Friday, January 2, 2009

Tequilla Shrimp

This past fall we went to Mexico, to Cabo San Lucas, and I have had the best shrimp dishes there. It was really nice to be able to eat good quality seafood. Living in the Midwest pretty much everything that's available is previously frozen, and sometimes they don't even tell you that. Ok, we do have some good seafood markets here in Chicago, but it's not cheap...

One of the super popular dishes out there is Tequila Shrimp. I didn't have a recipe but it seemed pretty easy to recreate after tasting it in the restaurant. I love shrimp, and those are super easy and quick to make. Cooking time for shrimp is between 1 and 2 minutes - that depends on the size of shrimp you are cooking. if you overcook shrimp, they become rubbery and hard.

This simple and very favorful shrimp dish can be served over spaghetti, linguini or other pasta. or you can just serve it by itself - as tapas. I made it few times lately, once I served it with lemon orzo, next time with lemon spaghetti, and just this past Sunday over spaghetti with butter - I made enough of tequilla sauce to make sure I could toss the pasta with it.

Make sure you start with the pasta - whatever you want with your shrimp - cook according to directions. It is important to have pasta ready right before you assemble the dish, othervise your shrimp will get cold, and reheating it will couse overcooking the shrimp.

I usually get about 1 pound of uncooked shrimp (15-20 shrimp per pound). I wash them under cold water, path dry and season with sea salt and black pepper. Make sure to prepare your shrimp before you start making the rest. it goes quickly.

Here is what we need to make the wonderful tequila shrimp sauce (you can modify the proportions according to your preferences, i.e. use olive oil only, no butter... etc.)
butter - about 3/4 stick of unsalted butter,
olive oil - about 1/4 cup,
garlic - I use a lot of garlic, about 8-10 cloves, finely chopped,
shalott - 1 large or 2 small, finely diced,
juice of 1 lemon
white tequila - about a cup
fresh herbs like chives, basil and parsley - 1/2 of cup, chopped
freshly grated parmesan cheese
Preheat large pan with taller sides, add butter and olive oil, heat it through on low heat, add chopped garlic, let it simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. Add shalotts, and raise the heat to medium - cook another 3 minutes. Make sure that your garlic is not burning. It has to all cook slowly for flavors to infuse the butter/olive oil. Lower the heat and add tequilla and lemon juice, turn it the heat back to meadium high and let it cook for few 1-2 minutes, make sure you have enough liquid to have your shrimp half way covered. Add the shripm and cook until done. if you have too many shrimp, make sure you do it in batches - you don't want to overcrowd the pan.
turn the shrimp to cook on the other side, after about 30-45 seconds add a litlle heavy cream to the sauce to make it little thicker, taste to see if needs seasoning. Sprinkle with your herb mix and it's ready to serve over pasta. Put your pasta into a large bowl, pour the tequila shrimp withe sauce over the pasta and toss it with kitchen thongs. Freshly grated parmesan on top and few thin lemon slices, and it's ready to go... really great and simple dinner....

You can spice things up a little and a a dash of red pepper flakes at the same time as garlic.


Rita said...

aaaa!!! they rock!! hey people!! you should make them following Megs steps! :d
my mouth is watering hahah it was soo gooooooooooooooooooood !! ;]

Kevin said...

Great looking shrimp! One of my favorite ways to make shrimp.