Arrogant Bastard Shrimp

Posted on September 1st, 2009 by Jean

What happens when you can’t find Voodoo Lager to make a batch of Voodoo Shrimp? You grab a pint of Arrogant Bastard Ale! So here’s my arrogant shrimp with a side of rosemary cornbread ala House of Blues. Enjoy!

My friend, Georgia gave me a package of El Torito Sweet Corn Cakes mix, and I’ve got to tell you, it’s delicious! You can order a 12-pack online through I added 1 1/2 tsp. of fresh chopped rosemary and a 14-oz can of creamed corn to mine.

Special thanks to for this defrosting tip. “Place frozen shrimp in a bowl and cover with cold water. Shrimp will be ready to use in 3-15 minutes.” For this recipe, you will need 6 shrimp per serving.

You could fry the shrimp in a pan, but I like Ina Garten’s technique for roasted shrimp (directions below).

Your cornbread’s in the oven. Your shrimp is defrosting. Time to cook the brew!

• 1 pint (3 cups) Arrogant Bastard Ale (or any black lager)
• 2 bay leaves
• 5 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
• 1/4 tsp. black pepper
• 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
• 1/2 tsp. dried basil
• 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
• 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
• 16 oz. heavy cream
• frozen, tail on/shell on shrimp (see above notes re: defrosting and serving size)
• 2 Tbs butter per serving
• 2 Tbs chopped tomatoes per serving
• corn bread (see above)
• fresh rosemary (1 1/2 tsp for cornbread, plus 1 sprig per serving for garnish)

1. In a large pot, combine beer, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, cayenne, basil, oregano, sugar and cream. Stir to dissolve sugar. Let this simmer at low-medium heat until it coats the back of your spoon.
2. Peel and clean your defrosted shrimp. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Place shrimp on foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 5-6 minutes.
3. Ladle 1/2 cup per serving of brew sauce into a frying pan. Cook over medium temp. Add 2 Tbs. butter per serving, let melt.
4. Add tomatoes and cooked shrimp to buttered sauce to coat.
5. Using an icecream scoop, spoon cornbread into serving bowl. Top with 6 shrimp, tomatoes, and sauce. Garnish with rosemary sprig, and serve.

There is still a lot of brew sauce leftover, which I am keeping fresh in my refrigerator. It reheats nicely, and the flavor is just as good, if not better, the next day.

• Have you cooked with beer?
• Have you tried to track down a restaurant’s secret recipe?
• How do you feel about garnish?

Actual House of Blues Voodoo Shrimp recipe calls for 3 additional ingredients which I could not locate: 1/4 Tbs shrimp base, 1/4 Tbs chicken base, and cut chives.

Bellagio and Ka

Posted on April 11th, 2008 by Jean

She’s returned to Portland, but last week my best friend from high school, Joy, and her husband, Cimber, were here.
I don’t want to be one of those people who track down the nicest bathrooms, but…
check out the ladies room at the House of Blues.

All that COLOR and steel.
I was so busy drinking my Sex Before Sunrise, I neglected to snap pictures of my meal.
With 1 drink under my belt, we caught a cab and ventured down to the Bellagio.
They had a lovely springtime display in the garden area.

Look at the fragile edges of this flower. They almost don’t look real!

There was a gorgeous rose-covered snail, a tree with a face, and a giant ladybug.

Large watering cans splashed the flowers.

There was also a beautiful little butterfly habitat.

Currently on display at the Bellagio are Cirque inspired sculptures.

These are by an artist named Richard MacDonald.
In the evening, we caught the Ka show at the MGM.
As you enter the theatre lobby, Ka musicians are playing an unusual instrument… amplified string?

The show was wonderful! No photography was allowed inside once the show had started, but here are some pictures I found on the internet back in January when Joy and I saw the show for the first time.

After the show, we drove the 90 minutes back to my home.
That concludes day one.