Monday, September 17, 2012

Sriracha Shrimp

Sriracha sauce is one of those miracle ingredients that ought to be a staple in every pantry.

Its spicy, vinegary flavor is essential to many Asian dishes, punches burgers up a notch, and rounds out the flavor of tacos and enchiladas. You can (and should) add a dash to eggs and chicken and even salad dressings. We're contemplating experimenting with it in dessert dishes.


It's that good.

Anyway, for those of you who want more than just a hint of sriracha's zippy flavor, the DDH found and executed this sriracha shrimp recipe. As written, it is spicy. Really spicy. I mean, I'm sort of a wimp about spiciness (though, sidenote, my New Mexican spice-wimpiness translates to a pretty high spice tolerance in the Midwest, and the Germans pretty much think I have magical spice-enduring powers), and the first night of this was a little much for me. The spice mellows a bit when eaten as leftovers, however, and you can also use less sriracha to start with (note to self: use less sriracha to start with).

Either way, I highly recommend pairing this with a bland, absorbant grain like rice. We ate it with some quinoa (technically a seed, but it acts like a grain) and tall glasses of milk.

Sriracha shrimp with quinoa, vegetables,
and sriracha garlic bread.

Sriracha Shrimp
Adapted from this Bon Appetit recipe.

Heat a large skillet on medium. Add 2 Tbs. butter

and 6 Tbs. Sriracha sauce. You could about halve this (and add more butter, if you want) to cut down on the spiciness.

 Stir together until butter is completely melted and the sauce is combined.

 Add 3+ cloves minced garlic

Have I told you how much I love my garlic press?
and sautee for about thirty seconds.

The sauce may start to thicken a bit.
Add 1 pound shrimp, peeled. (To make skewers of shrimp, like as fancy appetizers for a fancy dinner party, you could leave the head or tail on. If you plan to just eat piles of shrimp mixed in with rice, make sure they're completely peeled and detailed. Or you will get chemical burns on your fingers de-tailing spicy shrimp. Not that I would know this from personal experience or anything.)

If you're using pre-cooked shrimp, you want to just sautee until they warm up, a minute or two. If the shrimp are not yet cooked, cook until done.

When the shrimp are almost done, add 1 Tbs. lemon zest, 1 Tbs. dried mint (or 2 Tbs. fresh, chopped), and 1 Tbs. dried basil (or 2 Tbs. fresh, chopped).
Zest in back (I zest any lemons I buy and
freeze it so I always have zest on hand).
Mix well and cook about a minute longer (or, if using fresh herbs, until herbs wilt).

As mentioned, you can skewer lines of shrimp for a fancy presentation:

Fancy Dinner Party style.
 Or eat piles of them with rice, quinoa, or pasta.

We found lemon juice to be most effective at stopping burning after the DDH rubbed his face with srirachified hands (yes, he washed them first. That doesn't really mean anything to capsaicin).


Pretty colors!

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