We're teetering on the trailing edge of a season of holidays, but that doesn't mean you need to put away your champagne cork or trade in your delicate finger foods just yet. In fact, those appealing appetizers are just the thing to keep you in a party mood all year round! I'm always amazed at how a simple appetizer can transform a meal into an event; this year, our New Year's dinner was a tapas-style feast of appetizers at the house of my aunt and uncle in Chicago. Over the next few days, I'll be sharing a few of these appetizer recipes that are just as perfect for everyday as for holidays.
|Look at that garlicky goodness!|
Today's dish is a rich, buttery serving of shrimp from the Guy Fieri Food cookbook. Now, I've seen a few episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and even eaten at a few of the featured locales, but I'd never made one of Guy's recipes, so I was excited when my aunt and uncle picked this one out. Plump shrimp, oven-cooked to near-translucent doneness, and drenched in a rich sauce of spices, seafood stock and butter is just my kind of thing. The sauce also calls for a large amount of beer, which we reduced, and some Louisiana-style hot sauce, which we omitted (by accident!) - and to be honest, I'd make it exactly the same way again. Okay, so ours may not have been 'Louisiana BBQ,' but it was delicious!
from this Guy Fieri recipe
1 stick (1/2 cup), plus 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
1/4 cup onion, minced
1/4 cup green onion, sliced
1 Tablespoon garlic, crushed and chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (you can boil the peelings to make your own shrimp stock)
8 oz beer (originally 12 oz)
1 cup shrimp or seafood stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
Louisiana-style hot sauce, to taste (optional)
Juice of 1/4 lemon (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small saute pan over medium-high heat, melt the stick of butter until gently foaming. Add both kinds of onions and sauté until translucent and aromatic, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, thyme, basil, red pepper, and paprika and stir to combine. Cook about 2 minutes.
Arrange shrimp in a single layer in an oven-safe pan or dish. Pour butter mixture evenly over shrimp and bake until shrimp are just slightly underdone, about 6-7 minutes. Don't overcook or your shrimp will be rubbery (the trick is to take them out when they are still a little translucent since they will continue to cook a little after your remove them from the oven). Remove shrimp to a hot plate to keep them warm, or place on a warmed dish and cover tightly with foil.
In a small saucepan, combine the beer, shrimp stock and the buttery drippings from your shrimp pan. Cook on medium-high, until the volume of the liquid is reduced by 1/3. Whisk in the remaining butter (it must be cold!) in 2-3 pat increments, until the sauce becomes glossy and smooth. Sauce should be thick, so that running a finger down the back of the spoon should leave a clear line. Remove from heat and add salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste.
Arrange shrimp on a platter (or several small plates) and drizzle with sauce and lemon juice. Top with a sprinkling of fresh green onion, if desired, and serve hot.
A few notes: I've already let you in on our changes, so there's only one thing left to say - this dish was great as written, but can you imagine a bit of crispy bacon crumbled on top? Oh boy. I guess my bacon-fever is back.....
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