A spicy shrimp skillet with garlic toast doesn’t need a lot of ingredients or time. It’s a perfectly easy entrée or a quick snack for a couple of people. Creole seasoning, red pepper, a light lager, and some hot sauce give you all the flavor you could ask for. Don’t forget the garlic toast–there’s no better accompaniment for all that sauce.
Adapted from Kelley Epstein | Après All Day | Chronicle Books, 2021
One of the best compliments I’ve ever received was from a close friend who said, “For being such a foodie, you are so not a food snob.” It’s true. I will eat just about anything. It’s not that I don’t appreciate really good food; I just appreciate the idea of sharing food that much more! This spicy shrimp skillet is perfect for sharing, especially alongside a cool glass of white wine.–Kelley Epstein
HOW DO I KNOW WHEN SHRIMP IS COOKED?
Shrimp cooks fast–like, really fast–depending on their size. So our first piece of advice for you is to not get distracted while preparing any dish full of these little babies because overcooked shrimp is a travesty. Raw shrimp is grey and translucent, while cooked shrimp is opaque and white with a hint of pink. It can be harder to tell when your shrimp is covered in sauce though, so keep an eye on your timing.
Here are 2 other ways to tell when you’ve got perfectly cooked shrimp. First, you can whip out a meat thermometer–you’re looking for a temperature of 165ºF. But if that seems too fussy, you can try something else. A raw shrimp is almost straight and an overcooked shrimp curls up into an “O” shape. Shrimp that’s perfectly done will be shaped like a “C” (C for cooked, O for overcooked. Smart huh?). Remember that they’ll continue to cook after you remove them from the pan, so you’ll want to stop cooking them just before that.
Spicy Shrimp Skillet with Garlic Toast
For the garlic toast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (1 oz) salted butter
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Eight 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick slices crusty bread such as a baguette
For the shrimp
- 1 pound large or jumbo shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning divided
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon store-bought or homemade hot sauce
- 1 lemon halved
- 1/2 cup light beer
- 4 tablespoons (2 oz) salted butter cut into chunks
Make the garlic toast
- Preheat broiler.
- In a small skillet over medium heat, warm olive oil and butter until butter melts. Add garlic and salt, cook just until garlic is fragrant but not browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat
- Brush both sides of bread with some of the garlic mixture, arrange on a baking sheet. Broil until both sides are toasty and golden, 60 to 90 seconds per side.
Make the shrimp
- Season shrimp with 1 teaspoon of Creole seasoning.
- Preheat a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pepper starts to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
- Turn heat up to medium-high. Add shrimp and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add remaining 2 teaspoons of Creole seasoning, Worcestershire, hot sauce, and juice from a lemon half. Cook for 1 minute, tossing shrimp in sauce.
- Add beer and deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook until shrimp are cooked through and sauce is slightly reduced, 2 to 3 minutes more.
- Remove from heat and stir in butter, one piece at a time. The sauce will thicken as you stir in the butter. Finish with a squeeze of juice from remaining lemon half.
- Serve immediately, either right in the skillet or on a serving platter, with garlic toast for mopping up the sauce.
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Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I love this shrimp–I only wish I had made some grits. This spicy shrimp skillet with garlic toast is the best. The flavor and spicy heat are just perfect. The smell is amazing. The sauce is perfect for sopping up with the toast.
As we were eating this, I thought man I should have made grits, it would be the best shrimp and grits. We had some shrimp leftover so I will be making grits tomorrow. We had ours with a green salad. Should have made those grits!
This spicy shrimp skillet with garlic toast is a very tasty, very easy recipe to throw together. There are not a lot of ingredients or steps but it yields a very flavorful recipe.
I honestly should have doubled or tripled the recipe because my kids ate over 1/2 of the shrimp. One son made a po’boy out of the garlic bread and shrimp then got extra bread to sop up the sauce. I was concerned it would be overly spicy but it balanced out very well when everything was combined. We served it with caesar salad.
Shrimp is one of my favorite foods and I prepare it in a number of different ways. This spicy shrimp skillet with garlic toast is now one of my favorites. It is a quick, easy preparation and is bursting with flavor. Given the name, I did expect a hotter spicy flavor. It is, however, a delicious blend of flavors and could easily be spiced up with additional hot sauce if that is your preference.
I personally wouldn’t bother with the garlic toast the next time I prepare this. The sauce on the shrimp has so much flavor that the garlic doesn’t really add much. If you make the toast, watch it closely as it burns quickly. A sourdough or similar bread to soak up the sauce would be my preference. I served this with couscous (to soak up more sauce!) and a quinoa salad.
Originally published August 31, 2021
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
We loved this rich and flavorful spicy shrimp skillet with garlic toast: the garlic toast was the perfect vehicle for mopping up the delicious buttery sauce in the pan and I loved how easy and quick the whole meal was to put together. The dish was visually appealing and the aromas of garlic, peppers, and Creole sauce put the whole thing over the top.
I’d probably grill the bread on a panini maker or outside on the grill next time rather than use the broiler. I find it difficult to keep the edges of the bread from burning and although I used the lowest setting on my broiler, it still cooked the bread unevenly. Next time I’ll reduce the Creole seasoning to 2 tsp total as the dish was just slightly saltier than it needed to be and cook the shrimp for slightly less time. Definitely a keeper!