Sunday, January 21, 2018

Royal Red Shrimp & Wine

Friends Laurie and Dave (Big Daddy Dave) joined Cindy, Bev and I for a little dinner get-together the other night and as I was writing the blog I realized I had too much to say for one post so I broke it into two beginning with the appetizer and wine.  But first, here is a shot of Teddy & Romeo watching our recent snow.

While in the Pensacola area the end of last month, we went to Joe Patti’s Seafood and purchased 10# of Royal Red Shrimp – somewhat unknown and believed by many to best of the shrimp.  They seem to only grow in deep water, 60 miles or so south of the Alabama Gulf Coast so they are not as common as other shrimp and due to the distance and amount of time the boats are out, they are processed and frozen on the boats.  They are very big and some think they taste as much like lobster as shrimp - they also cook quicker, so we just sautéed them in butter with a little lemon and garlic and served with melted butter.

As it turned out, I had my pan a little too hot so when I added the butter, I ended up with brown butter but I think everyone thought the nutty flavor made them even better.  

We served it with some of Bev’s hot, homemade focaccia bread, Meyer lemon slices, and melted salted butter.

We really liked them and I will only cook these shrimp in such a way that their mild flavor is not masked.  As good as the shrimp were, the remaining brown butter from the pan was a major hit with Dave and I as it was delicious sopped up with the fococcia - we cleaned the pan and finished off the bread.  I think Dave may have been happy if this would have been the entire menu.

For our wine we had a Dry Riesling from V.Sattui (our favorite California winery) and a Pegasus Bay Chardonnay that had been shipped home by good friend Ashley during a trip to New Zealand and given to us as a Christmas present.  We began with the Riesling for the aperitif and the appetizer then switched to the Chardonnay, finally. 

I say finally because it was touch and go for a while as I tried to open it.  Thanks to a lesson from a bar tender, I normally just slice up from the bottom of the foil on the top of the bottle with a knife and it pulls right off.  But the knife hit the foil on this one and stopped dead - and even with some effort, it was too thick for the knife to cut.  I ended up having to peel it off using a pair of needle nosed pliers.

After removing the metal, I was then faced with what appeared to be a plastic cover over the cork so I attacked it with the knife and the pliers.

When you look closely at the top of the metal, you will see little dimple-like things.  As it turned out the plastic cover was actually a plastic screw cap and those little dimples are where the metal breaks when the whole top part is turned - duh.  The only salvations were that I finally realized it might be a screw cap when it looked like this picture, I didn't try to go through the plastic and into the non-existent cork with a wine bottle opener, and there was no one watching me J

This is what their site says about it:

"On release the wine light lemon/straw colour. The aromas and flavours suggest citrus fruits, apricot, yellow fleshed peach and mango with complexing savoury overtones of oatmeal, toast, grilled mushrooms and vanilla pod. It is powerful and creamy on the palate but an underlying spine of natural minerality and acidity keep it tight and focused and help draw out the lingering after flavours."

We are not wine experts and I don't get any of what is said above in the second sentence but the two of us who drank it thought it was very good with a nice citrus and not too oaky.

Tune in next time for the details on the surprisingly delicious soup.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


1/18/18 Meal Dates


  1. Larry, Those red shrimp in the brown butter sauce with lemon and garlic were unbelievable! I could have eaten a couple of pounds of them by myself. As for the bread, you're being way too polite! I ate most of that brown butter from the pan (scraping it clean) and a loaf of Bev's bread by myself. (I buttered it with regular butter too!) for those lemons as garnish on the plates, Laurie finished them off herself! Thanks for introducing us to Red Shrimp! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  2. How fun to have purchased and prepared that shrimp. And love that accidental brown butter. We made some fabulous focaccia bread at school, it's on the list to make at home. Absolutely adore that photo of the dogs. Great shot.

  3. What beautiful shrimp and they do look big!

  4. Accidental brown butter is never a bad thing! I would have dipped the bread in the pan too - great looking appetizer.

  5. I'll be on the lookout for those shrimp in my area of Florida. It sounds like a memorable dish.

  6. Browned butter and shrimp and focaccia - perfect! With our without wine :)


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