Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Lemon & Garlic brined Shrimp

Food and music continue to be the remedy for all that ails me lately.

Saturday evening I was fortunate to spend the evening with friends preparing a feast that featured a recipe I've enjoyed at least once every summer since I first tried it - the lemon & garlic brined shrimp were once again a hit.

The menu also featured Steve Lucky's homemade babaganoush made from eggplant charred on the grill, and Lucio brought a home-baked strawberry rhubarb pie, and I made a salad with snap peas and rice noodles in sesame-vinaigrette, and grilled potatoes tossed with fresh oregano, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Berge brought the wine, and since it was St. Pat's day, Steve & Patsy also provided whiskey. And guitars. And what more do you need for a perfect evening? Well maybe just a sweet little baby named Monique to provide dazzling smiles all night.

Full disclosure - I used frozen shrimp that I bought at the Berkeley Bowl... it had been a long and draining week, and the last thing I felt like doing was peeling and de-veining 2 dozen shrimp. And you know what? You'd never know if I hadn't told you! I think the brining makes the shrimp extra succulent. This recipe originally appeared in Sunset magazine, and it goes like this:

In a large bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons salt and 2 tablespoons sugar.
Add to the bowl: 2 dozen shrimp or prawns. Stir to coat, cover, and chill for about 45 minutes. Rinse the shrimp well and dry them. Rinse the bowl and dry it too. Now put the shrimp back in the bowl and add about a tablespoon of lemon zest, a big handful of chopped fresh italian parsley (about 1/4 cup), 2 - 4 cloves finely minced garlic, and a light sprinkling of olive oil, just enough to coat. Season with salt and pepper, give it a good toss, and now put your shrimp on skewers and slap 'em on the grill. Shrimp cook really fast - if your coals are good and hot, it will only take a few minutes on each side. And that's all there is to it! Serve piping hot in the company of good friends, and give thanks for another perfect evening.

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