Thursday, September 25, 2008

Spicy and Saucy Shrimp

I love shrimp...any size, shape, or form. One of my favorite memories is of going with my family to a family style restaurant when I was about 15 and living in South Carolina. This restaurant served its food in bowls and platters, and you helped yourself. The meal started with all you could eat shrimp cocktails, but these weren't the cocktails served in dainty little glasses with the shrimp perched precariously on the sides. Oh, no. There were small bowls of shrimp scattered about the table along with bowls of sauce, and you just helped yourself. And the servers obligingly kept the bowls filled. Well, I was in shrimp heaven! Then my dad, always the competitor, challenged me to a shrimp eating contest. And the game was on. I had permission to make a pig of myself, which I did. The problem was there was no way I would ever outeat my dad. Instead, I just made myself sick. But it was so worth it! And I still love shrimp. So I look for opportunities to cook shrimp.

The local Safeway had large shrimp (such an oxymoron) on sale a couple of weeks ago and I purchased a 2 lb. bag of the of the 21/25 shrimp per pound size. I had seen a recipe on A Year of Crockpotting for spicy shrimp. And she freely admitted that she took it from The Pioneer Woman's recipe. So, now, I am putting my own spin on it. This is really, really addicting! Who knows, I may serve this for the main entree for Christmas dinner.

The Ingredients

2 lbs. fresh or thawed rinsed shrimp unpeeled
1 stick butter
1/4 cup olive oil (I use extra virgin)
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 TBS. Frank's Hot Sauce
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
juice from 3 lemons
1 TBS. Old Bay Seasoning

This is so easy it's almost shameful. I did this in my new Dutch oven and it took no time at all. Put the shrimp in a 5-6 qt. pot.
Slice the butter top and throw everything else in the pot. Give it a toss, put the lid on the pot, and turn the heat on medium. When it starts to gently boil, turn down the heat and check it often. When the shrimp is pink it's done. I think it took about 10 minutes.
Now what makes this especially yummy is this...and you must do this. You get a loaf of crusty bread and dip pieces of it into the sauce from the shrimp. OH MY GOSH! You will think you have died and gone to heaven. I served the shrimp with oven roasted broccoli, a semolina bread and the sauce in custard dishes for dipping. This was truly a delectable meal, definitely to be repeated. Enjoy.

P.S. You might want to put a bowl out for the discarded peels of the shrimp. And we basically ate the entire meal with our fingers. How good is that?!

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