Let's be honest! Monica had me at "Gratin" this week with our Gutsy Cooks Club recipe choices.
I mean really what could compete with shrimp, cream and delicious comte' cheese. It was a very easy choice for me.
|G on Crystal Mountain- Mt. Rainier in background.|
He looks pretty happy!
My honey was enjoying the sunshine on the mountain. Sadly for this fair weather skier it would have been a perfect day for me to have went with him. But having still not completely unpacked from Mexico yet I felt a weekend at the mountain would of made my stress level increase in feeling even more behind on the home front. So he skied... I made a yummy dinner for him to return home to. How domestic of us.
This recipe is from Emeril via the blog Cooking in Sens.
I went up to The Met and picked out these lovely, pre-cleaned Black Tiger Shrimp. I only had to remove the tails and they were ready to go. Love that.
I also picked up the comte' cheese that that "Cooking in Sens" recommended. I mean hey it's a French inspired dish, they were cooking in Sens, France ...I trusted them as to what cheese would be best to use. Comte' is a French cows milk cheese very similar in taste and texture to a Gruyere.
Not having or being a big fan of creole' seasoning I made my own concoction mixing a bit of Johnny's Seasoning with our favorite Smoked Paprika to season the shrimp before sauteing them in butter and oil. (Yeah, this isn't exactly a heart friendly recipe.)
After the shrimp were sauteed I divided them amongst 2 petite cast iron skillets.
I prepared the gratin mixture. It smelled immediately heavenly. G arrived home at this point in the meal preparation and said the aroma was only increasing his hunger after his great day "climbing the King." The gratin mixture went over the shrimp.
I finally added some bread crumbs and a bit more of the comte' cheese before putting them in the oven for 18-20 minutes.
The came out bubbling hot. But after sitting a few minutes and garnishing with some chopped chives they looked and smelled AMAZING!
We served the shrimp with some chipotle roasted red potatoes (more about this side dish in a future post.Yum! Worth sharing) and steamed green beans.
The shrimp au gratin was as you can imagine quite rich but also very good. The dish paired perfectly with our favorite Washington Chardonnay, by Corvidae Cellars; Mirth.
Warning! I only lightly sauteed the shrimp before putting them in the dishes knowing they'd cook more in the sauce and this is a key component of the dish. If you were to over saute the shrimp they would be far too overcooked after the oven and become tough. This would definitely ruin the dish
The recipe made 3 times more than we could eat. We only ate about 1/4 of our gratin. We plan to use the left overs to pour of pasta later this week.
Recipe for Shrimp Au Gratin from Emeril via FoodNetwork:
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined shrimp
- 2 teaspoons Essence
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/4 cup minced shallots
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- 2 slices firm white bread, crusts removed, toasted and processed in a food processor to make fresh bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and lightly grease 8 (6 or 8-ounce) shallow ramekins or gratin dishes.
In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter over high heat until hot. Season the shrimp with the Essence, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper and add them to the hot pan. Cook quickly, turning once, until lightly golden on both sides, 30 seconds to 1 minute per side. Divide the shrimp evenly among the ramekins and set aside.
In a small saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of the remaining butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the flour, whisk to combine, and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until fragrant -- do not allow flour to brown. While whisking constantly, add the milk and heavy cream in a thin, steady stream, until mixture is very smooth. Cook, stirring, until sauce comes to a gentle boil, thickens and any floury taste is gone, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the lemon juice, 1 cup shredded cheese, chives, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove from the heat and spoon the sauce evenly over the shrimp in the ramekins.
In another small saucepan melt the remaining tablespoon of butter. Remove from the heat and add the butter to the bread crumbs. Toss to thoroughly combine. Sprinkle 1/2 cup shredded cheese evenly among the tops of the ramekins and then divide the buttered crumbs evenly among the tops of the ramekins.
Place the ramekins on a large baking sheet and bake until golden brown and bubbly, 15 to 18 minutes.