This dish has been on the making since Friday night.
I bought the shrimps on my way home from work, with every intention of making it for Friday night dinner.
Tom was totally excited, since he has been craving shrimp for a bit now.
I got lazy on Friday night and totally talked my way of not doing it. Instead, I convince him to have dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, in honor of celebrating his first day at his new job (he has been looking for a job for the past 4 months - so it was a celebration!). And promise him that we were going to have it for lunch on Saturday.
We all woke up late on Saturday and somehow, I have no clue how it happen it did not get made. I was to busy having a mafia showdown with a certain cake.
So, here we were, Sunday and there was no way I could wiggle myself out of this one. I decided to whip it up and served it as an early dinner. I served it with Lemon, thyme couscous and some green beans, and it was a perfect dinner for 4, and enough left over for Tom to take to work on Monday.
This recipe is so easy, it’s ridiculous - the hardest part is pealing, and deveining the shrimp. Which totally can be avoided by buying the shrimp already clean from your fishmonger or local supermarket. I bought mine from a guy that sets up his truck on the side of the road every Friday afternoon. He goes fishing during the day and in the afternoon sets up shop, which for me it means the freshest catch at the cheapest prices. Even if we have to clean them up at home. Plus, the flavor you get eating wild caught shrimp is the best reward.
So after a bit of cleaning, you marinate the shrimp in a spicy bath made of lime juice and red pepper sauce.
I use this hot chili pepper blend from this product line, which I have introduced to you before when I made these. This blend is just as good, so if you see it in your supermarket, buy it, you will not be sorry. It stays fresh for a long time and the ease of having it on your refrigerator is pretty convenient. Right now I also have in my refrigerator their garlic, ginger and lemon grass as well as their Mexican, Oregano and Parsley herb tubes.
Then you slice the onions (I ran out of red so I use yellow) and cook them in olive oil until soft; to this you add garlic, and fresh hot red chilies (I once more used my blend) I also added about ¼ cup from the 1 cup of cream we were using in the final preparation just to make them creamy.
Then you place the onions in your ovenproof dish, top with the marinated shrimp and then, pour the cream on top and top with Gruyere cheese.
Open rant: Gruyere cheese must be so cheap in the UK, because 80% of the recipes in this book use this cheese as the topping cheese! – Close rant.
When I poured the heavy cream, I had a “oh-oh” moment, thinking that it was way to much cream and that it was not going to cook enough to become creamy. But, you know me; I follow recipes to the letter on the first try.
Then all of this goes into the broiler to finish the cooking of the shrimp, warm the heavy cream and melt all that good goodness of cheese.
And out comes out this beauty:
Spicy Shrimp Gratin
Serves 6 – Adapted from The Kitchen Bible
- 1½ lb (675g) large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- juice of 2 limes
- few drops of hot red pepper sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 red onions, finely sliced
- 3 fresh hot red chiles, seeded and minced (or paste)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup shredded Gruyere
- Toss the shrimp, lime juice, and hot pepper sauce in a bowl and let stand for about 15 minutes.
- Position the broiler rack about 8 inches from the source of heat and preheat the broiler. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the chilies and garlic and season with a couple of dashes of salt, and cook about 5 minutes more, until tender.
- Spread in a large, ovenproof serving dish. Drain the shrimp and arrange over the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the cream and sprinkle with the Gruyére.
- Broil about 5 minutes, or until the shrimp turn opaque and the cheese is golden brown. Serve immediately
Tom: “Don’t eat it all, I want some of the left over for tomorrow, this is good, amazing what a couple of ingredients do to a dish right?”
Maggie: “It’s not only good, but so pretty to look at, I love the cream, its perfect to pour over the couscous”
The little man: “Do I have to eat the onions?”
I love this dish. I guess it’s the fact that you can put it on the table so quick (if you by pass the cleaning of the shrimp) and can be dress up or down.
You can check out the rest of the gutsy cooks take on this by visiting their respective blogs.