Spicy Shrimp Gratin – GCC: Menu #17
One of the things I love most about being part of the Gutsy Cooks Club is that when I invite guests over, choosing what to cook is a “no brainer”. Furthermore, not only do I get to test the recipe on my man Sam, I also get a broader opinion from my guests.
So when I had my family over this weekend, I served the Spicy Shrimp Gratin.
Gratin is a widely used culinary technique in food preparation in which an ingredient is topped with a browned crust, often using breadcrumbs, grated cheese, egg and/or butter. Gratin originated in French cuisine and is usually prepared in a shallow dish of some kind. A gratin is baked or cooked under an overhead grill or broiler to form a golden crust on top and is traditionally served in its baking dish.
In this case, the Spicy Shrimp Gratin recipe from the Illustrated Kitchen Bible cookbook, contains Gruyère cheese and it also contains heavy cream. Now, If you recall from my Chicken à la King post, Sam and I are not fans of cream dishes (unless of course, it’s ice cream ;-)).
However, we do like shrimp and my friend Monica loves Gruyère cheese, which I don’t think I’ve ever had before, so despite the cream issue, we were very eager to try this dish.
This is an easy dish to make & doesn’t require a lot of time….As long as, you don’t buy shrimp that needs to be peeled and deveined (I was being frugal). Unfortunately/fortunately, my Sous Chef was busy doing things around the house and I got stuck doing it alone *pout*,*pout* (it’s definitely worth paying the extra couple of $).
- 1 1/2 lb (675 g) large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- juice of 2 limes
- few drops of hot red pepper sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 red onions
- 3 hot red chiles, seeded and minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup shredded Gruyère
- Toss the shrimp, lime juice, and hot pepper sauce in a bowl and let stand for about 15 minutes.
- Position the broiler rack about 8 inches from the source of heat and preheat the broiler. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
By the way, I didn’t use olive oil, I used bacon fat. I had decided to add bacon to this dish (besides garlic, a lot of dishes go better with bacon).
- Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the chiles (I used mild chiles) and garlic and cook about 5 minutes more, until tender.
- Spread in a large, ovenproof serving dish. Drain the shrimp and arrange over the onions. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour in the cream sprinkle with the Gruyère.
- Broil about 5 minutes, or until the shrimp turn opaque and the cheese is golden brown. Serve immediately.
In my case, I baked for 15-18 minutes @ 400°, then I sprinkled with some fresh parsley and bacon and broiled for about 3 minutes.
I served it with pasta, a salad and sliced baguette. The bread came in handy for sopping up the cheesy, cream sauce. I think adding the bacon was definitely a good call on my part (yes, I’m patting myself on the back).
It turned out to be a real crowd pleaser, which is always my ultimate goal.
Ladies and Gentlemen…this concludes this week’s Edible Adventure.
|“Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sautee it. There’s, um, shrimp kebabs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan fried, deep fried, stir fried. There’s pineapple shrimp and lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich… That’s, that’s about it.”|
|Mykelti Williamson quotes (American Actor, b.1960) Character: Bubba Blue quotes.|