Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hugh Acheson's Pickled Shrimp

Once again I have to thank someone else for finding this recipe.  Alex decided that he wanted to make pickled shrimp so I tasked him with finding a recipe.  We tried pickled shrimp once before (Ashley's Pickled Shrimp and Bayona Caesar Salad) and I thought the shrimp was good, but not great.  So I wasn't totally on board with the pickled shrimp idea until he dug up this recipe from Hugh Acheson.  For those of you who watch Top Chef, Hugh was one of the judges this past season.  Specifically, he was the one with the unibrow (or as Alex called it, the monobrow).  Anyway, he says the most amazing and irreverent things.  For the record, I'm a big fan of him as a judge.  And after this pickled shrimp, I am a big fan of his food.  The shrimp were fresh and juicy - I really liked the combination of lemon juice and evoo.  Alex said that he wished they were a little more pickled (as in he wishes there had been some vinegar in the pickling liquid), but I liked them just the way they were.  We served the shrimp with some crusty bread and an arugula salad and it was a very fresh, light meal that still had a lot of flavor.  By the end of the meal I was mopping up the pool of pickling liquid with my bread.  And if we hadn't run out of bread I would have continued doing so.  I would totally make these again for a picnic or on any hot summer night when the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven or slave away in the kitchen.  The cooking time on these shrimp is totally minimal - 2 minutes and then they marinate in the fridge overnight.  The dish is incredibly simple and tasty, and it lends itself to a really nice summery meal.

Recipe after the jump!

Hugh Acheson's Pickled Shrimp
Available on Saveur

2 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
1 lb (26–30 count) medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1/4 tsp allspice berries
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp crushed red chile flakes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
12 dried bay leaves
1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced lengthwise

Bring Old Bay and 8 cups water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan; add shrimp, reduce heat to low, and cook until shrimp are pink, about 2 minutes. Drain and transfer to bowl of ice water to chill; drain again.

Finely grind celery seeds and allspice in a spice grinder; transfer to a bowl and stir in oil, juice, parsley, salt, chile flakes, garlic, and bay leaves. In a 1-qt. glass jar, layer shrimp and onions; pour over oil mixture. Cover with lid; chill overnight before serving.

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