Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Shrimp in Caramel Pepper Sauce

Guess what! I have a day off! I overindulged last night, didn't cook, stayed up way too late and now I am sitting on the couch, eating iceberg lettuce with salt and vinegar and watching the Matador while typing up this post. I love multitasking...
Monday night, I tried out a recipe I found on the Cooking Light Message Boards.

The verdict? It was good... it wasn't tears of ecstasy good, but it was damn close. The leftovers went into wraps for Rob's lunches. I think if I were to change anything, I would up the pepper quotient...

The comments are the authors.
Jumbo Shrimp in Caramel Pepper-Garlic Sauce

I have to quote Judy Graham, my partner in producing Weeknight Kitchen. After testing my mock-up of the dish, she said, "Eat this and weep!"

We think this is a keeper of the first order.

I can't take credit for the dish. Inspired by a crab dish at Denver's New Saigon restaurant, this two-step stir-fry is done in 5 minutes, and disappears from plates even faster. Garlic and pepper caramelized in butter and sugar is wonderful on just about everything. Do the sauce for sweet sugar snap peas or broccoli, roll chunks of corn on the cob in it, or spoon it over cooked chicken. Rice and a cucumber salad round out the menu nicely

© 2006 Lynne Rossetto Kasper. All Rights Reserved

Serves 2 to 3

The one important trick to this dish is having all the sauce elements lined up and ready to go. Once the butter is in the pan you'll be adding ingredients every few seconds.

Cook to Cook: In making the sauce, know that when we say "seconds," we really mean it. Otherwise, the sauce goes from lusciously caramel-like to bitter and burnt. Keep the ingredients within arm's reach.

The Shrimp:

3 tablespoons cold pressed peanut oil, or canola oil
3 thin slices fresh ginger
2 scallions (white part only), coarsely chopped
1 pound jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined, rinsed and patted dry
Salt to taste
Caramelized Pepper Garlic Sauce:

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
Heaping 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed well in a mortar with pestle
Generous sprinkling of salt
1/3 cup coarsely chopped scallion tops
1 tablespoon diced (about 1/8-inch) garlic (3 large cloves)
1/4 cup water
1. Heat a wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat. Swirl in oil, count to five, then stir in ginger and scallion. Cook 3 seconds and add shrimp, sprinkling the pieces with salt. Stir-fry until shrimp turn pink and are beginning to firm. Scoop out of the pan and set aside.

2. Let the pan cool a few minutes, wipe it out with a damp cloth, and set it over medium heat. Have sauce ingredients nearby—the sauce comes together in a few moments.

3. Melt the butter in the pan but don't let it color. Stir in the sugar and keep stirring until the butter turns pale beige. Add scallion tops and cook another few seconds until the butter is pale amber.

4. Add garlic, pepper, salt, and shrimp. Stir a few more seconds until garlic is just golden (take care not to cook beyond golden or garlic will be bitter). Sugar will be deep amber. Stir in water, turn heat to high, and cook for just a few seconds to heat shrimp through. Turn onto a heated platter and serve immediately.


wheresmymind said...

Those look like shirmp! hehe I always think of prawns with head on :)

Anonymous said...

Well, that looks great to me. I've made several Asian meals where they for a small amount of caramelized sugar and it adds a very nice taste to the dish.


Lisa said...

Mmm. The sauce sounds so good. Sweet and hot. I have tons of sugar snap peas right now; since the recipe mentions it's good with them, I might give it a go.