It is far different animal to feed eight people instead of our usual three or four. While I can normally manage just fine to both cook dinner and take pictures… this is assuming of course I have all my little ducks in a row… with eight people baying for food this becomes nearly impossible.
So while the last six weeks have been a revolving door of culinary bliss, photos never quite seemed to make the list of to-dos.
The reason for all this activity of course, was a descent but still not long enough visit from my family from the Ukraine. The same family which I visited last August. For a whole six weeks, my kitchen was much like I remember it as a child. Filled with happy people making incredible food.
It was also a fairly interesting cultural exchange.
Though my mom, my aunt and one of my cousins, who trained as a chef, produced a fair number of traditional, homey Russian dishes, I spent my time introducing them to more Californiazed cuisine. There were hits and misses on both sides. For instance, while they refused my beloved grilled asparagus, I refused to eat their sauerkraut and potato soup.
One thing we could all agree on though was shrimp. Shrimp fried. Shrimp grilled. Shrimp steamed. Shrimp broiled and baked and fixed which ever way possible. Having no ocean access themselves, they fell upon our supply of fresh shrimp in an alarming way. The first day we presented them with shrimp the lot of them must have gone through three pounds. The pile of pink empty shells nearly reached the ceiling fan. I was lucky to get away with three and even then I was afraid to reach my arm in for another for fear of having it bitten off.
But at least it explains my taste in seafood. My mother, who always looked at my brother and me like aliens every time we showed a somewhere short of fanatic dedication to seafood, is now the odd one out. The only abstainer in a family that mowed through any seafood you put in front of them.
Now that they have returned home and my house feels entirely too big and far too silent, shrimp has become a happy memory. Which is why I pulled out this recipe for tonight’s dinner. Had I remembered it, I am kicking myself for not doing so; I would have served it to them. Alas, it pounced me from behind only after they were gone. Instead, I have modified it in their honor.
While the addition of horseradish takes it out of its Creole birthplace, I think it adds an interesting and hugely welcome dimension to the dish making it pungently sweet-spicy. This is about the most fragrant shrimp dish you could possibly hope for. With the only down side being that it is messy. Even for me… and I have been known to eat ribs off the bone while lightly soiling only two fingers on each hand.
I assure you though; the mess is well worth while. The shrimp are tender and succulent in their shells, delicately perfumed by the lemon and spices. Just don’t forget the good crusty bread to soak up the fantastic juices.
Adapted from The OC Register
1 lemon, sliced
1 pound raw, unpeeled shrimp
½ stick of butter
¼ cup BBQ sauce 
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoons horseradish
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Cayenne pepper, salt, & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan with lemon slices. Sprinkle lemon with rosemary, oregano, and about half of the chopped garlic. Dust lightly with cayenne. Place the shrimp on top in a single layer and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and additional cayenne. Be generous with the cayenne as the dish should be hot.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the BBQ sauce and horseradish. Pour over the shrimp and bake until the shrimp is cooked all the way through. About 15-20 minutes. If the shrimp are large, you might have to flip them.
Serve immediately with crusty bread for scooping up the sauce.
 I prefer Sweet Baby Ray's for that sweet tang I can't find anywhere else.