Thursday, February 04, 2010
A Nostalgic Recipe...
One of my favorite dishes at the Fig Tree was a shrimp dish. I don't recall their name for it, and it wasn't on the menu I brought home, but I've made my version of this many times over the years. Recently I made it again for friends, who all pronounced it a worthy recipe to share with you.
The reduction is similar to that for béarnaise sauce, and includes chervil. This isn't the most common of herbs. In my opinion, it is under-rated and under-used. It makes a good addition to salad dressings, and is particularly nice in almost any potato salad recipe. Added to butter with lemon, it can be drizzled over grilled fish or chicken.
A suggestion: for herbs and spices you're not sure you're going to want to use over and over, go to Penzey's, on Poplar near Kirby Parkway. They sell almost everything in small packages. If you don't have chervil, you can leave it out of this recipe and it will still be very good.
I make it in individual baking dishes, but you can just as easily make it in one shallow casserole. I like to serve it on a bed of rice with mushrooms, with tomatoes topped with garlic breadcrumbs and baked. If you serve it with rice, you might want to double the sauce ingredients so you will have some to pass at the table.
FIG TREE SHRIMP
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon dried chervil
2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
1 shallot, very finely minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup butter
1 clove garlic, smashed
2 pounds raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
Minced parsley for garnish
Combine all the "to start" ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer until reduced by about half. In another pan, melt the butter with the clove of garlic in it. Remove the smashed garlic clove and add the wine reduction.
Preheat the oven to 350. Place the shrimp in one layer in a shallow baking dish. Pour the butter-herb mixture over the top and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the shrimp is just done.