Simple Saturdays call for simple dishes. We had a bit of a late lunch at one of our favorite haunts--The Front Door--and neither of us were feeling like much for dinner. We narrowed our choices down to two, and the selection at the Co-Op helped make our final decision for us. Aside from the time involved in peeling and deveining shrimp, this was one of the easier recipes from the book.
The gist: peel & devein shrimp, toss with a mixture of cornstarch and sea salt, sauté for 1-2 minutes on each side, and top with freshly ground pepper. Not much to it.
The results were a bit mixed. Some of the shrimp were entirely too salty, drink a half a glass of water to get rid of the saline taste in your mouth too salty. The book recommends using nice sea salt or fleur de sel in this recipe, and we used some Hawaiian salt we had. Scott swears that the solution would be to give the salt a little time with the mortar and pestle. It's also possible that we had shrimp that were too small, but pickings are slim in a landlocked state such as ours. We'll have to give it a try again to see if it works. The shrimp that weren't too salty were delicious. The touch of salt was a perfect complement to the sweet meat of the shrimp. The cornstarch turned into a chewy crust, and the pepper added a nice bit of spice. The only thing we weren't sure about was what kind of sauce would be good to go with them. Buerre blanc? That might add a little delightful decadence.
For tonight's pairing, we actually had two wines. We had a little leftover Mas Carlot Grenache-Syrah that went surprisingly well with the stolen bites as we finished the batches. The main wine of the evening was Joseph Drouhin's 2008 Macon-Villages. Joseph Drouhin wines admittedly hold a bit of a soft spot in our hearts. When we lived in Oregon, Scott worked just down the street from their sister winery Domaine Drouhin (my benchmark for Oregon Pinot Noir). When we went on our honeymoon to Paris and Beaune, Maison Joseph Drouhin was one of the wineries we visited. All bias aside, this bottle is definitely one seeking out. Running around $12 retail, the Macon is light and bright, with pretty apple and lemon flavors and a touch of minerality. It went very well with the sweet/salty shrimp.
We're looking forward to giving the recipe a second shot with some tweaks to work on the saltiness issue. We also tucked the shells from the peeled shrimp in the freezer to go towards fish stock when we need it.