Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Wow Factor: Shrimp Dauphine

It would be nice to go out to an expensive restaurant for Valentine's dinner but, with two little kids, that's not always possible. So, instead of going out for a fancy dinner, I brought the fancy dinner to my house. No, it's not take-out. It's a recipe from Johnnie Gabriel's Second Helpings, copyright 2010, and I cooked it all by myself channeling Ms. Gabriel's spirit throughout the cooking process. See the little pastry shell up there? I've never baked one of those before but it turned out just fine. Sometimes you have to challenge yourself,
stepping out of your comfort zone, to accomplish the WOW factor. I did and I'm glad. And, I think you should, too.

Shrimp Dauphine

1/4 cup plus 1-2 tbsp. unsalted butter, if needed
1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp, uncooked
1/2 lb. mushrooms (white or baby bellas)
1 (8-oz.) bottle clam juice
1 c. heavy whipping cream
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Red cayenne pepper to taste
1/8 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1-1/2 tbsp. minced parsley
3 green onions, chopped
Frozen puff-pastry shells, cooked according to package directions
Curly parsley sprigs, for garnish

In a heavy skillet, add the 1/4 cup butter and melt over medium heat. Turn the heat to medium-high. Add the shrimp and saute, stirring until the shrimp turn pink, and being careful not to over cook. Since the shrimp are going to be returned to the sauce to heat through, you can almost undercook them at this point. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the mushrooms to the skillet* and saute until liquid is reduced to a glaze and the mushrooms are caramelized. Add the clam juice to deglaze the pan, scraping up all the browned bits from the pan. Cook over medium heat until liquid is reduced by half.

Add the cream, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and minced parsley. Reduce by half. Stir in the green onions and return the shrimp to the pan. Cook until the shrimp are heated through. Serve in baked pastry shells. Garnish with curly parsley.

*If the skillet is dry add 1 tbsp. of butter to saute the mushrooms.

Here are the puff pastry shells. They take 25 minutes to bake so you may want to start them as soon as you get started with the shrimp.

Here's what the shells look like before they're baked. I baked them on a parchment paper-lined pan. The little circle in the middle puffs up and you remove it when it's done to make the shell.

Start by cooking the shelled and deveined shrimp in butter. Don't cook until completely done because you'll return them to the skillet later. Remove with a slotted spoon so the butter and juices will remain.

These shrimp have barely turned pink. Set aside.

I bought pre-sliced mushrooms. After removing the shrimp from the skillet, I had plenty of butter left to saute the mushrooms. If you don't, add another tablespoon of butter to the skillet.

Add the mushrooms to the skillet and saute until caramelized.

They'll look a little something like this.

Add the clam juice to the mushrooms and cook until the juice reduces by half.

Let's add some richness - one cup of heavy whipping cream.

Add the cream to the mushrooms.

Add the dry seasonings and parsley. Let the sauce cook until it reduces down by half.

After the sauce reduces, add the green onions.

Return the shrimp to the sauce and cook on low for a few minutes until shrimp is cooked through. Spoon the mixture over the puff pastry shells.

The only word I can use to describe this is WOW!! It is absolutely wonderful!


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