Hey, guess what? THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!!!!
Mama and Papa BaCon flew from St. Louis to get snowed in and watch Superbowl XLIV with us, Foxy, and some crazy, lovely D.C. folks. Black and Gold beads, the dark smell of gumbo, and friends in Saints gear filled our house while "Superbowl Mambo" streamed from the Times Picayune website, and it felt like a true N'awlins romp. To everyone who came out for the party and to those who couldn't come due to the storm/work but who were there in spirit (JKarlin, we missed you!): because of you guys, Mr. Luz and I didn't miss home when we could have missed it the most. So thanks for being there with us.
As far as the game goes, I couldn't tell you what actually happened because I was too amped up to think. All I know is the K. Gates song "Stand Up and Get Crunk/Black and Gold to the Superbowl" kept blaring on our speakers, Mr. Luz kept doing his own secondline dance through the crowd in the living room and dining room to the kitchen and back again, and I got and gave alot of "touchdown hugs."
But there was a moment towards the end of the game when I checked the clock and saw that there were only 44 seconds left in the 4th quarter, and then it hit me full force--"Holy S*** this changes everything-how fantastic for NOLA!" and then "Is this really happening??" When I came to my senses after a few minutes, there weren't 25 different people, with different hometowns and even hometown teams, at our house . . . I only saw Saints fans, overcome with collective joy-shouting, hugging, crying, and all out getting crunk (look it up).
What a surprisingly blissful and unpredictably beautiful life we live.
On to the recipe! This is Mama Bacon's recipe from Southern Living for New Orleans BBQ Shrimp, and it's one of my favorite foods, though surprisingly easy. You can serve it as an appetizer by itself, or as an entree over cheese grits. The shrimp is marinated (in Nawlin's they do shells and head on, but peeled is okay too)and then baked in a spicy, tangy lemon butter sauce with a little Worcestershire sauce for depth and garlic. We double the marinade recipe so we have plenty left over for French bread-dipping. Only make this for the people you really love, because they'll likely request it at every pot luck you attend from now till the end of time. Though if they are anything like my friends, they are worth it.
New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp Recipe
(photo and recipe courtesy of Southern Living)
1 cup Butter
1 cup Olive oil
1/2 cup Chili Sauce
1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce
2 Lemons, sliced
8 Garlic Cloves, chopped
4 Tbs. Creole Seasoning (I use Tony's Light)
4 Tbs. Lemon Juice
2 Tbs. chopped Parsley
2 tsp. Paprika
2 tsp. Oregano
2 tsp. ground Red Pepper
1 tsp. hot sauce
2 loaves French bread
Spread shrimp in a large baking dish. Combine butter and next 12 ingredients in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until butter melts, and pour over shrimp. Cover and chill 2 hours, turning shrimp every 30 minutes.
Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 20 minutes; turn once. Serve with bread and/or grits.