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!
- 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
- 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.
- While sauce reduces, peel and butterfly shrimp.
- 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