This is a quick & easy shrimp treatment. It makes awesome shrimp tacos or shrimp salads, and it's great even with just some simple white rice. Or serve on toothpicks as a spicy hors d'oeuvre.
You could make it even easier by purchasing pre-made blackening seasoning, of which there are a number of brands, including those named for the late, great Paul Prudhomme, who invented & popularized blackened seafood in the early 1980s.
You'll need to use a heavy pan to get good blackening. It doesn't have to be a cast iron skillet, but that's a great choice.
Blackening also requires that the pan be very hot, so expect some smoke and take care to ventilate the cooking area.
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoons cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined, at room temperature, and patted dry. Tails on optional.
In a small bowl, mix the dry ingredients to evenly distribute and make sure there are no clumps.
Spread spice mix out on a plate, in an even layer. Press both sides of each shrimp into the spice mix to coat each side.
Meanwhile, heat the heavy pan over high heat until it is very hot. Add the olive oil, give it a moment to heat through, then add the shrimp to the pan. Take care not to crowd them and cook for 1.5 to 2 minutes on each side.
Be careful not to over cook. Note that you'll probably leave a good bit of the spice mix in the pan; it's pretty potent, so what remains will be delicious.
Serve in one of the ways described above.