Creamy Chardonnay Shrimp

Okay, so if you (like me) are in charge of any of the upcoming holiday dinners that are coming our way in no time, you are starting to make your list and check it twice, menu-wise.  For me, it’s all about finding a recipe that is elegant, reliable and doesn’t keep you cooped up in the kitchen while everyone else has all the fun out there in the living room.  And for fancy, easy and totally dependable, you just can’t beat this tender shrimp in a creamy chardonnay sauce.

You start with the sauce, because your shrimp are going to take absolutely no time and you want to do them at the very end so they are cooked just the right amount and no more.  Pour some chardonnay into a big skillet along with some shallots, some butter, a little salt and some red pepper.  Simmer it all down until the wine is reduced to about 1/2 cup.  While this is happening, peel and butterfly your shrimp (butterflying means slicing the shrimp almost but not all the way in half length-wise).   When the wine sauce is reduced, toss in the shrimp and stir them around for about 3 minutes.  You want them just cooked through, so they are tender but not rubbery.

Now stir in a little more butter and a little bit of cream.  Hey, it’s the holidays!  We’re pretty much required to eat things with butter and cream!  Swirl it all around until everything is nice and warmed through, and add a little more salt and red pepper if you think it needs it.

And with that, you are done!   Elegant, easy, and you have spent a grand total of about 15 minutes in your kitchen and the rest of the time schmoozing with your wonderful guests.

I’m particularly partial to the one with the bow on his head, although I do love the other guy to bits.

I like to serve this with oven-roasted asparagus, but it would also be scrumptious spooned over rice with a side salad as well.  Either way, both you and your lucky guests are going to get the gift of both a delicious and festive dinner and more time with YOU. Now that’s what I call a happy holiday!

Creamy Chardonnay Shrimp
Serves: 4 servings
  • 2 cups chardonnay or other full-bodied white wine
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1½ to 2 pounds large shrimp
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Chopped parsley for garnish
  1. Combine wine, shallots, 2 tablespoons butter, a large pinch of salt and cayenne pepper in a large skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat, turn heat down and simmer until the wine is reduced to about ½ cup, about 10 minutes.
  2. While sauce reduces, peel and butterfly shrimp.
  3. When sauce is reduced, add shrimp to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Stir in remaining butter and cream and stir until heated through. Add more salt and cayenne pepper as needed. Divide shrimp among plates, spoon sauce over the top, garnish with parsley and serve.

Recipe slightly adapted from The New York Times


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    • jan mancini says

      I made this Friday Night and WOW……I used red pepper flakes instead of Hot pepper and this is a companyspecial…….and EASY. Used condensed milk instead of cream….you couldn’t tell. This one is a keeper….and FOR COMPANY

  1. says

    This looks amazing. We sent our honeymoon at a local vineyard and started buying wine. Can’t wait to try this. I will serve with rice and aspargus on the side for hubby…(I will eat peas…)

    Enjoy your holiday…glad I found this year, as I look forward to seeing the new posts each time.

    • Kate says

      Honeymooning at a vineyard sounds like the most romantic thing! Enjoy your holidays too, and hope you make this for one of your holiday suppers. :)

  2. maria says

    I usually love your blog, but this recipe is exactly the same as the NYT recipe. Not ‘slightly adapted’. I really don’t like others who steal stuff and take credit as their own – I mean how many people are REALLY going to click on the link to the original recipe? Shame on you – although kudos for at least linking to the recipe you stole!

    • Kate says

      Maria, I think if you spend some time looking at the two recipes you will find that they are not exactly the same, which is why I used the phrase “slightly adapted.” I have made this recipe several times over the years and found that I liked it better with some modifications. I don’t reduce the wine down until the skillet is “almost dry” as in the original, because I found that there wasn’t enough sauce that way, so I adapted the reduction to half a cup. I found that butterflying the shrimp worked better in terms of getting the right texture, so I added that step in as well. The original recipe said the cream was optional – I felt like it was absolutely essential to the best taste so I included it as a main ingredient. I tried the chervil in one of my tests of it and felt the parsley added a much more pleasing taste, so I left the chervil option out. None of those were major changes, which is why I said it was “slightly” adapted, but for me they made a significant overall difference in how the dish turned out. Additionally, one of the things I do in this blog is try and share recipes I find in other places and love, (with my own little and big changes), thinking that folks might not have found the recipe in the original place…this particular recipe appeared in the Times over 10 years ago, for example, and I’m guessing many of the folks who see it on Framed Cooks might not have seen it way back then. As for how many people click on the original – well, I watch those statistics, and there are more than you might think. I am always very careful to link back to my original sources, and I am always grateful for the folks who reprint or adapt my recipes and link back to me. I’ve found the whole food blogging community to be very generous, supportive and interconnected, and I’m grateful to be part of this delicious world. I hope this helps explain why I wrote about this delicious recipe the way I did, and I hope you enjoy it if you try it.

    • Kim says

      I don’t understand what the big deal is, there are many recipes out there that everyone uses with slight modifications. I thank you Kate for the reminder that you can do a nice easy, elegant dinner in minutes.
      Happy Holidays

  3. Karen Nelson says

    If you follow this blog and others as well, when a source is mentioned
    that is stating it is not their own. The “slightly adapted” can be as subtle as one
    Butterflying the shrimp, which is what Kate did differently. I do look at original sources
    when given, and I would guess others do too. There may be some other subtle difference in preparation that is not obvious to the reader. I was given an ” identical” cookie recipe by twi different people some years ago and have kept them along with an “original” recipe frim a magazine. Only recently have I realized the two given to me by friends differ in ingredient, measurements, and preparation! I would have sworn all 3 were exactly the same. I guess 2 were slightly adapted from the original.
    Happy Holidays!

    • Kate says

      Thanks Karen! I’m (as always!) so grateful for your ongoing support of my blog, and thanks also for helping to explain things…Happy Holidays to you too. :)

  4. Francesca says

    I think it is quite normal to find recipes which are not original in foodblogs, because foodbloggers like surfing the net in seach for new ideas, just like we do when we read Framed Cooks. If Kate finds a nice recipe in another blog/site and, after testing it, she decides the result is so good that deserves to be be published, well…….much better for us ! Perhaps I would have never discovered this recipe from NYT without Kate. It is fair that she has linked the original recipe and that’s more than enough for me. Please, dont’ use such strong and offensive words like “steal” !

    • Kate says

      Thanks Francesca! Sharing recipes that I have found all over the places (and crediting them back) is one of the things I have tried to do over the years with this blog, and I appreciate that you recognize that!

  5. Anna S. says

    @Maria – Since you’re so keen on literalism, take a break from trolling innocent, nice-natured recipes blogs, and look up the actual definition of ‘steal’. You may come away enlightened.

    This blogger seems like a very nice lady, and she is one of the first I’ve read who always cites her recipe source and includes the link. Lastly, I fail to see where she claimed this mere eight-ingredient recipe as a bona fide creation of her own originality.

    I’d recommend laxatives for you.

    • Kate says

      Thanks for your support – I’m always grateful when my fellow bloggers link back to me and I try always to do the same. I love how interconnected and supportive the food-blogging world is and I feel so lucky to be part of it!

  6. maria says

    Lame excuses for basically copying and pasting a recipe (exact ingredients here folks!) and then butterflying the shrimp and considering that a ‘slight adaptation’…whatever. I’ll continue to follow bloggers who actually CREATE their own recipes.

    • ruthie says

      Maria, honey, when you find a blogger who actually creates all their own recipes, then you let us all know who they are, you hear?

      Kate could have called this “Scampi Chardonnay,” omitting the link, and claimed it as her own, and you would NEVER HAVE KNOWN! Still not stealing.

      Once someone came up with the idea of shrimp in wine sauce, with or without cream, is that the end of the creativity??? Adapting a dish to suit your and your family’s tastes is a big part of being a good cook, not stealing.

    • Francesca says

      What makes you think that Mark Bittman in NYT actually posted a recipe totally invented by himself? How can we know for sure? Even a top-of-the-world chef could “steal” or “slightly adpt” a dish from the favorite recipe of his mother-in-law (without ever mentioning her!!) and we would never know…. let alone a food journalist!

  7. ruthie says

    I know your recipes are mostly adapted, but, really, the little spins you put on things make a world of difference. Also, for me, it’s uncsnny how you manage to hit on just what I’m looking for or just the ingredient I have sitting in my fridge/on my counter! 😉 (Can you say “shrimp overrun”? They were on sale!!!)

    I look on these adaptations as a way to call attention to a good recipe that, let’s face it, unless we spend all our waking hours going through cookbooks and recipe databases,we have probably missed in its original location.

    Your blog is a lifestyle blog, not just a food blog. If you just had the recipes and eliminated the home and family stuff, it wouldn’t be the same. So, people need to realize there’s more to food blogging than creating all new recipes. Really, how many new recipes can there be for each dish?

    • Kate says

      Thanks Ruthie, and all my other sweet readers. Your kind words mean the world to me. I’ve explained my process the best I can, and I’m just so grateful for all the understanding and support today. :)

  8. says

    OMG ! I was having a bad day today, both of the 40’s cd’s we purchased from[!], were broken, and we are having a party for ,like us, Seniors, and wanted some nostalgia.
    …among ‘other’ situations. I was late viewing my emails, and wanted to see all the most darling ‘young people’ ‘s blogs I follow. I comment to my husband daily , “there are so many talented people out there in the world, and I am so happy to be a part of learning and seeing…years ago we did not have the internet. It is exciting to us, and we cheer the bloggers on, whether it is cooking/crafts etc. I started a blog myself last year, and am “Pinning away”. I take all this as a “gift” an unselfish gift at that, from these creative Bloggers. In this life we need to ‘appreciate” and ‘learn from’ people, take what we ‘need’ and absolutely give back, in any way we can.
    I am 68 and a grandmother of 4 darling children. I receive joy from watching them, I try to teach in a Constructive way, if what they do is slightly off. It would not help any one of them for me to criticize them or condemn them if what they did was not to my liking.
    All this ‘fuss’ over a sweet soul preparing a shrimp dinner and taking the time to photograph it and place it on her blog upset me so much, for Kate. I must say that there are no new things under the sun. Things are tweaked all the time , and so what…I feel the beneficiary of this unselfish act of Kate’s to take her talent and time to share this recipe. So I give her all the credit. There are thousands and thousands of shrimp recipes on line…they overlap! The joy is in her photos and the way she describes her creations, for every one of them are ‘her Creations at the time in which she prepares them and Presents them.
    *for example, I have ‘invented’ a product for women, especially Breast Cancer Patents. It has been in the US Patent office for 3 years now under review…my partner and I have had to rewrite the words so many times, ’till we are depleted of funds’, as every writing prompts an attorney to file ownership of “intellectual property”.
    Recipes found anywhere on line are obviously not anyone’s “intellectual property”.
    Please anyone out there reading this be more gentle, kind, less aggressive with all of us exchanging recipes and sewing tips and decorating /craft tips.
    I for one am so grateful for the social networking.
    Please everyone be Kind to each other. This is a very short life, and we all have a lot to do as far as “giving back” or “paying forward”. Every unkind word or action can hurt someone beyond comprehension. I always say to my grandchildren…”be Sweet”
    Merry Christmas to all.

    • Kate says

      Judith, you put this so beautifully…thank you so much for these lovely and kind words! And Merry Christmas to you, too.

    • Lady A/ says

      Beautifully said Judith. Thank you for reminding is all what a gift the ability to share our knowledge over the web is.

  9. Karen Nelson says

    @Maria.. you have made up your mind based on your perceptions, so time for you to move on..
    I hope someday you will find a way you to not be so critical and hateful and judgemental.

  10. says

    Thanks so much for the scrumptious shrimp recipe Kate! It was sooooo delicious that I had to post about it, but I linked back to you about 587 times. Well, okay, just twice, but you get the idea! :) Cheers!


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