February 12, 2012

Saucy Shrimp

There has been a bottle of tequila sitting on my fridge for about 3 months now with just about 2ish shots left in it.  I am not a tequila drinker that often, and I honestly can’t remember why I bought it in the first place, but it has slowly been emptied whenever I get in the mood for a margarita.  This week though I had a coupon of $2 off a seafood purchase at the store and since $2 worth of shrimp is just right for one person, I figured it was time to make a recipe that I have been wanting to try for a long time.  I am calling this dish “Saucy Shrimp”, but it really is a tequila lime shrimp pasta, but does the title really matter?  A rose by any other name…

Starting with my ingredients, I pull out my shrimp, soy sauce, garlic, anaheim pepper, coriander, tequila, bell peppers… the list goes on, there are quite a number of ingredients in this dinner.  First things first, I shell and devein the shrimp which is probably one of my least favorite kitchen tasks and get them marinating in some soy sauce.  Next I chop up my anaheim pepper and get my bell peppers sliced too.  I wish I had fresh coriander, but I am going to have to make do with dried spices tonight.

I toss my garlic, coriander and anaheim pepper in my stainless steel pan and get them sautéing while I measure out my tequila, chicken broth and lime juice.  After about 5 minutes of sautéing I remove the pan from the flame and pour in my lime/tequila/broth mixture and stir everything together, making sure I get all the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.  Once it is all mixed up I bring the liquid to almost a boil and reduce the bajeebees out of it.  I am hoping to get the liquid reduced to a paste consistency, which will be the flavor bomb later on.

It takes about 10 minutes to get the liquid down to where I want it and then I pour it into a small bowl to cool.  A quick pan wash and I’m ready for my bell peppers and onion.  I have them chopped into thin slices and kept the onion in 1/2 rings.  Ideally, I would like them to be like noodles in the final dish.  As soon as my peppers and onion are just slightly soft I add in the tequila paste and stir everything together before adding my cream.  Another good mix and I’m ready to get this step reduced.

The smells in my kitchen are interesting.  I’m used to cooking with wine, so the slight alcoholic smell is not strange to me, but the fact is I can almost taste the tequila in the air.  It is not unpleasant, but I wish I had some better tequila or maybe rum to cook this with.  The tequila mixed with the coriander is bright and tangy, but a bit harsh.

After another 10 minutes or so I am happy with the consistency of the sauce so I add the shrimp and a tiny pour of the soy sauce and let them cook to pink.  Cooking shrimp like this makes me slightly nervous because with the sauce coating it is kinda hard to see when they are done, so I have to do it by touch.  Once I am sure the shrimp are cooked (possibly overcooked) through, I toss everything in a little bit of pasta and serve myself with a tasty mushroom salad. 

I am very happy with my dinner.  It is bright and creamy and warm and sunny and something that I would be very happy to eat on a beach with a tall rum drink.  The tequila adds a good bite to the sweet and sunny flavors of the coriander and lime.  Next time I think I will omit the pasta and serve it up with more shoestring veggies, I think the pasta weighted it down too much. 

Good flavors and absolutely something I would be happy to serve to Jimmy Buffet or Kenny Chesney if I ever got the chance.  Cheers!

Saucy Shrimp (recipe below serves 2, I halved the recipe for my dinner)
  • ·      1/2 lb large uncooked shrimp
  • ·      Soy sauce
  • ·      6 cloves garlic
  • ·      2 tbl dry coriander
  • ·      1/2 Anaheim pepper, chopped
  • ·      1/2 cup tequila
  • ·      1/2 cup chicken broth
  • ·      1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • ·      Green and red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • ·      Onion, thinly sliced rings
  • ·      1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ·      Olive oil

  1. Marinate shrimp in soy sauce.
  2. In a skillet, sauté garlic, coriander and anaheim pepper for about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and gently pour in tequila, chicken broth and lime juice.  Return to head and reduce about 10 minutes until liquid turns to a paste-like consistency.  Set aside.
  4. Sauté bell peppers and onion until slightly soft.  Mix in tequila paste.
  5. Remove from heat and mix in cream, stirring until well blended.  Simmer over low heat until thickened.  About 10 minutes.
  6. Add shrimp and cook until pink.
  7. Toss with cooked pasta if desired and serve!

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