Shrimp benefit from delicate cooking, as sharp, aggressive heat cooks them unevenly, yielding a seized, rubbery exterior. This recipe is an exercise in patience, and illustrates that part one of great cooking is mastering the application of heat. Part two is the mindful harmonizing of flavors. Always get fresh shrimp if you can. Its texture and flavor are unparalleled (think lobster).
24 jumbo (21-25) shrimp (about 1 pound), peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon toasted walnut oil
4 garlic cloves, slivered
1/2 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley chiffonade
A pinch kosher salt
How to Make It
Spray a cool, 12-inch skillet with cooking spray. Lay the shrimp in a single layer in the pan.
Turn the fire on the lowest flame/heat setting possible. Let the pan get progressively hot to the touch. If you want to work like a chef, tap the bottom of the pan with the tip of your finger. It'll burn a little, but not a lot. Slowly raise the heat to medium-low. Controlling the heat is critical here. Don't let the shrimp sizzle. Watch the edges of the shrimp gradually brighten in color.
When the edges of the shrimp turn from gray to bright orange (after about 6 minutes), turn them over, one by one, maintaining the soldier-like layout in the pan.
Similarly cook the other side of the shrimp until the bottom edges brighten in color, about 4 minutes.
Turn off the heat. Transfer the shrimp to a mixing bowl. Allow them to mingle and "carry over."
Make sure all remaining ingredients are within arm's reach.
Bring the pan, unwashed, back to the flame. Swirl in the walnut oil. Bring the heat to medium-high. Get the oil hot, but don't let it smoke. There's not much fat in the pan, and you don't want it to scorch. Now, pour in the shrimp, and sauté like a rock star, facilitating the "jump".
Cook for 45 seconds. Lower the heat all the way to low. In fact, depending on what "low" looks like on your cooktop, you might be able to turn the heat off at this point. It all depends on the quality of your cookware and the nature of your cooktop.
Add the garlic. Toss the mixture a few times. Let the garlic soften, but not brown. Add the butter, lemon juice, and parsley. Now taste. You might not need the salt. If you do, add it now.
Cooking Light Mad Delicious
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