© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <email@example.com>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA
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1 ½ to 2 pounds medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 medium white onion
1 small carrot
1 small stalk celery
3 cloves garlic
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons freshly-ground black pepper
salt to taste
½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
1 ½ cups chicken broth
Marinate the shrimp in a mixture of the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, vanilla, salt and pepper in a non-reactive container for 1 ½ to 2 hours, refrigerated.
Melt the butter in a large skillet with the olive oil and sauté the shrimp mixture, turning frequently, until the shrimp are just pink. At this point, more vanilla extract may be added to taste. Transfer the shrimp to a dish and add the wine and chicken broth to the skillet, cooking until the wine has reduced and the sauce thickened. Place the shrimp in the skillet with the sauce and cook quickly until just heated through.
Shellfish such as river shrimp and crawfish are found in abundance in the many rivers that run through the vanilla growing region of eastern Mexico. Called xanath in the Totonac language, shrimp are particularly delicious when combined with the flavor of vanilla. This recipe calls for vanilla extract, a product prepared by forcing alcohol through liquified vanilla pods. Artificially flavored vanilla extract is extremely inferior to the natural product, and would be a poor substitute for the real thing in this recipe. Overcooking shrimp results in a significant loss of flavor.
This dish is nicely accompanied by white rice, a simple, lightly-dressed green salad and French rolls or bolillos.