Week 6 Finalists: Best Shrimp Recipe

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Spicy Shrimp by Helen

We love Sriracha's heat, which is warm, lasting, and assertive without being overbearing. Helen combined the hot sauce with a few everyday ingredients -- olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and cilantro -- to create a sublime marinade for shrimp. The oil and sugar give the marinade some viscosity so it doesn't just season the shrimp but clings to it. But it's the sugar that makes this dish -- on the grill, the sugar caramelizes, giving the shrimp a laquered feel, and its sweetness balances the kick of the Sriracha. Buy some beer or Tequila.


We forgot garlic in the recipe (and while we were making it!) but it should be there.


As always, Amanda seasons aggressively. Merrill chops the cilantro, and for the marinade, it really only has to be a rough chop.

It doesn't look like a lot of marinade, but it packs quite a punch.

Back to the garlic! The recipe called for garlic that's been crushed, minced, or put through a garlic press. Amanda had an ingenious technique, though, using a heavy meat tenderizer to thoroughly crush the cloves. It worked beautifully.

Merrill makes sure the marinade is truly coating each shrimp.

We used long skewers, and ended up with 6 shrimp per skewer. It's a good idea to soak the skewers for 30 minutes in water before grilling, but we forgot to, and it worked just fine.

The heat should be high, but not impossibly so- you want to cook the shrimp without too much charring.

Notice the empty skewer -- we had to taste just as they were coming off the grill. And we weren't disappointed.

Notice Merrill using a mezzaluna to chop the cilantro. Effective, yes, but used here out of laziness -- we were out of clean knives!


Southern Sherried Shrimp by EBeier

The ease of EBeier's Southern Sherried Shrimp recipe belies its complex flavor. We love how you taste the sherry but it's the lemon that pulls together the sauce and the cayenne that gives it character. You half-cook the shrimp in an ocean of butter, then pull them from the pan and finish the sauce before adding them back. This way, the shrimp flavors the foundation of the sauce, and by finishing the shrimp once the sauce is properly reduced and seasoned, there's no risk of drying it out. The shrimp, wrapped in its sherry sauce, was so springy we ate most of it right from the pan.

We used a large lemon, and as a result the sauce was quite lemony. It was delicious, but next time, we would use a smaller fruit.

Melt the butter, and just as it starts to foam, add the shrimp. Yes, it's a lot of butter, but it's totally and completely worth it.

Just as the shrimp were pinking up, we removed them from the pan. They went back in to warm through before serving, which ensured their perfect doneness.

You want to add the sherry right away to stop the butter from browning. Ours started to brown just a touch on the edges, and it was perfect.

Thickening the sauce is important here, you really want it syrupy to coat each shrimp.

The recipe called for seasoning with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper -- it's assertive in all the right ways.

Done! It was great eaten piping hot, straight from the pan, but would be fantastic over grits, rice or pasta.