These summer months aren’t all about fresh produce. Even though most of us are excited about tomatoes, corn, peaches, beans and everything else, we are right in the middle of shrimpin’ season. From the end of May to sometime in August, shrimp season is in full swing. Fresh local shrimp can be found in a number of places like farmers markets, road side stands near the beach and in stores that support local products like The Fresh Market.
There are literally thousands of ways to prepare shrimp. Remember Bubba in Forrest Gump, heck he named about 6 ways to cook them and over 20 different shrimp dishes. Anyway, fresh locally caught shrimp don’t need a whole lot of fuss when preparing them; salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon will get it done.
However, if you are looking to do something a bit different try this grilled shrimp scampi. Served over garlicky, slightly charred toast and tossed with a tangy, spicy butter sauce, you will soon realize that you probably didn’t buy enough shrimp.
For the home cook attempting a butter sauce, or as the French call it a beurre blanc, it can be intimidating because the sauce is so temperamental and can separate with just a slight temperature adjustment. This recipe below for my version of a beurre blanc is flavored with roasted poblano peppers, lemon and white wine, but it also has a touch of cream. The cream is the home cooks secret weapon to keeping such a delicate sauce together. It helps suspend the butter in the sauce, allowing it to be a little more forgiving when putting the sauce together.
A Few tips: 1). Make sure to only use cold unsalted butter 2). Only add butter a cube or so at a time while constantly stirring 3) Check the temperature of the pot using your bare hand. You should be able to touch the side of the pot and be able to leave it on for a second before having to remove it.
Use this recipe as a base and flavor anyway you like to suit your style or palate. Use such things as herbs, chipotle, sweet peppers, caramelized onions or your favorite hot sauce. However you flavor it is up to you, just take your time and make plenty, it will go fast.
Grilled Shrimp Scampi with Roasted Green Chili Lemon Butter Sauce
24 each, shrimp, peeled, deveined and skewered in sixes
Olive oil, to drizzle
Kosher salt/black pepper, to taste
1 recipe, roasted green chili lemon butter sauce
Fresh parsley, chopped fine, to taste
1. Prepare butter sauce according to recipe and keep warm over very low heat. 2. Drizzle shrimp with oil, toss to coat and season. 3. Warm a large non stick pan to medium high heat. 4. Drizzle the pan with just enough oil to lightly coat, so it glides easily across the pan. 5. Place shrimp in pan flat, not on top of one another. 6. Cook until shrimp start to turn pink on one side, about 1- ½ minute(s) 7. Flip and cook until warmed through, about one minute more. 8. Remove from heat, place on a serving platter and spoon over a little butter sauce. 9. Serve with grilled garlic toast or warm foccacia. 10. Serve remaining roasted green chili lemon butter on the side.
Roasted Green Chili Lemon Butter
Makes about 2 cups
1 tablespoon, unsalted butter
1 each, poblano pepper, roasted, remove stem, charred skin and seeds, rough chop
1 clove, garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons, white onion, chopped
2 ounces, white wine
1 each, lemon, juice of
1/2 teaspoon, kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon, black pepper
1 ounce, heavy cream
1/2 pound, unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1. Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Add pepper, garlic and onion. 2. Sauté stirring frequently, until onions are clear, be careful not to burn the garlic. 3. Add wine, lemon juice, salt, pepper and reduce by half. 4. Add cream and cook until sauce begins to thicken, lower heat to medium as it reduces. 5. Lower heat to low and begin adding butter a couple pieces at a time, stir constantly adding more butter as previous butter melts into sauce. 6. Continue adding butter and stirring over low heat until all butter is incorporated into sauce. 7. Turn off heat, hold sauce covered on burner until ready to use, sauce will hold for about 30 minutes.