January 22nd, 2009

Lime Rickey Shrimp

I call this dish Lime Rickey Shrimp,
not just because I like rhythm of the words as they roll off my lips,
Gonna make some lime-rickey-shrimp lickety-split,
or that it has intrigue:
like the name of a sketchy operative in a British spy novel, but for the cocktail-like combination of fresh lime and vodka that I use to splash onto shrimp as it cooks.

Now, before you say, not my Ketel One!
I must point out, it takes only 4 Tablespoons for the recipe.

Then, why even bother with the vodka?

Well, it acts as a good vehicle for expanding the flavor of the lime, and leaves a clean finish on the shrimp. Unlike cooking with a sauterne or sauvignon blanc, which adds its own more complex “winey” overlay to a dish, the vodka seems to intensify the other flavors at hand—in this case, shrimp, leeks, and lime—before it vanishes in the quick saute. In just minutes, briny shrimp sauce up with sweet leek and lime.
And, you’ll detect a trace of something mineraly, something alcoholic, left behind; that’s intriguing.

Lime Rickey Shrimp
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Lime zest
½ lb. large (26-31ct.) raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and Black Pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 cup chopped Leeks
4 Tablespoons Lime Juice (1 lime should do the trick)
4 Tablespoons Vodka
2 Tablespoons chopped Italian Parsley

1 cup cooked jasmine rice

In a small bowl, add olive oil and zest. Add a little salt and a few grindings of black pepper, and stir. Add the shrimp and gently toss so that the olive oil and zest coats each piece.
In a separate bowl, measure in the lime juice (one entire lime will yield 4+ Tablespoons.)
Scrape any residual pulp into the bowl. Add the vodka and stir together: here’s the rickey.
Melt butter in a skillet under medium heat and sauté leeks until soft, about 3 minutes. Push leeks to the side of the skillet, and increase heat. Add shrimp and quickly sauté—about a minute and a half—then flip them and repeat. Shrimp will be a bright pink.
Do not crowd the shrimp in the pan.
Pour in the rickey. Stir and shake it all around the shrimp and leeks, coating, glazing, browning, reducing. This, too, is done with speed—another minute. Add the chopped Italian Parsley and pour over a bed of rice.
Serves 2 generously

Posted in Fish/Seafood, Recipes

13 Responses to “Lime Rickey Shrimp”
  1. Nancy Says:

    Can’t wait to try this out on my folks.

  2. Madeleine Says:

    Mmmmmm. Lime Ricky is going to be served in my house this weekend!

    I have a question for you on a totally unrelated cooking matter. I’ve promised to make cupcakes for Tony’s birthday, but have never before ventured into the cupcake making realm. Can you share some recommendations or recipes? I know you aren’t a big cupcake maker, but I also know that you make anything delicious. Thanks!

  3. goodfoodmatters Says:

    The Thing(s) About Cupcakes:
    Yes, they are cute and all the craze, but I do take issue with the many cupcakes I’ve encountered: too dry (smaller surface area so there’s more opportunity for dryness, or “over-cookedness”) and disproportionately mounded with cloyingly sweet icing.
    With that in mind, I suggest this:
    1. Use a cake recipe inherently moist from fruit or vegetable, like banana or pineapple-carrot. Or make a rich chocolate cake using a high quality bittersweet chocolate paired with buttermilk. I will get a couple of recipes for you.

    2. For their great flavor and ability to easily spread or pipe onto a (cup)cake, I like cream cheese based icings: Here’s a good one, that I call “Creamsicle” Whip 2 parts cream cheese to 1 part softened butter.
    Beat in vanilla, orange juice,and orange zest. Then, add confectioners sugar.

  4. John Says:

    Hi Nancy,
    Cathy and I make something like this that was inspired by our favorite Mexican place.

    Scallions instead of leeks, tequila instead of vodka, cilantro instead of parsley, and the addition of roasted/peeled pablano peppers. The pablanos add some nice heat.

    Hi to Bill.


  5. goodfoodmatters Says:

    It’s always interesting to me how parallel some recipes can be—equally delicious, and yet the selection of ingredients takes the result in a little different direction.
    The addition of heat to the dish would be delicious.

  6. Madeleine Says:

    I made Lime Ricky last night for dinner. Quick, easy, and delicious. Thanks!

  7. Shanley Says:

    For what it’s worth, I vote for pineapple-carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting…. that sounds yummmmy.

  8. Michelle DC Says:

    This looks so good – does it matter what quality vodka you use? I have a range of options and don’t particularly care if I use low vs. high end for cooking, but just curious.

  9. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Michelle–I don’t think that it matters a whole lot about the quality of the vodka, although you wouldn’t want to use something dirt cheap, like Wild Russian Vanya or some such scary thing!I have a high-end vodka loving friend and I keep the Ketel One on hand for her visits, so I was using what I already had. I’m all about Use Whatcha Got. Otherwise, I’d probably use something less pricey for cooking purposes.

  10. Emily Passino Says:

    Nancy, any tips for doubling this recipe? Tried it Saturday night with a pound of shrimp – it was out of this world with not a morsel left over for 3 of us, but while cooking it I was worried that in doubling the liquids I was taking too long to do the last glazing/browning/reducing step – took a middle road and after maybe 2 1/2 minutes, just declared it “finished” (was worried the shrimp would get overdone, which they were on the verge of doing)…

  11. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Emily, Sounds like you did great!
    When doubling the recipe,(if you don’t have a big, wide skillet that will accommodate all them shrimps) it’s fine to sauté one batch of shrimp, remove them to sauté the next, then add them back in for the final “rickey” step. Shrimp do cook quickly—and continue to cook just a tetch after you remove them from heat.

  12. Emily P Says:

    One more question re the great lime rickey shrimp – wonder if there’s any way to do any of this ahead of time, and just finish it off right before sitting down. For example, wonder how long between sauteing the shrimp and doing that final “rickey” step would be “not too long.” I love this recipe and want to serve it at a dinner party, but I’m not the type who likes to cook while the guests are already here……

  13. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Emily, “Not too long” might be an hour. I would hesitate to let cooked shrimp sit, covered on the stovetop, any longer. So glad that you love this recipe so much!

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