Michael made it into the Champions round of Top Chef Masters, partially on the strength of a recipe he calls Pissed Off Prawns. I made my own version and called it Happy Camper Shrimp, because MY shrimp have nothing to be mad about (except maybe being cooked in the first place).
I used MC’s idea of coating them heavily in seasoned flour and serving them with a bean purée. (I used canned beans.) Plus I made a little sauce for the fellas and cut down the oil A LOT.
This may look like a long recipe, but it’s not. Basically you’re adding some flavorings to beans and puréeing them. Then you’re sautéing flour-coated shrimp and adding a few little things to the pan. Easy peasy.
HAPPY CAMPER SHRIMP
White Bean Purée
1 tbl. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and pressed
2 cans white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup stock
1 tbl. extra virgin olive oil
Heat olive oil over medium heat in medium heavy bottomed saucepan. Add onion, carrot and garlic and a good pinch of salt. When you hear a sizzle, stir once more, cover and cook on low heat until completely softened, at least 15 minutes.
Stir in beans with stock. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Purée in food processor. When smooth, add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. (You CAN skip this, but it does add an amazing richness.) Set aside. Or you can make this a day in advance. Cover well and refrigerate until ready to reheat.
For The Shrimp (serves 4)
1 ½ lbs. (16 to 20 count) unpeeled shrimp
¾ cup flour
1 tbl. chili powder
big pinch cayenne
3 cloves of garlic, peeled, center green piece removed and sliced thinly
2 jalapeño peppers, halved, seeded and sliced
zest from one orange
1/2 cup orange juice (use at least some fresh from the zested orange)
1/4 cup stock
Small handful of fresh basil leaves, half chopped, half left whole
Peel the shrimp, including the tail. (Sorry, Michael.) Make sure to remove the dark vein on the underside.
You SHOULD mix the flour with the chili powder and cayenne and then carefully dredge each shrimp. Honestly, I threw the shrimp into the bowl with the other stuff and stirred it around and it was fine.
Drizzle some olive oil into a sauté pan. Heat on medium high. Add the shrimp in one layer (you’ll probably have to do two batches). Cook for 3 minutes, without moving them. Turn them when there’s some nice color on the first side, maybe another 30 seconds. Cook for 2 minutes, remove and set aside.
Turn heat to medium low. Add garlic and jalapeño slices. Cook until the garlic just beings to brown, about 2 minutes. Add orange juice. Bring to a boil and let reduce until thickened slightly. Pour in stock and bring back to the boil. Reduce slightly. Stir in orange zest and chopped basil. (If sauce boils down too fast, add a few more spoonfuls of orange juice.) Add back in shrimp for 30 seconds.
Spoon heated-up bean purée onto plates. Place 3 or 4 shrimp on top. Drizzle sauce over. Garnish with whole basil leaves.