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Cooking Up Shrimp DeJonghe

Here at Patio and Pizza, we are always showing our love for delicious wood-fired oven recipes. You can cook so many different things in your oven then just pizza, and this delicious Shrimp DeJonghe is no exception! Your oven’s high heat capability and the unparalleled smoky taste it imparts to food adds a layer of complexity and robust flavor to this classic seafood dish that you won’t be able to find anywhere else.

Here’s a little history on this classic recipe, and a guide on how to cook it in your home oven!

Windy city history

At the turn of the 18th century, large numbers of Belgians were moving to Chicago in search of work. Many joined local trades, but others had different aspirations. In the South Side, brothers Henri, Peter, and Charles DeJonghe opened a restaurant in time for the World Columbian Exhibition, according to the Encyclopedia of Chicago. Their restaurant became a meeting place for Belgians from all walks of life in Chicago.

Once the restaurant gained significant popularity, it moved to the East Monroe neighborhood of Chicago, where the famous shrimp recipe was concocted, according to the Chicago Tribune. Unfortunately, Prohibition-era disaster struck in which an undercover agent succeeded in seizing over 30 crates of liquor and having the DeJonghe brothers’ inn and diner shut down for a year. Along with the hotel’s closure, the brothers were never to be heard from again. All that remained was their delicious shrimp, which ironically enough, often calls for a dash of sherry. Henri DeJonghe died in Tucson, Arizona, in 1968, and took the original recipe to his grave.

However, success frequently inspires imitators. A simple version of the recipe quickly became popular in Chicago, and eventually the world, and is probably the basis for shrimp DeJonghe eaten in restaurants and backyards around the world today.

A timeless recipe

If you’re ready to bring a delicious Chicago Belgian staple into your backyard, you’ll find it’s actually quite easy to do! The ingredients of shrimp DeJonghe all play quite nicely together, which means cooking this dish is as simple as prepping a skillet and then combining the ingredients under heat. Your pizza oven will turn out delightfully crispy, yet delicate shrimp to rival that of Chicago’s most famous eateries. Just don’t let word get out about your secret recipe, lest the neighbors start raiding your cookouts the same way the police raided DeJonghe!

Follow the recipe below, and watch it prepared in an authentic Chicago pizza oven!. Once you’ve tasted your first bite, let us know how it went in the comments! And like always; happy cooking! 

Ingredients

  • 8 Tbsp clarified butter
  • 1 lb peeled and cleaned, medium-sized shrimp
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/3 C dry sherry
  • 1 T cayenne pepper
  • 1 T parsley
  • 1/2 C Italian-style breadcrumbs

Preparation

  1. Heat your patio pizza oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine butter and garlic in a cast iron pan and heat in brick oven until butter melts — about 2 minutes.
  3. Remove pan and mix in sherry, shrimp, breadcrumbs, cayenne pepper and parsley.
  4. Continue to cook in oven for an additional 10-15 minutes.
  5. Serve as is as an appetizer, or toss over linguine as an entrée!

Check out the Chicago CBO-750 Portable Brick Pizza Oven for your own backyard patio!


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Ultimate Pizza Oven Quiz: Which Oven is Right for You?

People cooking in pizza ovens

Pizza ovens are a great addition whether it's for enjoying family time or starting a catering business. But, it's often difficult to sort through the various pizza oven styles to determine which oven is the best for you.

For this reason, we created a quiz that will take you step by step through a series of questions to determine which pizza oven style is best for you. In addition, while taking the quiz, you'll learn the differences between different materials such as brick or metal and why each are better in certain cases. 

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