I am reposting this from a few years ago, first because these shrimp are SO good, and also because when I read this post it is clear that I was equally stressed out two years ago at this time, which is oddly making me feel better. Like I have solidarity with myself from two years ago. Maybe you are on the hunt for quick delicious apps, or solidarity too. If so, enjoy! I also just posted my favorite Christmas Eve for a crowd dinner on Instagram, a Mac & Cheese bar, and lots of you were as equally in love with that idea as we are, so check out that post here.
So, between finalizing edits on my novel, my husband’s work Christmas parties, and all the decorating and gift giving, I feel like I am in college finals or maybe a Zen Buddhist video game: be serene. be patient. know the reason for the season. Also, your kids need Seasonal hats for hat day today, your husband is wondering why you bought all the candle lights for the windows if you aren’t going to put them up, and (cackling laughter) NONE of the gifts you picked out on Amazon for the cousins will be here in time for Christmas, even though they said Prime next to it, and you need to head to the mall STAT. Plus you are hosting Christmas for like 30 people.
It is easing all of my angst to find recipes that are quick and yummy, and I am sharing them with you on the off chance that you are in a similar state? No?
Let’s start with this Garlicky Roasted Shrimp recipe, shall we?
It is from Cook’s Illustrated, and honestly, it looked so good from the (black and white) photo it was all I could dream about after I saw it. I was thrilled to find out that it only takes 10 MINUTES to make. And it is so so good. There’s a whole sidebar in the magazine about how the brining keeps it moist and the shells on make all the proteins and sugars contribute to savory depth of flavor…in short, JUST KNOW THEY ARE SO GOOD.
About the only thing you may have to contribute as far as prep/effort is if your shrimp don’t come already de-veined. If that is the case you will have to put little elbow grease in but mine came deveined and ready to brine. I didn’t have any anise seeds and omitted them, though I did add some salt. And the other variations below – Peruvian and Asian-inspired – look dreamy too.
Hope you are staying warm (and sane). Happy Eating/Cooking/Wrapping/Making Merry!
Garlicky Roasted Shrimp (From Cook’s Illustrated, printer version here):
1/4 cup salt
2 pounds shell-on jumbo shrimp (16-to-20 per pound)
4 T. butter, melted
1/2 cup vegetable oil
6 garlic cloves
1 t. anise seeds (optional)
½ t. red pepper flakes
1/2 t. Salt
¼ t. pepper
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1 lemon, sliced into wedges for serving
- Defrost shrimp overnight in refrigerator or in a bowl of cold water for 30-45 minutes.
- If you are able to find non-deveined shrimp, then use kitchen shears or a paring knife to cut through the shell and use a paring knife to cut to 1/2″ deep and remove the vein. (Mine were already deveined). Leave the shell on for protection against the hot broiler. Add 1 quart of water to a large bowl and dissolve 1/4-cup of table salt, and place the deveined shrimp to brine, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Set an oven rack so that it is 4″ from the broiler heating element, and begin to pre-heat the broiler. In a second large bowl, add butter, vegetable oil, pressed garlic, anise seeds, pepper flakes, and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Drain shrimp and pat them dry using paper towels. Add shrimp and parsley to bowl containing the oil mixture, and toss to combine, ensuring that oil gets worked into the inside of the shrimp.
- Place shrimp in single layer on wire rack set over a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet. The wire rack will allow air-flow around the entire shrimp. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes, rotating half-way through broiling.
- Flip the shrimp and broil the second side for 2 to 3 minutes more, again rotating the pan halfway through broiling.
- Put cooked shrimp on a clean serving platter and and serve immediately, with lemon wedges.
Garlicky Roasted Shrimp with Cilantro and Lime
Omit butter and increase vegetable oil to ½ cup. Omit anise seeds and pepper. Add 2 t. Lightly crushed coriander seeds, 2 t grated lime zest, 1 t. Annatto powder to oil mixture in step 2. Substitute ¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro for parsley and lime for lemon wedges.
Garlicky Roasted Shrimp with Cumin, Ginger, and Sesame
Omit butter and increase vegetable oil to ½ cup. Decrease garlic to 2 cloves and omit anise seeds and pepper. Add 2 t. Toasted sesame oil, 1 ½ t. Grated fresh ginger, and 1 teaspoon cumin seeds to oil mixture in step 2. Substitute 2 thinly sliced scallion greens for parsley and omit lemon wedges.
From Cook’s Illustrated Special Collector’s Edition of Winter Recipes 2017 edition