Some years back when I was in the throes of taking on catering jobs large and small there were two books that I frequently turned to for guidance. For recipes The Silver Palate cookbook by Julie Rosso and Sheila Lukins was my bible. For decorating inspiration it was Martha Stewart’s Entertaining all the time. I was never a huge fan of Martha’s recipes, but her displays of food were just what I needed as a young and inexperienced caterer.
It’s been years since I made this recipe for marinated shrimp (from the second Silver Palate cookbook) but it proved to be just as good now as it was years ago when the book was published. The herb marinade is a nice change from the usual chilled shrimp with cocktail sauce. One bite and I had memories of peeling pounds and pounds of shrimp for a party. This time I relished sitting down with my guests and enjoying these shrimp packed with a punch of fresh herbs. One piece of advice-make more than you think you’ll need. They disappear fast!
Herb Marinated Shrimp
1 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon (or to taste) red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
1 lemon half
2 pounds jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined, tails left on
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
3 cloves garlic, minced
1½ tablespoons herb mustard
5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup best-quality olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Combine the wine, mustard seeds, ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, the bay leaves, and lemon half in a 4-quart pan. Add water to fill the pan three-fourths full. Heat to boiling. Add the shrimp and cook over high heat until opaque in the center, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and cool.
Combine the basil, dill, rosemary, tarragon, thyme, garlic, mustard, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Whisk in the oil and season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional red pepper flakes if desired.
Let the shrimp marinate in the oil at least 3 hours. Serves: 8-10