Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bringing Some Memories Home

Business took me to San Francisco recently for a geeky gathering and a colleague and I went out for dinner and had the BEST meal at a little place hidden a way after exploring the city a bit. The dish was simply called "sauteed shrimp" but it was huge shrimp covered in a creamy sauce with a touch of wine and fresh herbs. I couldn't talk them out of the recipe so I tried hard to recreate it. I think I came pretty darn close.

Due to the evening light, and shadows as not all the lamps are set up, the photo is not all that great (normally I take all my food photos in daylight by the window) but did it ever taste great. Jumbo shrimp with a white wine Dijon cream sauce seasoned with fresh tarragon. This would be awesome over pasta but was perfect on it's own paired with a salad for a lighter supper.


1 pound medium or extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed Kosher salt and freshly white pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup J Vineyards and Winery, California Pinot Gris (or your favorite Chardonnay)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 to 2 sprigs fresh tarragon
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish


Pat the shrimp dry, put them on a plate, and sprinkle lightly with salt and white pepper to taste. Heat a large, heavy saute pan over medium-high heat. As soon as the pan feels hot when you hold your hand an inch or two above its surface, add the oil. When the oil is hot enough to swirl easily in the pan, carefully add the shrimp, placing them evenly in the pan. Without disturbing them, cook the shrimp for 2 minutes on one side. With a fork or a small spatula, flip the shrimp over and cook them until they are uniformly pink and beginning to curl, about 2 minutes more. Transfer the shrimp from the pan to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep them warm. Raise the heat under the pan to high. Add the wine and with a wooden spoon, stir and scrape to dissolve the pan deposits. Let the liquid simmer until it has reduced in volume by half (4 to 7 minutes). Reduce the heat and stir in the cream. Reduce slightly and stir in the Dijon and continue simmering until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes more. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Add the shrimp and crushed tarragon to the sauce and simmer briefly to heat up the shrimp.


Sprinkle with some of the tarragon you reserved from the ingredient amount for this purpose or parsley if desired.