Plumped Ginger-Caramel Shrimp
If there is one recipe in this book that is guaranteed to have your
family moaning with gratitude, this is it. After eating these shrimp, a
five-year-old has been known to say, “Wow, Mom, thanks!” And they’ve driven
a grown woman to shamelessly lick her plate—in front of everyone. Our only
caution is follow the directions to the letter. There is a fine line between
caramelization and cremation.
- 1/2 cup
kosher or sea salt (not iodized)
- 1/3 cup
- 1/3 cup
medium-hot chile powder
- 2 quarts warm
- 1 1/2 pounds
large frozen shrimp (in or out of their shells; organic if possible)
- 4 large garlic
- One 4-inch
piece fresh peeled ginger
- 4 tablespoons
expeller-pressed or cold-pressed canola oil or
other mild oil
- 1/4 to 1/2
teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 4 teaspoons
In a medium stainless or glass bowl, blend the salt, sugar, and
chile powder in the warm water. Drop in the shrimp, and let
stand at room temperature for 20 minutes while you set up the
rest of the meal.
Drain the shrimp, peel off their shells if necessary, and pat
the shrimp dry.
Chop the garlic and ginger together into 1/8-inch pieces. Heat
the oil in a straight-sided 12-inch sauté pan over medium-high
heat. Stir in the garlic/ginger mixture, the pepper, and a
sprinkle of salt. Cook for 1 minute, stirring with a wooden
spatula. Blend in the sugar and keep stirring until the garlic
is pale gold. Do not let the pieces get dark brown.
Immediately drop in the shrimp and stir for another 1 to 2
minutes, or until the shrimp are turning pink and are barely
firm. Turn the shrimp into a serving bowl. Taste them for
seasoning, adjust as necessary, and serve hot or warm.
Shrimp Stir-Fry with Chickpeas and Greens
Follow the instructions for brining, peeling, and drying the
shrimp as directed above.
Substitute for the garlic and ginger: 1 medium onion, 2 yellow
bell peppers, 2 seeded jalapeño or serrano chiles, and 1/3 cup
pitted Kalamata olives. Chop together into 1/4-inch pieces.
Using 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil instead of the canola
oil, stir-fry the shrimp. When just firm, spoon them from the
pan to a large serving bowl.
Swirl a little more olive oil into the pan, add a can of rinsed
and drained chickpeas, the chopped onion mixture, and a couple
handfuls of salad greens. Stir-fry over high heat for 1 to 2
minutes, seasoning the vegetables to taste as you cook.
Once they are tender-crisp, add the vegetables to the shrimp and
serve. This is excellent over
No-Cook Whole-Wheat Couscous
or tossed with pasta.
Cook to Cook
- Frozen shrimp are called for as a convenience. Certainly you
could use fresh or thawed. If you do, use ice-cold water instead of
warm and marinate the shrimp in the refrigerator.
- One-third cup of chile powder is not an error. In a brine you
need this much to end up with a subtle boost of flavors. Try it
once, then tell us we are crazy.
FROM THE SPLENDID TABLE’S HOW TO EAT SUPPER BY LYNNE ROSSETTO KASPER
AND SALLY SWIFT