Wednesday, January 16, 2008

January 16: Sauteed Shrimp

I almost never cook anything from the Food Network. Not only do I think that most of the recipes that they show are sort of like porn -- fun to watch, but nothing I'd ever do -- I find a lot of the personalities annoying and sort of insulting to people who take food seriously. Rachael Ray, for example. There is an extra-toasty corner of hell reserved just for her and her magazine and her many, many boring TV shows and her "stoup" and "Yum-Oh" and "E.V.O.O." Here's a clue, Rachael: you don't have to pretend to almost drop everything you're carrying every time you walk from the refrigerator to the pantry to the counter. We get it. Lots of stuff. Whatever.

But I like a lot of what Tyler Florence makes. Most of the time, it's straightforward, smart food for people who really want to eat straightforward, smart food and don't want a lot of fuss in the preparing of it. No long lists of obscure ingredients. No outrageous prep times.

This is a dish I have made many times in many forms. Living here on the East Coast like we do, we have access to great shrimp and everything else in the recipe are pantry staples. You can stop for shrimp on the way home and make this dish for dinner tonight. I like to make it with rice, which can cook while you make the shrimp, and whatever vegetable looks good. I like broccoli. Serves 4.

Sauteed Shrimp

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup chicken broth
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Put the flour on a plate and season with a healthy amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to combine evenly. Dredge the shrimp in the seasoned flour to coat all sides.

Heat the butter and oil in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat until butter stops foaming and just starts to turn a light brown. Add the shrimp, and give it a toss, saute for 5 minutes until the shrimp is firm and there is a crispy coating on the outside. Remove the shrimp to a side plate and cover to keep warm.

Put the pan back on the heat and add the garlic and shallots. Cook and stir for 1 minute until soft. Add the lemon juice and chicken broth, give it a stir and let it cook down for 1 minute to thicken slightly. Put the shrimp back in the pan and coat in the lemon sauce. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

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