Jet lag is a cruel mistress. After two weeks on Eastern Standard Time, I’m having serious trouble clicking back over. For the past three days I’ve been crawling through the early evening, passing out as soon as it’s seemly, then bolting wide awake in the wee hours. It’s a grinding adjustment, as always, and I’ve been alternating between manic bursts of energy and limb-dragging bouts of inertia.
I missed my little kitchen terribly, but I haven’t had the follow-through to do more than the simplest of cooking projects. Like this one, borrowed from Bon Appetit: shrimp sauteed in Sriracha-spiked butter, with a splash of lemon and a shower of basil and mint. It’s spicy, but not overly so; the butter rounds out the rough edges of the hot sauce, and the herbs give it an unexpected sniff of sophistication. The whole thing comes together in a whopping 10 minutes–15, if you peel your own shrimp.
This is a dish that sauces itself. The shrimp as they cook give off a burst of liquid that mixes with the chili-infused butter and the lemon juice to form a rich lipstick-red slick in the bottom of the pan. I served the shrimp over soba noodles, to catch all of those wonderful fatty-spicy juices; the original recipe suggests a mound of steamed artichokes. I’m convinced this would be just as great over rice, quinoa, couscous, spaghetti squash, or any sauteed vegetable you like–just make sure you catch every last bit of sauce. I wished I had bread to swab out the pan.
Oh, and a confession: despite my overwhelming love of Sriracha, I had none on hand when I made this. So I used the dregs from a jar of chili garlic sauce, and the shrimp came out terrific. Darned pretty, too.
Sriracha-Buttered Shrimp (serves 3-4)
From Bon Appetit
2 tbsp unsalted butter
6 tbsp Sriracha OR 3 tbsp chili garlic sauce
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
In a skillet or frying pan, melt together butter and Sriracha over medium heat, stirring until well-mixed. Add garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add shrimp and saute for another 4-5 minutes, or until they are pink and firm but still a little translucent in the middle. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, basil, and mint, and saute for 1 more minute, or until the herbs are wilted and the shrimp are opaque all the way through.
Remove from the heat and serve with something to sop up the juices–toast, vegetables, pasta, or your favorite grain.