Friday, January 4, 2008

Shrimp Ὰ La Française

It used to be that any time I wanted a no fail, luxurious, "adult" dinner for my husband and I would always default to Shrimp Ὰ La Française from San Francisco Encore (the follow up to San Francisco a la Carte by The Junior League of San Francisco.) However, much to my dismay, my children have recently discovered the merits of shrimp and garlic butter, so now Tony and I have to share.

This recipe is right up my alley - just a few ingredients, simple instructions, and a fantastic return on the investment. Instant bliss - just add a green salad and a glass of wine.

Shrimp Ὰ La Française
adapted from San Francisco Encore, 1986, Doubleday

3 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 cup olive oil
6 garlic cloves
3/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
freshly ground pepper

Pat shrimp dry. Heat oil in large skillet. Add shrimp and saute until they turn pink, about 3 minutes. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Blanch the garlic in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and mince. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the oil from the pan. Place over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook for 30 seconds. Pour in the wine, increase the heat, and reduce mixture by half. Add the lemon juice and return to a boil. Remove from the heat.

Whisk in the butter, a piece at a time, until thick and creamy. Stir in parsley, chives, and tarragon. Season with pepper. Taste and season with salt and additional lemon juice, if necessary.

Arrange the shrimp on individual plates. Spoon the sauce over the top and serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6.

The Hiatus Ends

Yes – she returns.

It happens every year at the same time. October is “the” birthday month in our family – mine, my husband’s, my daughter’s, my mother-in-law’s, my nephew…you get the idea. October is cleverly followed by November and our girl’s Tea Party, the requisite bridal shower (not mine), Thanksgiving, energy-sucking holiday shopping, Christmas and finally New Year’s.

I really have been cooking - and even taking photos – but closing the deal has been elusive to say the least. But I’m back and have lots to share, so buckle your seatbelt and put your napkin on your lap.

The hiatus ends now.