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      RECIPE TITLE "Simmered Shrimp Sauté with Shiitake Mushrooms and Scallions" Author: Charleston Seafood

    yieldsServes 4 time---difficulty moderate

    My favorite way to eat shrimp is the classic shrimp cocktail where they are cooked in a great deal of water and emerge terrifically tender. Conversely, I could list about a million things I don't like about so-called shrimp scampi (not least of which is its name, which translates to the redundant "shrimp shrimp"). Semantics aside, I object to such quick-sautéed shrimp dishes because the high heat and stingy amount of liquid often causes the meat to seize up and toughen. The same will happen with most shellfish, including lobster; the one major exception is sea scallops, which respond well to a searing over high heat.

    So, the idea behind this recipe is to combine the tender, succulent result of shrimp cooked in a generous amount of liquid with the appeal of cooking them in something more flavorful than water, in this case a buttery broth enhanced by white wine, garlic, scallion, and basil. This Asian-accented dish pairs well with linguine (page 219) or Israeli couscous (page 209).


    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small dice
    • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
    • 4 large shiitake mushroom caps, very thinly sliced
    • Coarse salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 plum tomatoes, cut into small dice
    • 3 scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced on a bias
    • 1/2 cup dry white wine
    • 1 cup store-bought, reduced-sodium chicken broth or homemade Chicken Stock (page 244)
    • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 2 pounds peeled, butterflied, deveined large shrimp (see note, page 87)
    • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves


    1. Melt the 2 tablespoons room-temperature butter in a wide, deep sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook gently until softened but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and scallions and cook gently until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.

    2. Turn the heat up to high. Just as the butter starts to sizzle, add the wine. Boil until the liquid has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and lemon juice and bring to a boil, and then lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the diced, cold butter, a few pieces at a time, swirling it in as it's added. (Do not allow the liquid to boil once the butter has been added. The sauce should look like a buttery broth; if it appears excessively thick, stir in a few tablespoons of hot water.) Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

    3. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, and add them to the pan, making sure to immerse them in the liquid. Cook over medium-low heat just below a simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink and firm. Add the capers, toss, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the parsley and basil and toss to combine. Remove from the heat.

    4. To serve, divide the shrimp and sauce among 4 warm bowls.


    Simmered Shrimp Sauté with Chanterelle Mushrooms and Leeks

    For a more French-leaning recipe, replace the sliced shiitake mushrooms with small chanterelles or halved large ones and replace the scallions with the white portion of one large leek, quartered lengthwise, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, rinsed, and dried.

    Simmered Shrimp Sauté with Cilantro or Tarragon

    Replace the basil with cilantro or tarragon for a quick but marked change in flavor.

    Copyright © 2003 by Tom Valenti and Andrew Friedman

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