Shrimp in Sherry Butter Sauce

"This recipe is from Gourmet Magazine's May 2003 issue. This recipe is a bit fussy, but well worth the effort for that special dinner party. There are several make ahead steps which minimize the pre-party effort. The shrimp stock can be made the day before and the shrimp can be cooked several hours before service and finished in the sherry sauce at serving time."
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  • Heat oil in a 4 to 5 quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook the shrimp shells, stirring, for one minute. Add the water, onion halves, carrot, bay leaf, parsley, thyme, peppercorns and salt and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes.
  • Pour stock through a large sieve lined with a dampened paper towel into a large bowl, discarding solids. (Shrimp stock may be made 1 day ahead to this point.).
  • Return stock to cleaned pot. Add shrimp and cook over high heat ( stock should be hot but not boiling) stirring frequently until shrimp are just about cooked through (2 minutes- no longer). Transfer the shrimp with a slotted spoon to a large shallow baking dish, spreading in 1 layer to cool quickly.
  • Bring stock to a boil and reduce to about 1 1/2 cups. This should take 30 to 40 minutes, then transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  • Stir together flour and 1 1/2 tbsp butter until a paste forms and set aside.
  • Cook minced onion in 1 tablespoons butter in clean pot over moderately low heat, stirring, until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Add sherry and boil, until liquid is reduced to about 1/3 cup ( about 2 minutes). Add the shrimp stock and bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and whisk in the remaining 5 1/2 tbsp butter until just incorporated. Whisk in flour paste, bit by bit, and simmer sauce, whisking, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice, shrimp and salt and pepper to taste and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until shrimp are just heated through, about 1 minute.

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I am a classically trained chef and a grad of NECI in Vermont. I ran my own catering company for years and then decided to switch gears and go to law school. I now practice law and cook just for fun. I enjoy cooking for friends and DH and I entertain regularly. I also cook for my three golden retrievers and have found several wonderful biscuit recipes here at Zaar. I collect cookbooks and food literature. My all time favourite food writer is MFK Fisher. If you have not read it, I commend her short story "Borderland " to you. It is one of the most evocative pieces of food writing ever. My current favourite cookbook is "Urban Italian - Simple Recipes and True Stories from a Life in Food" by Andrew Carmelini. For years I managed to hang on to all of my back issues of Gourmet some of which date back to the 1980's. Sadly, I recently lost that particular battle and to promote marital harmony, I am recycling my old mags but am posting my favorite Gourmet recipes along with some interesting ones worthy of a test drive.
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