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Peel-'n'-eat shrimp

Time 55 minutes
Yields Serves about 5 (10 shrimp each)
Peel-'n'-eat shrimp
(Los Angeles Times)
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A dish so good you just can’t wait to get your hands all messy?

Times Test Kitchen intern MariaSole Kaine thinks the peel-'n'-eat shrimp at the Hungry Cat in Hollywood is just such a dish. “The shrimp are crunchy and packed with flavor,” she says. “The seasoning is the perfect mix of hot and salty, and the parsley gives it a really nice fresh flavor.”

The order includes half a pound of large Mexican white shrimp, steamed in a spicy beer reduction and served at the restaurant on brown paper squares with a side of cocktail sauce. Have your napkins ready.

1

In a medium bowl, toss the shrimp with the contents of 1 can of beer. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.

2

In a small bowl, combine the Old Bay, paprika, celery salt, kosher salt, cayenne pepper and ground ginger. Set aside.

3

With a sharp knife, cut the head of garlic (with the peel) in half crosswise. In a large stockpot heated over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the chopped onion, all of the garlic, the rosemary and chile de arbol and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of the spice blend and the juice of 1 lemon, stirring. Add the remaining beer and reduce the liquid by three-fourths over high heat, about 20 minutes.

4

Drain the shrimp and add them to the pot. Cover the pot, and steam just until the shrimp are cooked, 4 to 5 minutes over high heat. The shrimp will be ready when they turn white; be careful not to overcook them.

5

Remove the shrimp to a large baking sheet with sides and drizzle with remaining olive oil. Sprinkle over more of the spice blend to taste (we used 2 tablespoons). Sprinkle with the parsley and the juice from the remaining lemon. Serve immediately.

Adapted from chef David Lentz of the Hungry Cat. Mexican white shrimp are available at seafood markets and fine fish counters. Pabst or Tecate is recommended for the beer. The restaurant serves this dish with cocktail sauce.