I met my husband working at a fancy, schmancy seafood restaurant.
It was a lovely setting for a beautiful romance that began with us racing from table to table, sweating it out in standard issue baby blue, long-sleeve, button down shirts that reeked of the deep fryer atop boring black pants with the wild flair of our own choice of windsor knotted ties as we stuffed our nightly wad of tips in our pockets. What individualists we were.
We both still have waiter nightmares about that place. Anxiety riddled nightmares where we can never get to our tables in time, our server trays never seem to empty, the cooks continue to yell and the customers begin to fume.
Hey wait, was that a nightmare or was it reality? Only the shadow knows…
At the restaurant we served beautiful fish, clams, mussels and lobster. But it was a basic beer steamed shrimp appetizer like this one that stood the test of time and made its way onto our list of favorites once we’d left our waiter jobs and tied the knot.
Terribly romantic, I know.
Food you share with dinner mates is always more fun, especially when there’s the race to dip and dive to grab the last beer-soaked shrimp. And this recipe is a shining example of community food fun.
This Beer Steamed Shrimp recipe is terribly easy to make, the perfect foil to make you look like the hostess with the mostess, or look like the waitress who never breaks a sweat. Oh, if only…
About the recipe:
This recipe calls for one bottle of beer. I prefer a bottle versus the can. You could say it’s a mental thing, I say it’s a taste thing. Don’t choose anything to strong, dark or heavy. A pilsner works perfectly. I chose a local brew, but when in doubt, Budweiser would will do the trick.
If beer isn’t your thing, a nice white wine (about 1 cup) will add the required boozy flavor. And if you really can’t do booze, substitute it with clam juice or even chicken broth.
The kind of shrimp you use in this dish is of paramount proportions. Just like all of my shrimp dishes, I prefer a sweeter shrimp and Key West Pinks are about as sweet as they come. But because I don’t live in Florida or along a gulf of any kind, I buy mine in the freezer section of Whole Foods. If you can’t find Key West Pinks, just please be sure your choice is sustainable as noted in this Seafood Watch list.
You might be tempted to peel and tail the shrimp before you cook them, but don’t! The shells flavor the broth and protect that succulent shrimp meat from the bubbling heat.
I use shallots to give off the onion flavor but you can easily substitute green onion or even red onion if you don’t have shallots on hand. Just don’t forget the garlic!!
This appetizer’s best feature is the broth so the number one rule is, DON’T let it go to waste! A big hunk of sourdough bread smeared with salted butter is required. It makes the best way to sop up the buttery, lemon spiked sauce.
I originally developed this recipe for my partners at Go Bold with Butter, because, what goes better than beer and butter and shrimp? See this recipe and the rest of my butter creations here.
Peel n Eat Beer Steamed Shrimp
- 1 pound extra large shrimp 26/30, with shells and tails on
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic smashed or coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup shallot chopped
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 12 ounces lager-style beer
- 1/2 lemon plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley chopped
- Sourdough bread for dipping
Rinse shrimp and set aside.
Melt butter in large sauté pan over medium high heat and add garlic and shallot. Cook 4 minutes or until garlic and shallots become soft and translucent. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add beer and shrimp. Cover with lid and cook 4-5 minutes or until shrimp become opaque. Remove from heat and squeeze juice of 1/2 lemon into broth and sprinkle with parsley.
Serve with sliced sourdough bread for dipping.
As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. As always, all opinions are my own.
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