Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cookbook Spotlight: Fish Market...Featuring Sizzling Garlic Shrimp

Growing up on the Texas Gulf Coast between Houston and Galveston, I learned to love seafood at a young age. My Grandpa Wofford was an avid fisherman, so freshly caught fried fish is a comfort food for me all the way back to childhood. I can still remember my  Grandma Wofford in her kitchen breading the fresh catch in cornmeal and frying it up in her cast iron skillet! Gulf shrimp? Don’t even get me started…it’s my #1 favorite food to this day!! I was so excited when author Kathy Hunt offered to send me a copy of her new Fish Market cookbook. As the cover says, it's a cookbook for selecting and preparing seafood. It's full of great recipes featuring a broad range of fish and shellfish, so it’s a perfect holiday gift for the seafood lovers on your shopping list. The cookbook is divided into small chapters that focus on a particular type of fish or shellfish. Kathy gives her insights on the best cooking technique for each seafood variety, along with recipes that enhance that seafood variety’s natural flavors. 

I found so many great recipes that caught my eye, including: Lobster-Corn Chowder, Pecan-Crusted Trout, and Beer-Battered Cod. However, I decided to share a shrimp recipe that’s perfect for the holidays! December is a busy month full of parties, and her Sizzling Garlic Shrimp is an ideal dish for this month. It's quick to make for a simple, fast dinner before you start wrapping presents…and it makes a fabulous appetizer to take to a party or serve holiday guests who drop by. Hint: if you buy shrimp that are already peeled and deveined, this dish can literally be ready to serve in about 10 minutes. While you whip up the shrimp, make sure to put some French bread in the oven to soak up the flavorful sauce that’s in the bottom of the serving bowl!

Sizzling Garlic Shrimp
from Fish Market
Ingredients (makes four servings):
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 dried chiles de arbol, split open, seeds removed
  • 1 pound (16- to 20-count) shrimp, peeled [NOTE: I used slightly smaller shrimp, since that was what I had in my freezer]
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • Handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 French baguette, lightly toasted and sliced
Step 1: Heat the oil in a medium frying or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and chiles and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. 
Step 2: Add the shrimp, sprinkle with salt and black pepper, and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until curled and coral in color.
Step 3: To serve, split the shrimp and flavored oil between four small, warmed bowls or pour the shrimp and oil into one warmed serving bowl. Scatter the flat-leave parsley over top. 
I absolutely love it when a simple dish takes mere minutes to prepare, but tastes like a gourmet treat! This shrimp is bursting with garlicky flavor, with a hint of spice from the dried peppers. I served my shrimp as a first course with toasted French bread for dipping, but you could certainly serve the shrimp over noodles or rice pilaf for a delicious main dish too. Not only does this dish taste great…the kitchen smells heavenly as the garlic and peppers cook in the olive oil. It doesn’t get much easier – or taster – than this one, folks! If you’re interested in picking up a copy of Fish Market for yourself -- or maybe for a seafood lover on your holiday shopping list -- you can purchase Fish Market via Amazon.
Disclosure: Kathy Hunt provided me with a complimentary review copy of Fish Market to facilitate this feature. However, all opinions expressed are solely my own.

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