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Sicilian grilled shrimp with aromatic butter


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#1 Cheater

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 01:33 PM

Pablo earlier referenced "Cheater's shrimp recipe," but it would be unfair for me to claim authorship. It's simply my favorite shrimp recipe for over 35 years from a old cookbook by a very accomplished chef and gourmand. If you like shrimp and garlic, you owe it to yourself to try this recipe!
 
Sicilian Grilled Shrimp with Aromatic Butter
 
For our family of 4
 
For more than twenty years this has been without question the family’s favorite way of preparing shrimp. Its attraction, especially for our daughters, seems always to have been a combination of the picnic atmosphere of being able to pick up the shrimp by the tail, plus the extreme simplicity and speed of preparation. This is a fairly light main course and goes excellently with whole-wheat kasha, which absorbs the sauce and adds a nutty flavor and contrasting texture.
 
Staples: Shopping List:
 
Salt butter (8 Tbs.) Jumbo shrimp (about 1-1/2 lbs.)
Lemon (1)
Clam juice (8 oz. bottle)
Aromatics: crystal salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Garlic (3 cloves, or more to taste)
Parsley (enough to fill 1/4 cup, chopped)
Granulated instantized flour (6 Tbs.)
Olive oil (1/4 cup)
Dry madeira wine (1/4 cup)
 
About 25 Minutes Before Serving
Turn on broiler to medium temperature and set height of shelf so that shrimp in the dish will be about 3 inches from heat. Pull legs off shrimp and remove shells, but leave tail firmly attached. Devein, wash, and dry. Spread 4 tablespoons of the flour on a plate and mix with it 1 teaspoon of salt. For the broiling we use an enameled cast iron au gratin dish 10 inches across, but a pie pan will also do. Put in 4 tablespoons of the butter and the 1/4 cup of olive oil, then set under the grill to get hot, but watch to make sure the butter does not brown or burn.
 
Meanwhile lightly flour the shrimp. Take out au gratin dish from under broiler and neatly arrange the shrimp in hot fat, making sure each is well coated all around. Put back under grill and broil until shrimp are beautifully pink and the flesh just opaque. Under our broiler it takes exactly 8 minutes, but the first time it is well to taste one of the shrimp. While the shrimp are broiling, prepare the sauce. With practice we find that we can do it in the 8 minutes; but when the shrimp are done, they can be taken out from under the broiler and held for a couple of minutes if necessary. So there is no need to feel pressured while making the sauce.
 
Peel the 3 cloves of garlic and have ready a garlic press. Do not be troubled by the amount of garlic, most of it evaporates under the broiler. Chop enough parsley to fill 1/4 cup. Pour the 8 ounces of clam juice and the 1/4 cup of Madeira into a small 1-pint saucepan and gently heat up but do not let boil. In a 1-quart saucepan melt 2 more tablespoons of the butter, then make a roux by smoothly working in the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour. Now start working in the clam juice-Madeira, dash by dash, using only enough to make a smooth, creamy sauce slightly thicker than heavy cream. Adjust heat so that it gently simmers. Add, squeeze by squeeze, enough lemon juice to give sauce a fairly strong lemon flavor, usually about 1 tablespoon. Also add salt and pepper to taste. Let the sauce gently simmer until shrimp are almost ready. At the last moment, stir into sauce the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, the garlic, mashed through the press, plus the chopped parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings, including a few more drops of lemon juice if needed.
 
Take shrimp out from under the grill, turn up broiler to high temperature, and raise shelf so that shrimp will be about 2 inches from heat. Finally stir sauce and pour over shrimp, making sure all are covered by sauce. Put back under grill for only 2 or 3 minutes, until sauce is bubbling and shrimp are just lightly flecked with brown. Be careful not to overcook shrimp. Serve at once on very hot plates. The shrimp may be picked up by their tails.
 
– from Feasts for All Seasons, by Roy Andries de Groot  (Knopf, 1966)
 
The above is the recipe exactly as printed in de Groot’s cookbook, which is my ex's favorite cookbook of the many she owns.
 
Notes from our experience:
 
1. We usually double this recipe because it so good that regular portions aren’t enough!
2. Make certain that you go for a strong lemon flavor when making the sauce. One lemon is probably not enough, even when NOT doubling the recipe.
3. This is not a low-cal recipe and we normally do not add the extra butter to the sauce before pouring it over the shrimp. It tastes just as good.
4. We invariably forgo the buckwheat kasha and just serve crusty French bread to sop up the extra sauce. We also put the dish on the table so everyone can dredge their bread.
5. Do use larger size shrimp. This is a real pain to make with smaller shrimp.
6. De Groot’s statement about this being his family’s favorite way to prepare shrimp is exactly how we feel. We’ve never found a shrimp recipe we like better in over 35 years of looking for one.
7. Do not substitute for the clam juice and Madeira.
8. We always fought over the left-overs, if there were any. You will, too.
 
De Groot was an amazing gourmand and food writer who became blind later in life due to injuries suffered during the London blitz in WWII. He was Esquire’s food editor starting in the '50s and was also the first food editor for the Today show.
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Gregory Wells

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#2 Tom Eatherly

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 03:06 PM

Gregory, you scoundrel! Fax me over some of those right NOW! :laugh2:

 

That does sound tasty, Greg. Gonna have to try that. And soon.


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#3 Pablo

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 03:38 PM

Gregory, you scoundrel! Fax me over some of those right NOW!

 

 Fax won't work, Tom. You need a 3D printer with the new food app.  :laugh2:


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#4 Tom Eatherly

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 03:45 PM

Aha! I knew my equipment was dated. Dang!

 

Food app, huh? OK.


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#5 Pablo

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 08:12 AM

This Saturday I'll be in the kitchen wearing a chef's bib and a paper hat, Greg.  :dance3:

 

I enlisted a fishing buddy as my helper, he says shrimp is his favorite food. Also invited two more friends. That makes four.

 

Question: should I double the recipe?


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#6 Cheater

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 08:26 AM

If it's four hungry guys, yes. That way, the worst that can happen is you have leftovers...


Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#7 Pablo

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 08:46 AM

OK thanks.

 

BTW, is this the culinary version of a "tongue doubler"? :blum:

 

I'll go to WalMart for ingredients Friday and down to the dock Saturday morning for the shrimp.

 

What is your take on de-veining? I know the recipe says to do it, but what is your opinion?

Not everybody does it. De-veining lobster is easy. Shrimp take longer.

 

Mexicans pull mussels off rocks, crack 'em and slurp 'em down. Not much de-veining going on there and I don't see them getting ill.


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#8 Cheater

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 09:08 AM

I peel and devein at the same time so it really doesn't add any time to the job.

 

Deveining shrimp is optional but the vein can sometimes have a little sand in it and it does look unsightly.


Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#9 Pablo

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 09:55 AM

Thanks. I found info on deveining and peeling same time like you said. I'm all set,  :good:


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#10 CoastalAngler1

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 10:26 AM

Paired with blackened mahi tacos, you would be able to invite the Mexicans.  :sarcastic_hand: 

Johnson Bayou has jumbos?  Nice!


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#11 Pablo

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 10:37 AM

Charlie, I meant the dock at Pass Christian. Johnson Bayou is too shallow for Forrest's shrimp boat :laugh2:

 

Mexicans are always welcome here, as long as they bring a couple ripe Calavos or some original Rosarita Frijoles Refritos.


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#12 Pablo

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 06:44 PM

Some clarification from "Chef" Cheater Wells:
 
- "Kasha" is bread. Who knew. I had to ask. I plan to use fresh French bread; he said it's fine.
- "Aromatics crystal salt" is just salt.
- Black pepper doesn't have to be fresh ground.
- "Granulated instantized flour" is just regular all-purpose flour.
- The Madeira wine has to be Madeira wine. If the supermarket doesn't have it, don't compromise.
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#13 Pablo

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Posted 25 September 2016 - 10:57 AM

My shrimp results: turned out excellent ! You can really taste all the flavors of the ingredients in the shrimp.
My guests absolutely loved it. Thanks, Greg.   :good:
 
I doubled the recipe, three people ate, and there were four shrimp left over which I ate for breakfast.  :dance3:
 
The only suggestion I have is possibly finding a way to make it less time and labor intensive for dummies like me who aren't sous chefs. :)
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#14 Cheater

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Posted 25 September 2016 - 11:12 AM

One little correction...

Kasha is not really bread. What I wanted to impart was that we never served this recipe over kasha (well, maybe once). We always replaced the kasha with a loaf of crusty bread to sop up the delicious sauce.

"In the English language, kasha is a term for the pseudocereal buckwheat. In Central and Eastern Europe, especially in Russia, Ukraine and Poland, kasha is a dish made of any kind of grains boiled in water or milk, possibly with additives, i.e., a porridge."

Glad you liked it.

As for the time, you can always buy the shrimp already peelded and deveined. LOL... Cleaning the shrimp is what thakes the majority of the time and if you doubled the receipe, it did take some time.

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap






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