I’m a big fan of cooking with beer.
A well-crafted blend of sweet malt and acidic hops, when added to almost any dish, produces a nice complexity of flavor. This same blend, when added to my diet, produces a modest tolerance for cooking. Thus many of my recipes involve liberal use of beer in support of both of these goals.
One of my favorite summer recipes uses a balanced amber ale to pull together a wide range of spices to complement and enhance the flavor of fresh gulf shrimp.
Patrick’s Shrimp Sandwiches
Makes 2 large servings
- (4) 12 oz. bottles ice-cold Fat Tire Amble Ale
- (2) lbs fresh, raw gulf shrimp: in shells and medium in size
- (3) sprigs fresh chervil, de-stemmed
- (3) sprigs fresh dill, de-stemmed
- (3) sprigs fresh parsely, de-stemmed
- (3) sprigs fresh tarragon, de-stemmed
- (4) bay leaves
- (1) tbsp. whole black peppercorns
- (1) tbsp. cayenne pepper
- (1) tbsp. coriander seeds
- (4) cloves garlic, diced
- (1) rib celery, chopped
- (4) tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
- (4) slices pepperjack cheese
- (4) large sandwich rolls, toasted
*I don’t use measuring cups. So while approximate amounts were added in deference to my wife, I suggest you amend them according to your own seasoning-related prejudices.
- Immediately open and begin enjoying a Fat Tire Amber Ale
- Place everything except the shrimp, sandwich rolls, cheese, and Old Bay into a stock pot or large sauce pot, bring to a boil, and cook for 10 minutes
- While the pot is boiling, rinse shrimp and remove heads (if present and likely to cause your wife to refuse to eat)
- Don’t neglect your Fat Tire (bonus points if you kept it in your hand while performing the previous two steps)
- Add rinsed shrimp to boiling water and stir, then cover the pot, turn off the burner and let sit until the shrimp are cooked through (about 8 minutes)
- Strain into a large bowl and let cool
- Finish off that beer to steel yourself for shelling and cleaning
- Remove the shells (grab the legs and twist, then pull sideways to slip off the shell), remove the tails and de-vein
- Toss with Old Bay, pile onto toasted rolls, and top with pepperjack cheese
- Split the four sandwiches between two plates, pop the tops on a couple more beers, and breakfast/lunch/dinner is served