Delicious shrimp love.
Even though I live in New York City, if anything is going to make me feel like I am in the great state of Texas, it is Blythe’s simple and flavorful Whole Texas-Sized Prawns. I picked up the biggest shell-on prawns I could find at my local seafood market and had my friendly fishmonger take the little shrimpy eyes off-- just for my own peace of mind. Don’t get me wrong, I am no wimp in the kitchen, but to be honest these prawns were so big I was scared they were going to come back to life and get me for being naughty!
I quickly got past the fear of being devoured by the prawns and I was ready for action. I mixed the four spices for the rub (cayenne pepper, chili pepper, garlic and onion powder) and lovingly dipped each prawn into the spicy mix. Then, I sautéed them in butter until just pink, which took less than 5 minutes. With all that delicious shrimp “love” (as Blythe would say) and spicy goodness, I deglazed the pan with some white wine, shallots, and garlic. To finish, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice just before serving finished the sauce and punctuated all the scrumptious flavors. I nestled the prawns atop a big bed of divine spicy cheddar grits, poured some of the pan sauce on top of the prawns, and laid a hunk of piping hot homemade crusty baguette on the side for dipping.
I would totally agree with some of the servers' concerns during the menu tasting that the prawn-shelling process is a little too messy for the table. However, I’m with you Blythe! You do have to cook the prawns shell-on to get all those good flavors and delicious juices. Next time, I might try and shell them for my guests before serving. That being said, the complex tangle of flavors from the shrimp, spices, cheese grits, butter, and wine is outrageously excellent. I think it is safe to say that sometimes, for the sake of a good meal, you just have to get down and naughty.
I think it is a really good idea that Blythe is re-doing her menu. Clearly, it was time for a change and a new menu is the perfect way to get a clean slate. Using local ingredients in her new dishes is going to be really great because diners will get to experience some of the unique and seasonal Texas produce. I can tell that this new menu has some really fantastic flavor combinations and in my opinion, is much more thought-out than the last. It seems to me Blythe learned a lot from her first season as executive chef and now she is ready to really get naughty in the kitchen. I hope that this new menu kicks Central 214 into high gear. In the meantime, do yourself a favor and go get naughty in your kitchen with this week’s irresistible recipes!
Check back next week for more naughty recipes and a whole lot of delicious drama!