Friday, August 8, 2008

SUMMERTIME SHRIMP

Sometimes it can get so hot in the summers here in Tennessee that it's nearly unbearable to stand over a hot grill and cook. That's been the case here this summer on more than one occasion and when that happens and we just can't stand another night of lettuce or cold cuts, I start thinking about what's a great easy dish that can be on and off the stove in a matter of minutes without heating up the whole kitchen. Number one priority is that if I'm going to put any time into it...it's gotta be good, just "easy" doesn't cut it here at the Schmidt House.

A good solution to that problem was this week when I decided to search my unlimited recipe source (the Internet) for a great sounding Barbecue Shrimp recipe. I had bought some quick frozen shrimp on our last sojourn to Sam's Warehouse and my palate hadn't stopped thinking of them since. I found many great recipes and I expect to be trying a few more in the very near future. The one I decided to try an award winning recipe from Commander's Palace (Las Vegas) and the house specialty. I am quite familiar with Commander Palace's culinary quests and the Brennan family's rightful place in food royalty. Ella Brennan did indeed give a little known chef by the name of Emeril Lagasse his first high profile cooking opportunity to helm her flagship restaurant in New Orleans. At the time, that was quite the risk of hiring a Yankee boy (Emeril is born and bred Falls River, MA), the Chef position in a landmark New Orleans kitchen.

Needless to say...the rest is culinary history and Ole Emeril and The Brennans have both faired quite nicely. I also followed Chef Jamie Shannon's acclaimed reign after Emeril. Jamie, from New Jersey, was the saucier under Emeril and was Executive Chef until his untimely death in 2001. I remember watching Jamie on the old "Great Chefs" cooking show on PBS. That was all I had to quench my cooking cravings till the Food Network finally hit Nashville. Those old "Great Chefs" shows are so dated now and the ones where "Andres" the lady with that Nawlin's drawl narrated them are as recognizable to me as The Andy Griffith theme song.

Let me get back on track here. Okay. I tried this recipe the other night and it was wonderful!! The trick and one I can't tell you how to do is "Do Not Overcook the Shrimp"! Just before you think it's done, remove the pan from heat and let residual heat do its thing. We had this dish with ...okay, I'll admit we had a salad with it, so much for my tired of lettuce remark, but this salad was elevated with some leftover chicken salad I had made the day before and some juicy tomatoes from our backyard. It was a very nice, easy, not too hot, quick and DELICIOUS supper. I hope you'll try this recipe. The ingredients may look intimidating, but I'll bet that if you do any cooking at all, you have most of these ingredients on hand. If you don't have the beer, use chicken stock with a teaspoon of creole or Dijon mustard mixed with it to give it some oomph.

For the 15 cloves of garlic, fresh is best, but you certainly can use the jarred minced garlic, about 2 TBS. Try this!


NEW ORLEANS -STYLE BARBECUE SHRIMP

10- 15 count Gulf Shrimp, peeled and deveined , tail intact ( and head if you're a foodie)

2 TBS Creole seafood seasoning (Paul Prudhomme has a great one in the spice section)

2 TBS Olive oil

15 (yes, 15) garlic cloves minced

1 TBS fresh Rosemary, chopped ( DO not use stems)

3 TBS Hot sauce ( I used Louisiana Hot Sauce)

3 Whole lemons, juiced (must be fresh lemon juice)

3 TBS Worcestershire sauce

1/2 Cup Amber Beer (I used Abita Springs)

4 Oz unsalted butter ( room temp)

Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Black pepper , to taste

a Loaf of fresh baked French bread from your grocer's bakery ( No oven for you!)



1. Toss shrimp with 1 TBS creole seasoning in a large bowl to coat

2. Heat oil in a heavy, large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and rosemary and saute till light golden brown. Do Not burn garlic! (if you do...start over, as this will ruin your dish). Add seasoned shrimp and toss gently to coat.

3. Stir in the hot sauce, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Add beer to deglaze the skillet, shaking gently. Simmer until the beer is reduced by about half and shrimp are cooked through, about 2 minutes.

4. Stir in the remaining creole seasoning. Reduce heat to low. Gradually stir in the butter to form a sauce consistency. Season shrimp mixture to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Divide shrimp among four soup plates and serve with a side salad and some warm French bread. Definitely-y......SCHLURRRP! Or, as Gerald put it "LARRAPIN!"



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