This garlic shrimp dish, made with prawns or shrimp, garlic, chile, olive oil, and butter, is a quick and easy appetizer. Or a passed hors-d’oeuvre. Or a cocktail nibble Or a….
These lovely and simple garlic shrimp take on a rather dramatic amplification of flavor when you keep the shells intact during cooking rather than peeling them beforehand. And that’s to say nothing of the shrimp taking on drastically more drama at the table when the heads are intact (especially when you do as most cultures do and rip off the heads and suck the contents from said heads). That’s optional, natch, seeing as some of the population would prefer not to have their intended dinner staring up at them, much less have to Hoosier up said dinner. But as the author says, the shrimp “look so much better with their heads intact and sticking up out of the dish, gazing at the stars.” So encourage guests to forget propriety and get hands-on and sorta intimate with the shrimp during eating. Just don’t forget to set out ample napkins. Originally published April 26, 2014.–Renee Schettler Rossi
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 20 M
- Serves 4
- 21 large shell-on prawns or shrimp, preferably with heads and tails still intact
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 fresh hot red chile such as Fresno or Thai, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- Small knob unsalted butter
- Sea salt, if desired
- 1. Rinse the prawns or shrimp and, if desired, peel and devein them, but leave the heads and tails attached, if you dare. (It’s preferable to leave everything intact. The shells impart flavor. And the heads and tails make for a more impressive presentation and make the prawns easier to handle. The heads are also awesome for ripping off and sucking.
- 2. Heat a few glugs olive oil in a very large skillet. When the oil is very hot but not smoking, throw in the prawns or shrimp and shake the skillet a few times. After 1 minute, throw in the chile and garlic, stir once or twice, and then remove the skillet from the heat. You just need to cook the shellfish 1 to 2 minutes total, depending on their size. Add the butter and tilt the skillet to swirl it as it melts.
- 3. Each serving should be 5 garlic shrimp or prawns, so taste the 1 extra to decide whether the rest need a pinch of salt. Divvy the shellfish among the plates and serve immediately.