1/3 c Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 c half and half
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 14.5-ounce can petite diced tomatoes, well drained (about 3/4 c)
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tbs fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Serve with: Grits, polenta, mashed potatoes, rice or some toasted corn bread.



In a small bowl, combine paprika. salt, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne, oregano and thyme.


Combine 1/2 the spice mix with the peeled shrimp and mix well. Set aside.


Heat olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the shrimp shells, remaining 1/2 of spice mix, bay leaves, lemon, water, Worcestershire sauce, and beer. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 30 minutes to reduce. Strain the liquid into a measuring cup. There should be about 1-1/2 to 2 cups.


Discard solids and return the strained liquid to the large pot over medium heat. Add half and half and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and reduce to 1-1/2 cups, about 10-15 minutes.


Add the shrimp and drained tomatoes. Return to a simmer until shrimp are pink and just cooked through, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the butter, basil, parlsey, and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve shrimp and sauce spooned over grits, polenta, mashed potatoes, rice, or toasted corn bread.

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