Shrimp is a perfect ingredient: it’s low-calorie, high-protein, and nutrient rich. It’s mild enough that a bounty of recipes can be built around it, but flavorful enough to be eaten on its own, steamed in its shell. It pairs well with both spicy and sweet ingredients, and can be fried, sauteed, steamed, broiled or grilled. Whether trawled from the Gulf or Atlantic or caught in pots in Prince William Sound, shrimp's an iconic food: some billion pounds are consumed annually by Americans. And while the trawlers from the Carolinas to Texas bring in the lion's share, everyone across the country enjoys them in regional favorites like Mississippi's shrimp-stuffed patty pan squash and gourmet presentations like Prima Bistro's Wild Truffled Shrimp.
Having lived in the heart of the shrimping coastline on Tybee Island, Georgia for so many years, I honed my own recipes and developed a discerning palate for those of others. Here are some of my favorites (scampi and saganaki photos by Charity Burggraaf).
Patrice Berry | Circle B Kitchen
12 large shrimp (peeled, deveined, tail on)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 small red onion, sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
1/2 yellow (or red) bell pepper, sliced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste)
1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced2 medium ripe tomatoes, diced (about 1 cup or so)
1/2 cup Greek feta cheese, coarsely crumbled (plus a little more for the top)
1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
1 cup marinara (or tomato) sauce
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
Splash of Ouzo (or add 1/4 teaspoon of ground fennel to the sauce, and a splash of vodka)
Salt to taste (keep in mind that feta cheese is very salty)
• In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and then add onions, peppers, tomatoes, olives, and dried oregano. Saute until the onions are soft and the tomatoes are starting to break down, about 5-7 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until a thick sauce forms.
• Stir in the crumbled feta and Ouzo. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt (if required) and additional crushed red pepper if desired and arrange the shrimp on top. Sprinkle the remaining feta cheese on top and place under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked through. Sprinkle with the fresh oregano and serve with crusty bread.
Anna Marlis Burgard | Tybee Island, Georgia
1-11⁄4 pounds of wild Georgia shrimp, shelled and deveined
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1⁄4 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons minced garlic, or to taste
2 tablespoons chopped curly parsley
6 large pickled jalapeno slices, chopped fine
1 tablespoon pickled jalapeno brine
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons Italian bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon saltzest of 1 lemon
dry white wine for deglazin
• Combine all ingredients and refrigerate overnight.
• Take out about an hour before serving.
• Saute shrimp quickly in a wok or large, heavy pan (not non stick).
• Remove shrimp; deglaze pan with a dry white wine, just enough to release the cooked-on sauce; drizzle on top of shrimp. Serve with basmati rice and fresh tomato slices.
Wild Truffled Shrimp
Chef Sibrand Jurriaans, Prima Bistro | Whidbey Island, Washington
1 pound peeled and deveined wild shrimp, 16-20 count
1/2 cup good quality honey
4 tablespoon chopped shallots
4 tablespoon fines herbs (freshly chopped parsley, tarragon, chives and fennel fronds is what we use)
8 teaspoons of white truffle oil
Pepper to taste
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 cup roasted marcona almonds
4 tablespoons canola oil
• Coat a saute pan with the canola oil and heat until smoking; sear the shrimp quickly on both sides.
• Add in the almonds and shallots and saute
• Add in enough honey to coat the shrimp plus a little more; the shrimp will release some liquid which adds to the sauce.
• Simmer until the shrimp are cooked, just after they turn orange-pink all the way through.
• Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
• Toss with herbs.
• Drizzle with truffle oil and sprinkle with sea salt.