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.


  1. NICE!!
    Shrimp and simple go so well together--thank you for the recipe.

    When we were in Hawaii last summer, there were these "shrimp trucks" all over the place. Each one with essentially a cult following. We had a fave, and have recreated the recipe here at home a couple of times.
    Shrimp, Garlic (oh, just an insane amount), butter, some white wine, rice and a lemon wedge.
    Changed. Our. Lives.
    From their Facebook page (hope it shows up):

    I think I know what's on the menu this weekend...........

  2. Hubby said, "Ooh, that looks good, but shrimp and cream aren't on my diet anymore."
    Thanks for the pretty pictures.
    Just waiting for the snow to thaw and the Italian parsley patch to come back to life.

  3. That looks marvelous. Those are all flavors we like. Yum.

  4. San Francisco is such a beautiful city. Too bad the kooks took over there.

  5. San Francisco area "hole in the wall" restaurants are unique. I'm not kidding when I say that our oldest's middle name was inspired by an Oakland pizza place.

    If your Torchwood ID gives you concealed carry rights in the city, the Indian food scene at the edge of the Tenderloin features some of the most interesting food in San Francisco IMHO, and you'll come home with plenty of new ideas for experimenting.

    And, next time, don't forget Deep Fried Dumplings at Brandy Hos. :)

  6. Brigid, your recipes need a drool alert..


  7. Thank's Mz B. I'll give this one a try. By the way, how often do you get recipes when you ask for them? I've not been told no, but all to often I didn't get everything down in the transcription.

  8. MBWITW and I honeymooned in San Fran.
    We had a good time, with the exception of a little 1989 World Series earthquake interrupting our stay...Man that was exciting. Stayed in a wonderful hotel, the Cartwright right downtown.
    But we discovered wonderful dishes as you describe. Plus many more. Food was great. Mixing seafood and pasta! Coming from the land of meat, potatoes and hotdishes that was a novelty!!
    Although the flying out there and back in a damn airplane was not a favorite of mine(shudder) .... and still isn't!!

  9. This reminds me of my go-to restaurant when I visit the city - Pacific Cafe (if you don't mind the advertisement) on 34th and Geary. Their food is amazing and they serve free wine while you wait in line. I can't wait to try your version!

  10. Thanks Brigid. I will have to try this recipe this week.

  11. Thanks! I just tried it- my favorite of your recipes so far. I'm hoping to make it for a lady friend soon.

  12. YUMMY! We tried it today and really like it. Being none too shy about zest, we'll use a bit more dijon next time.


I started this blog so the child I gave up for adoption could get to know me, and in turn, her children, as well as share stories for a family that lives too far away. So please keep it friendly and kid safe. Posts that are only a link or include an ad for an unknown business automatically to to SPAM..