Monday, June 7, 2010

sautéed shrimp with garlic

As many of you already know, I just returned from a week-long vacation in Hawaii to see one of my cousins get married on the beach. The wedding was beautiful and touching, the scenery was gorgeous and the company way fabulous... but the best part of visiting Hawaii was the food! I love fresh seafood. I think I may have eaten my weight in sashimi alone.

On the road between our resort (Turtle Bay Resort) and the estate my cousins rented was a large shrimp farm. And there were several roadside stands selling fresh cooked shrimp. As we drove by every day you could smell the butter and garlic and it was intoxicating. So I also had my fair share of roadside stand shrimp. Specifically butter and garlic shrimp at Fumi's. It was so fresh that I think the shrimp you’d watched them gather as you drove by was the same shrimp was being walked in the backdoor to be cooked as you ordered.
So I didn’t get my fill of butter and garlic shrimp. I was still craving it when I got home. So as soon as I was rested I knew my next Ad Hoc recipe was going to have to be the Sautéed Shrimp with Garlic. Butter, wine, garlic and shrimp – what could be better? Not much.
Chef Keller’s recipe calls for U-12 jumbo shrimp (this means that there are under 12 shrimp to a pound), but I could only get my hands on 15/18 count shrimp. But that’s pretty close and I didn’t really think it’d make much difference. So I bought 15 shrimp for about $12 and hoped that this would be as good as what I’d had on North Shore.
But the first thing I had to do was peel and devein the shrimp. I’ve peeled a lot of shrimp in my day – but I’d never actually deveined them before. I could have asked them to peel and devein them for me at the seafood counter, but new experiences are good. Plus, Chef Keller says to do it yourself, so I did. Turns out – it’s easy. Not so pleasant, but easy. So once I’d peeled and deveined the shrimp, they needed to sit in a cold brine solution (4 cups water to 6 T kosher salt) for about ten minutes.

I think that was probably the most time consuming and difficult part of the whole dish.

I melted some butter in a large skillet. By the way, and totally off the subject, but I love this big huge cast iron skillet. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend getting one – you can use it for so many things and it heats so evenly. It's a Lodge Logic 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet.  I was too lazy to use cast iron for a long time because I thought it was too high maintenance since I couldn’t just throw it in the dishwasher. Wrong. Anyway – back to the shrimp. Just as the butter starts to foam, add the shrimp and garlic.

Swirl the pan around a little and cook the shrimp for about 90 seconds on each side.

How easy was that?!? Then you add some dry white wine and chives to the pan to make a sauce to pour over the shrimp.

Two of my shrimp wouldn’t stand up on the plate all nice and pretty like they did in Ad Hoc picture – so Jeremy ate them while I was still plating.

His exact words: “Oh my God this is amazing.” And it was. This was so incredibly delicious and easy – I’m making this one over and over and over and over. Decadent and easy and delicious.

Was it as good as what I had at Fumi’s Shrimp stand? Well, yes and no. The shrimp itself wasn’t quite as good – it wasn’t as fresh or as big, and of course that does make a difference. But the flavor was totally there. So the next time I get my hands on some really fresh shrimp, I know what I’m doing with it. Like I said, I’ll be making this over and over. Jeremy said this one is his favorite so far – even better than the ribs.


  1. Oh wow, a recipe that I could actually have time for! And you have inspired me to get out my big iron skillet. It's always looked too heavy and difficult to wash, but I'll trust your words of wisdom. Ben thanks you for the awesome meal he's about to have:)

  2. Oh my gosh! I could taste it as you were describing it. Sounds luscious! And I'm never without my iron skillets.

  3. I am in shrimp withdrawal here & may have to stop at your house on the way home from Ky to stop the seafood DTs! Pictures are awesome, Heather. I swear I can smell that lucious aroma now.