5 Ingredients or Fewer

Southern Sherried Shrimp

July 22, 2009
Author Notes

Inspired by Edna Lewis' recipe for shrimp paste--which is something between pureed potted shrimp and a flavored butter--this recipe leaves the shrimp whole as a main course. It's ideal served over slow-cooked stone-ground grits but also excellent on its own, chopped and tossed into fettucini or toothpicked individually as a cocktail snack. - EBeier —EBeier

Test Kitchen Notes

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. - A&M —The Editors

  • Serves 4 as a main course
  • 1/4 pound best-quality butter (1 stick)
  • 1 pound shrimp, medium or large, peeled and deveined
  • 1/3 cup dry sherry
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
In This Recipe
  1. In a frying pan or large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat until foamy but not browned.
  2. Increase heat to high, add shrimp to pan all at once and sautee, tossing and stirring constantly, until shrimp is pink and almost cooked through (about 3 to 4 minutes).
  3. With a slotted spoon, remove shrimp from pan and set aside.
  4. Turn heat down to medium, add sherry, and cook, stirring constantly, until sherry and butter are intregrated and have formed a glossy, syrupy, bubbling and thickened sauce.
  5. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, cayenne, salt & pepper, and continue cooking and stirring until lemon juice is integrated and sauce syrups up again (about 1 minute).
  6. Return reserved shrimp to the pan and cook, tossing the shrimp until they are napped with sauce and cooked through.
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