Man, I love the Twitters! So many interesting people with lots to share. In fact, my most recent follow is Gordon Ramsay (@GordonRamsay01)…I bloody love him, especially on Hell’s Kitchen where he curses and kicks people out of the kitchen! Today he posted a delish-looking recipe for “Mussels in an Aromatic Coconut Broth”, to which I immediately started salivating. I headed to the market to pick up my shellfish, took one look at the sad, mostly wide-open mussels and asked the fish guy when they were delivered. When he stared blankly at me, I became worried. He left to ask the boss, came back and said, “Tuesday.” Folks, it’s Friday here. Not to mention, when I pressed my face to the glass and looked at the tag buried deep among the shells it said, “Harvested 6/4″!!! It’s the 15th. In true Ramsay style, I wanted to tell the guy to piss off, but instead I bought shrimp and went to town on modifying the recipe.
This recipe varies in technique from the original and also substitutes a couple key ingredients. Since shrimp meat on its own is not super flavorful, I used the shells to infuse the broth with shrimpy goodness. Later, I strained the liquid and used that to create the base for the dish. When I plunked the bowl down in front of the Mister, he took a few bites, then launched into a very long story about his shrimp-eating past. The point of the story: he said it was the best shrimp he had ever tasted. Ever.
2# raw shrimp (I used 26-30′s which are relatively large)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/4 c. dry white wine
1 can (16 oz.) full fat coconut milk
1 lemongrass stalk, sliced down the middle
1 red chili pepper (I used Thai), sliced
3 green onions, sliced thinly
Sea salt and pepper
1 tbsp ghee (or clarified butter)
Cilantro, as garnish
1. Set aside a large skillet. Peel the shrimp of their shells and put the shells into the skillet (do not throw them out…yet). Save the peeled shrimp in a bowl for later use.
2. Add the can of coconut milk, white wine, thyme and garlic to the shrimp shells. Put the pan on medium heat and let it simmer for ~10 minutes until the shells turn pink and the broth is infused with flavor.
3. Strain the shells and herbs out by pouring the mixture through a strainer. Save the broth!!! Discard the shells.
4. Return the broth to the skillet. Add the shrimp, lemongrass, chili pepper, green onion and salt/pepper to taste. Cook over medium-high heat until the shrimp is pink and the broth has thickened just a bit.
5. Add the ghee (clarified butter) and stir so it melts into the broth. Be sure to remove the lemongrass prior to serving as it’s very tough…nobody wants to eat that!
6. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves and serve.