Happy Holidays! Chris here, and I’m excited to post on Culinary Indulgence. Chelsea is taking a break from blogging and trying to recover from her food coma (too many snowflake cookies!). So, I decided to give you all a taste of something I think is pretty unique and absolutely delicious. To get started we first need to get in the right mood and imagine…
It’s Christmas time, below freezing outside, the air is thin and smells of pine and chimney smoke. After a 2 hour car ride up the endlessly winding and increasingly snowy mountain roads, we arrive at our destination - a small cozy cabin dwarfed by the surrounding pines trees and powdered freshly white. An impossibly steep driveway leads us to the entryway which is framed by icicles hanging from the roof and front deck. We approach the front door and once it opens we are greeted by the most wonderful part of the Holidays - the delicious aroma of bay leaves, cloves, and coriander filling the air (you probably thought I was gonna say “family”,right?, but this is a cooking blog).
This is how I remember Christmas when I was growing up and I wanted to share this recreated recipe with you all because it is so savory and so easy! This is an adaptation of a family recipe from my Cousin’s grandpa, Tag, who made this dish “famous”. I looked online at ancestry website’s to see the exact relation I would have to Tag but apparently there is “none”, so I’m gonna do my own thing and call him Great Uncle Tag.
Great Uncle Tag’s - Bay Spiced Shrimp
5-6 lbs medium sized shrimp, raw with shells on
6 light beers (use any light beer you like, not something too hoppy)
6-8 dried bay leaves, whole
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup Old Bay seasoning
2 large lemons (1 sliced, and one cut into wedges)
2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
2 tablespoons coriander seeds (whole)
1 tablespoon cloves, whole
Cocktail sauce, for dipping
1 chive/green onion for garnish *optional*
First, rinse shrimp and place in a large tray. Squeeze the juice of one lemon, lightly season with 2 tablespoons of the Old Bay seasoning and stir in to incorporate. Top with sliced lemons. Set aside in the refrigerator.
In a large pot add beer, the remaining old bay seasoning, bay leaves, garlic, and all of the spices. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer with lid on for 15-20 minutes. This will get all of the great flavor out of the ingredients.
Now time for the shrimp! We are going to poach the shrimp in the broth we just made.
Remove lid from pot and add the shrimp (if your pot is big enough then add all the shrimp, if not then it’s perfectly fine to do this in batches). Add shrimp in and continue to stir shrimp around while leaving the lid off.
Shrimp are done once they are bright pink in color and the shells start to curl in slightly (about 5-7 mins). The shells will keep the shrimp nice and tender but be careful not to overcook them as the shrimp will get rubbery.
Remove the shrimp from the pot with a straining/slotted spoon and they are ready for serving. Garnish with lemon wedge, cocktail sauce, and chopped chives (optional).
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