Sunday, May 08, 2005

Recipe Blogging: Garlic Oil Shrimp

This recipe was inspired by something I've had at the wonderful Winds Cafe in nearby Yellow Springs. The Winds' recipe is based on a Spanish Tapas and is served with loads of garlic toast. I loved it so much I had to play around and see if I could come up with something similar. I use frozen shrimp in this simply because I live in Dayton, Ohio, smack in the American midwest. Think you can find high-quality, fresh shrimp here? Hah! I use Rainbow extra-large raw, peeled shrimp and am actually very happy with them. Note: Measurements in this recipe (as with most of mine!) are off the cuff. A swag. An approximation. A ballpark estimate. A guestimation. Doesn't matter and don't wig out about it. SHRIMP IN GARLIC HERB OIL 3 - 4 c. oil. (See note) 5 large cloves garlic, peeled and sliced 2 springs rosemary 4 strips orange rind (peel only, no white pith) 1 tsp peppercorns hefty pinch red pepper flakes ~10oz peeled, deveined raw shrimp
  • Use a heavy, tall pot or pan. I use an All-Clad 1qt. sauce pan which is tall and narrow. Add the oil, filling no more than 1/3 tall and place over medium-high heat.
  • Add the garlic cloves, rosemary, orange rind, peppercorns and red pepper flakes. (Adding these in while the oil's cool means the maximum flavor will get extracted as the oil heats up.
  • Wait a few minutes until the oil's moderately hot -- the garlic and other additions should be bubbling nicely.
  • Carefully drop in a handful or so of shrimp. Best bet is to use a spider basket or slotted spoon to carefully lower the shrimp into the oil. If using frozen shrimp, raise the heat up to high for a bit to keep the oil's temperature level.
  • Cook frozen shrimp for 3 - 5 minutes until thawed and cooked through. Check for a nice pink color and test one of the shrimp for doneness. (Darn, testing the food.) I've never done this with fresh shrimp, but I'd imagine they'd only need to cook for 2 - 3 minutes.
  • Remove from the oil when done and set aside. Raise the heat again if needed. Continue cooking the shrimp in batches.
  • When all batches are complete, return all to the pan to reheat the entire set. Scoop all the shrimp into a bowl, along with all the garlic and herbs from the oil. Drizzle a hefty amount of the oil over the top of the shrimp.
  • Serve with crostini, toast, or just plain. Make sure to try some of the garlic -- it's altered considerably during the cooking and turns quite sweet and delicious.
NOTES: I use 50/50 mix extra virgin olive oil and canola. I'd use 100% extra virgin olive oil, but I'm cheap so I try to balance out EVOO's richness with a bit of cheaper canola.

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