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Gulf Shrimp with Toasted Garlic Pickled Jalapeno Vinaigrette and Nashville’s newest FRESH seafood purveyor!

July 1, 2011

Fresh seafood is unparalleled. Lovely, glistening fish when prepared simple is not only good eatin’, but also pretty rare around these parts. You see, Nashville is a seafood desert. Besides the occassional fried catfish served up on Friday, we really don’t get access to great seafood. The fish at the market never really looks that fresh, and the fish mongers at the Whole Foods I go to are (unfortunately) so inept at cleaning fish that I always end up with scales and pin bones everywhere in my kitchen.

Luckily, there are two incredible guys – Chris Moran and Robert Draughon – who made it their mission to provide fresh seafood to a seafood desert. We are blessed they chose Nashville. These guys are from Baton Rouge and have their own shrimping boats and oyster beds in the Gulf. They fish during the beginning of the week, drive up to Nashville on Thursday, and start selling seafood at the Nashville Farmer’s Market before returning to Louisiana on Sunday afternoon. So that fish you buy on Friday…was picked up the day before. Now that is FRESH.

I’ve had the pleasure of eating their seafood every week since they got here – delicious fresh shrimp, live blue crabs, cobia, and grouper (one of my dad’s favorites)! As someone who really enjoys fresh seafood (and avoids it in most land locked locations), I’m so happy Chris and Robert made it this way to provide us with incredibly pristine fish.

For all you Nashvillians, I’d say head over there RIGHT NOW. They have sold out every week, and last week they had nothing by 2 pm on Saturday! This week they got snapper, grouper, red fish, shrimp, clams, frog legs, and live crawfish for that 4th of July BBQ you’re throwin! And tell them I sent you – you probably won’t get a discount, but you’ll make me look popular🙂.

When I get fresh seafood, I like to cook it as whole as possible, especially with shrimp. There is so much flavor in the shells and heads and although it gets a little messy to eat peel n’ eat shrimp, it sure is a lot of fun! These shrimp are simply prepared by cooking in a garlic infused olive oil and then dressed with a toasted garlic and pickled jalapeno vinaigrette. It’s simple, tasty, a little spicy and just delicious! Hope you all try it out.

Gulf Shrimp with Toasted Garlic-Pickled Jalapeno Vinaigrette

(shrimp recipe courtesy of Vivek Surti, vinaigrette recipe adapted from Bobby Flay)

2 lbs of gulf shrimp, heads and shells on, deveined

3 T cup canola oil, plus an additional 1/2 cup for vinaigrette

6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

1 T unsalted butter

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 whole pickled jalapeno, minced

1 tsp honey

1/4 cup chopped fresh green onions

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the 3 tablespoons canola oil in a pan and add the sliced garlic to the pan cold and bring it to medium heat. As the oil heats up, the garlic will infuse throughout the oil. Cook until the garlic chips are golden brown and somewhat crispy. Remove them to a plate lined with a paper towel and drain.

Cook the shrimp. Add the butter to the garlic infused oil and let melt. Season the shrimp and both sides with salt and pepper and sear the shrimp for about 2 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Put on a plate and allow to rest.

Make the vinaigrette. Put the red wine vinegar, garlic chips, pickled jalapeno, and honey in a blender and puree. Then, slowly add the canola oil, while blending to make an emulsion. Season with salt and pepper.

Plate the shrimp and garnish with some vinaigrette and sliced green onions.

Cheers,

Vivek

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