Colossal shrimp, oven roasted with spices and sweet chili sauce. Add butter, stock, and cream to the pan drippings for a succulent sauce...sweet, hot, tangy, creamy, with lots of peppery arugula. Served here with tricolor couscous.
To peel or not to peel before cooking...
The question arises about the shrimp... cook in shell and peel after cooking (many markets sell large shrimp deveined with shells on), or use peeled deveined shrimp? There is no denying the flavor the shell imparts to the shrimp. Shrimp cooked in their shells have a plumper texture, and they don't go from cooked to overdone as quickly. This is particularly important with shrimp this meaty and large. It's kind of a hassle to have to peel them after cooking, but if you are so inclined, the effort is worth it. And since these are either jumbo or colossal in size, you won't have dozens to peel!
The recipe below uses unpeeled shrimp that is peeled after baking. If you use peeled shrimp, reduce the amount of spices and the cooking time.
Prep Time: 20 minutes Yield: 3 servings
BAKE THE SHRIMP
1 pound colossal or jumbo shrimp (up to 15 count/pound), deveined with shell left intact
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sweet chili sauce
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large, oven safe sauté or fry pan*, add the olive oil, then the unpeeled shrimp, tossing to coat. Evenly sprinkle the shrimp with the garlic and onion powders, salt, and lime pepper. Toss to coat. Add in the sweet chili sauce, tossing again to ensure even coating. Place shrimp in a single layer. Cover pan with aluminum foil, then place in the oven.
*If you do not have an oven safe pan, bake the shrimp in an oven safe dish with sides. After baking, you will transfer the pan drippings to a large sauté/fry pan in order to make the cream sauce on the stovetop.
Bake the shrimp for 5-6 minutes, then remove pan from oven. Discard the foil, turn each shrimp over for even cooking, return pan to oven and bake uncovered for an additional 5-6 minutes. The shrimp will rewarm in the sauce so we prefer the shrimp be very slightly underdone.
Remove the pan from the oven. Remove the shrimp from the pan, setting pan aside for use in making the sauce. Let shrimp cool slightly, then peel and set aside shrimp to add later to the sauce. Discard the shells, or better yet, freeze for stock later.
PREPARE THE CREAM SAUCE
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup vegetable or seafood stock
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups firmly packed arugula, coursely chopped
salt, to taste
Place sauté/fry pan with pan drippings on stovetop. Add the butter and set the heat to medium-low. Whisk the butter into the pan, making sure you scrape the base of the pan to incorporate the pan drippings. Add the stock, increase the heat slightly, and continue whisking for a few minutes. Once the mixture starts to slightly thicken, add the cream, whisking well. Mix in the white pepper and lemon juice. Stir in the arugula and cook until the arugula has wilted into the cream sauce. Add salt, to taste, if needed.
The arugula cream sauce before adding the shrimp -
Stir in the peeled shrimp and cook for an additional minute. Remove from heat.
Serve the shrimp with a pasta or grain of your choice. I love it with tricolor couscous, the meatiness of the shrimp and delicate texture of the couscous makes it a perfect combination.