DENVER — My guess is there will be plenty of others who’ll find themselves dining at home this Valentine’s Day, perhaps for the first time, so my latest Celebrating Home video features Baked Sherry Shrimp – an oh-so-romantic entrée that’s oh-so-easy to prepare. Over the years, I’ve found one of the keys to a successful Valentine’s Day dinner is a meal that looks and tastes divine, but requires a minimum of last-minute fuss. Truly, I’d rather be sitting by the fire with my sweetheart, sipping a glass of champagne, than spending precious time in the kitchen.
Baked Sherry Shrimp is easy, allows for advance prep, and is designed to impress. I’ve long been a fan of individual serving dishes, especially when the occasion calls for an added dose of flair. Frankly, macaroni and cheese looks scrumptious on a plate, but when baked and served in individual au gratin dishes or mini-cast iron skillets, it’s so much more enticing. For my Baked Sherry Shrimp, which takes only minutes to cook, I bake large Gulf shrimp in a butter and sherry mixture, nestled in small white porcelain casserole dishes, then serve them over a bed of rice pilaf. A folded red cotton napkin protects my china from direct contact with the hot casseroles while complementing my red and white Valentine color theme.
Happy Valentine's Day!
BAKED SHERRY SHRIMP
1/2 – 3/4 pound large, raw shrimp, rinsed, peeled and deveined, size 21-25
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons dry sherry, divided
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ teaspoon paprika
1 lemon, rinsed and thinly sliced, for garnish
2 single-serving casserole dishes
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Divide the olive oil and butter evenly between two heat-proof single-serving casserole or au gratin dishes. Place the dishes in the oven until the butter melts. Remove the dishes from the oven and transfer them to a heat proof surface. Add 1 tablespoons sherry and half the lemon juice to each dish and swirl to mix.
Divide the shrimp evenly between the two dishes, dipping them into the butter mixture, and turning them over so both sides are coated with the mixture. Sprinkle the shrimp with paprika, cover the dishes with foil, and bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. Remove them from the oven, garnish each with a slice of lemon, and arrange over a bed of rice pilaf, if desired.
Serving note: To protect dinnerware from the heat, place a folded napkin under each casserole dish prior to serving.
Yield: 2 servings
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