butter poached shrimp

Continuing on what will hopefully become a theme this summer, I once again visited the fish stand at the Hollywood farmer’s market a couple weekends ago, and so had seafood sunday.  Alliteration!  So this must become a thing.  Anyway, I decided to pick up some shrimp (the last they had) because I had just heard this recipe/technique on the splendid table.  Popularized by Thomas Keller for American audiences, it’s basically cooking shrimp in butter, as the name would imply.  The ‘trick’ though is to not heat the butter to a point where the fats do not separate from the water.  It even has a name, in French no less: beuure monté.  It’s so simple I don’t really know how it qualifies as a sauce, and in fact I’m beginning to think that this whole ‘complicated french sauces’ is a huge racket.  In any case, it indeed produces very tasty shrimp (how could it not?).  I didn’t make it with grits, as per the recipe, but rather made a risotto with saffron and bitter greens.  When I make this again I’ll just have it with rice cooked maybe with some garlic, because the creaminess of the sauce is more than enough, and the whole thing is quite filling before you add in a heavier risotto.

In typical lazy fashion, I will simply link to the recipe.  Here.

The process is really quite simple: In a smallish pan, heat up a tablespoon of water on medium, and then start adding 1-tablespoon chunks of butter, stirring continually and on medium heat to make sure it doesn’t get too hot and separate.  If you are cooking for just yourself, one stick of butter should be more than enough (you’re not going to actually ingest all of that – it’s just the poaching liquid).  Maintain temperature at 170 ℉.  Good luck reading that accurately with a thermometer; really just watch it to make sure it’s not starting to simmer.  Add the shrimp and cook for 4-5 minutes.  I had very large shrimp, so I cooked them on each side for maybe 3 minutes.  I would think smaller shrimp would cook faster, without the need for turning.

See, I’m not so lazy.  There’s your recipe.  Another trip to The French Laundry averted! (right now they seem to be doing butter poached lobster (using, actually, a different technique) with Belgian Endive, Navel Orange, Marcona Almonds, Cilantro Shoots.  Anyway throw all that shit on the plate and it’s probably the same as what you’ll get there.  More or less.)

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2 Responses to butter poached shrimp

  1. Tamara Beauchamp says:

    “Anyway throw all that shit on the plate and it’s probably the same as what you’ll get there.” A nice summary of how I feel about eating out lately. xo t.

  2. aem321 says:

    Come back to so cal! We have Tacos!!

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