It was our turn to host "gourmet", the term we've all been using for the dinner that six of us partake in several times a year. Too chilly to be outdoors for more than our appetizers, we ate three courses in our dining room. I served the main course in my favorite bowls, made in Spain, that I hauled back from Aix-en-Provence last summer.
The shrimp almost seemed camouflaged within the marbleized red and yellow glazed swirls. Prepared in a spicy herb butter, we ate the unpeeled shrimp with our hands and soaked up the sauce with French breads.
This is a fantastic dish that does not involve much time and the results are hugely delicious! The shrimp were excellent... large and meaty. I figured 1/2-pound per person and that was really pushing our limit. From a Sunday New York Times magazine, "This Southern recipe, altho' called "barbecue", is actually prepared in a hot cast-iron skillet".
• 16 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, crushed
• 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 bay leaf
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 3 to 5 thyme sprigs, chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
• Salt to taste, if desired
• 2 pounds unshelled large shrimp, approximately 20 to 24, rinsed briefly in
• 1/2 cup bottled clam juice
• 1/4 cup dry white wine
1. In a large cast-iron skillet or frying pan, melt eight tablespoons of the butter over high heat. Add all the remaining ingredients except the remaining eight tablespoons of butter, the shrimp, clam juice and wine. Stir well and add the shrimp. Cook about three minutes, stirring and shaking the pan.
2. Add the remaining eight tablespoons of butter, clam juice and wine. Cook, stirring and shaking the pan, until the shrimp are cooked through. Remove from heat and serve immediately with the hot butter sauce from the pan and French bread or rice. YIELD: Four servings.