Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Chef Ouita's Pickled Shrimp

Pickled shrimp used to be a prime, special event offering from Southern cooks with as many versions as there were cooks, but you don't often encounter this once popular appetizer any more, which is a shame.  This recipe from Chef Quita Michel of Holly Hill Inn in Midway, KY, via The Woodford Reserve Culinary Cocktail Tour cook book, just might reverse that trend.

Chef Ouita's Pickled Shrimp
12-16 appetizer servings

3 lbs. fresh large shrimp, or 2 lbs cooked frozen shrimp
salt to taste
4 cups white onions, thinly sliced
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 TBS sugar
5 bay leaves
1 tsp. crushed black peppercorns
1 tsp. dill seeds
1 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. tarragon

Peel and de-vein the fresh shrimp. Combine the shrimp, salt and enough water to generously cover in a large saucepan. Steam or gently simmer for 3 to 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink and are cooked through. If using frozen shrimp, just thaw.

Layer shrimp and onions alternately in a nonreactive pan.

Whisk the oil, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, bay leaves, peppercorns, dill seeds, celery salt, dry mustard, cayenne pepper and tarragon in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

Pour the warm marinade over the shrimp and onions and let stand until cool. Marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for 4 to 48 hours (the longer the better), stirring occasionally.

Discard the bay leaves and marinade before serving.

NOTE: To find out more about Chef Ouita, Lexington and the Bluegrass area of Kentucky check the August posts at my other site,  Travel on the Level.

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