Mouth-watering shrimp & pasta recipe for entertaining! Get rave reviews from your friends and family!
Oftentimes, we get our fill of traditional holiday fare -- turkey, ham, prime rib -- and we wish there was a delectable alternative to whip up for entertaining our friends and family. Try this one! While I cannot confirm this, I believe the original recipe is that of Chef Jean-Pierre Brehier, the renowned French Chef with a cooking school in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This recipe is a guaranteed crowd pleaser and one that you will want to prepare for your guests again and again. I've been serving it up for nearly twenty years and, in that time, have fine-tuned the recipe a bit for my personal tastes.
My suggestions for best results:
1) Avoid using mini-shrimp. Use a mid-to-large size shrimp for best flavor and appearance.
2) Top with a premier-quality cheese like Parmesano Reggiano or a blend of high-quality Italian cheese -- Romano, Asiago, Pecuro.
3) Make the sauce the day before. It will save you preparation time on the day you are entertaining and will allow the flavors to meld and cure.
And now, here goes:
Sauce - Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 - 3 shallots, minced
8 - 12 oz. chicken stock
1 head of garlic
8 - 12 oz. evaporated milk
1 lime or lemon
1 tablespoon cornstarch, diluted with 1 tablespoon water
1 pound medium to jumbo shrimp (20 - 30 per lb), peeled & deveined
Salt & pepper to taste
2 - 4 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
Cup (or more) of fresh-grated parmesan cheese
1. Roast the head of garlic – slice in half, set on aluminum foil, drizzle each half with a tablespoon of oil, sprinkle with fresh black pepper, close aluminum foil, roast 45 – 50 minutes @ 300 - 325.
2. Heat 1-2 tablespoon(s) olive oil, saute shallots & roasted/peeled garlic. Squeeze in juice of lime or lemon then add chicken stock, bring to boil, add milk, cornstarch, blend until smooth (but not too sticky/gluey. Add more chicken stock or evaporated milk to keep the sauce gravy-like in thickness.)
3. Cook Penne Pasta
4. While pasta is cooking, carefully pour the sauce into a blender and puree it. (Careful!! It’s HOT.)
5. Saute the shrimp on high heat in 1 tablespoon olive oil. (Only 2 – 3 minutes per side – don’t overcook!) Season with salt & pepper, if desired.
6. Toss pasta, sauce and fresh-chopped cilantro in large bowl. Serve on a large platter and top it all with fresh-grated parmesan and garnish it with lemon slices.
HINT: I make the sauce a day (or two) ahead. Saves on cooking time the day you’re trying to entertain and it also allows the sauce to cool down before pureeing it in a blender.
Photo from nmhm.org