Gamberi alla Cannavota (The Shrimp of Trattoria Cannavota)

CRW_0171


When I first tasted these shrimp, my response was “best shrimp ever.” To be honest, I’m prone to hyperbole. However, this time I wasn’t exaggerating. These were the most exquisite shrimp I’ve ever tasted. The quality of the shrimp themselves wasn’t particularly high: they were frozen farmed shrimp from Trader Joe’s.

The blessing and the curse of shrimp is that they have a relatively mild flavor. Shrimp just don’t taste particularly much like shrimp. And, frankly, most shrimp applications are lacking. I wish I had the idea of making a shrimp stock to use in the sauce to go with the shrimp. It makes perfect sense: it’s similar to using chicken stock for pan sauce for chicken.

But, because shrimp are so small, the flavoring of the stock goes even further. The shrimp manage to absorb a lot of the flavor from the shrimp stock even though they’re only cooked in it briefly. With apologies to Julia Child, the shrimp tasted more shrimpy.

CRW_0161


The recipe itself is pretty straightforward. You make a shrimp stock with the shrimp shells. Then the shrimp are pan-fried in olive oil and a reduction is made with some garlic and the shrimp stock. The only modification I made to the recipe were to use dry vermouth instead of white wine and to brine the shrimp.

If you think that brining poultry makes a difference, wait until you try it on shrimp. It improves the texture immensely and it also means that there’s a larger window for cooking the shrimp in. It also doesn’t take very long which is nice.

If you like shrimp, I implore you to try this recipe. It really is that good.

CRW_0166


Gamberi alla Cannavota (The Shrimp of Trattoria Cannavota)
Adapted from Trattoria Cooking

For the Shrimp Stock:
1 lbs. shrimp shells
1 small carrot, cut into three pieces
1/2 onion, peeled and cut in half
1 stalk celery, cut into three pieces
2/3 cup dry vermouth
4 cup water

For the Shrimp:
1 cup water
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar
6 ice cubes

1 lbs. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/4 cup dry vermouth
1 tbsp softened butter
2 tbsp parsley, diced

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the shrimp stock in a sauce pan. Cook at a high simmer over medium-low to medium heat for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the shrimp stock is reduced to 1 cup. Drain the stock through a strainer and reserve the stock. This can be prepared in advance and the shrimp stock refrigerated until used.
  2. Put 1 cup of water, the kosher salt, and the sugar in a sauce pan over high heat. Stir the contents until the salt and sugar are desolved in the water. Remove from the heat and pour into a heatproof bowl. Add the ice cubes. When the brine is cool, add the shrimp for 15 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the brine and pat dry.
  3. In a large sautée pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until just before smoking. Add the shrimp and cooked until they are lightly golden on both sides, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove the shrimp to a plate.
  4. Add the garlic to the pan and cook until the garlic is golden, about 1 minute. Add the vermouth and the shrimp stock. Increase the heat to high and reduce the stock until it is a medium consistency. Taste for seasoning.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium and add the shrimp, butter, and parsley. Mix the contents well and cook for 1 minute more.
  6. Serve the shrimp in bowls with good bread.

Serves 2 to 3.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Gamberi alla Cannavota (The Shrimp of Trattoria Cannavota)”


  1. 1 Hillary November 30, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    I’m not a huge fan of shrimp but that looks extremely tasty!

  2. 2 Paula from Only Cookware December 11, 2007 at 6:02 pm

    My mouth is watering just looking at that. I am printing the recipe out to try.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s





%d bloggers like this: