LEMON GARLIC VERMOUTH SHRIMP, RETRO STYLE LIKE MAD MEN
Come on, even if you don't love shrimp a picture like this either gets you hungry or , in my case, makes
you want to cook. There is nothing particularly groundbreaking with this dish except for a few
ingredients that are pretty generic but will take a shrimp saute' from the usual American version of
Shrimp Scampi to something a little more, let's say sophisticated in a Vintage sort of way. Can you tell
yet that I'm alluding to Sunday's long anticipated premiere of Mad Men? Plus, it was Palm Sunday,
the Sunday before Easter Sunday and a traditional excuse for Italian-Americans to yet again cook
a big meal. What's the Mad Men tie-in? Think early 60's and certain products, foods and liquors come
to mind..one of them is Vermouth. The current trend of mixologists have dug deep into the past and
Vermouth is certainly one of those retro alcohols that is being reintroduced.
Pick up any 60's vintage cookbook and you are sure to find recipes full of pans being deglazed with
the French/Italian fortified wine blended with more alcohol and secret mixes of natural barks, herbs,
and roots. The taste is gives to certain foods is amazing...So, for dinner before the premiere of that
very 60's retro Martini drinking, cigarette smoking, well dressed and very inappropriately behaved
show called MadMen..here's is what I came up with. A sauteed shrimp dish with garlic, lemon
and vermouth. That's it. No other herb added, well, ok...a little fresh parsley (has to look good)
which is pretty neutral anyway. The herb flavored is derived from the Vermouth.
For 4-6, peel and devein 2 lbs. of 16-20 shrimp. Keep the tails on. Rinse them, then pat them
dry with paper towels. In a small bowl mix 4 tbs. of flour, 1 tbs. of Sweet Hungarian Paprika (or,
for a smoky flavor, 1/2 tbs. of Pimenton', smoked Spanish Paprika), 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. ground
black pepper. Blend well and coat the shrimp with the mixture. In a wide frying pan, in batches,
heat 2 tbs. of extra virgin olive oil and when a shrimp will sizzle in the pan (now you know it's hot
enough) saute' the shrimpfor 3 minutes per side, then with a slotted spoon, remove them to a
platter. Continue until you are finished. then add 1 tbs more of olive oil and 2 tbs. of butter to the
pan, unsalted is my preference. When the butter melts, add 3 finely minced garlic cloves and
saute' for about 1 minute, then deglaze the pan with 1/8 cup of vermouth..Bring this to a boil then
let it simmer until it's reduced by about 1/2, happens in about 5 minutes...add a pinch of salt and
then the shrimp and 1 tsp. of unsalted butter, then the juice of 1/2 a fresh lemon. Let this heat
through for about 2 minutes, then remove from the flame. Stir in 1 tbs. of fresh chopped parsley
and just check for seasoning.
So why the Paprika? A little flavor perhaps, but more because when the shrimp saute', that
rusty red/orange combined with the shrimp's natural color will make those babies pop. A
very pretty dish, and the Vermouth adds a nice background flavor, taming the garlic, the butter and
lemon just bring it all together.
Serve this with a side of Angel hair with the pan juices, or Rice.
This is the type of dish that would make Don Draper very happy...