Shrimp a la Plancha over Saffron Allioli Toasts

  • Shrimp a la Plancha over Saffron Allioli Toasts
By Raquel Pelzel, courtesy of TastingTable.com
Shrimp a la Plancha over Saffron Allioli Toasts
Serves: 4 Cuisine: Italian

Our friend and colleague Raquel Pelzel created this recipe, with a uniquely Spanish accent on this saffron-imbued dish. "It's insanely good" she says, and we know she's right.

Ingredients

  • For Allioli:
  • Large pinch Saffron
  • 2 large Egg Yolks
  • 1 Garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, preferably Spanish
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice, plus more if needed
  • For Shrimp:
  • Four ½-inch-thick slices Country Bread
  • 1½ pounds Jumbo 16/20-count peel-on Shrimp
  • Kosher Salt
  • 2 Lemons, halved
  • 3 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
  • ½ cup Dry Sherry
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf Parsley
  • 2 tablespoons good-quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil, preferably Spanish

Preparation

  • Make the allioli: In a small skillet set over medium heat, toast the saffron until it is brittle, 15 to 30 seconds. Turn it out onto a small plate and use the back of a spoon to crush it. To a medium bowl, add the saffron, egg yolks, garlic and salt and vigorously whisk until well combined. Begin adding the olive oil a few drops at a time, whisking thoroughly between additions, until the allioli begins to thicken, then drizzle the remaining oil into the mixture in a very slow and steady stream, whisking the allioli until it is thick and creamy. Add the lemon juice, taste and adjust with more lemon juice and salt as needed. Transfer to a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  • Make the toasts: Adjust an oven rack to the uppermost position and the broiler to high. Place the bread slices on a rimmed baking sheet and brush both sides of the bread with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Toast the bread until golden-brown, about 45 seconds. Turn the bread over and toast the other side (watch the broiler closely, as broiler intensity varies), 30 to 45 seconds longer. Remove the bread from the oven and set each slice on a plate.
  • In a large bowl, place the shrimp. Use a paring knife to make a shallow slit down the curved back of the shrimp, removing the vein (if there is one) and leaving the shell intact. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until nearly smoking, 1½ to 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of the oil and the shrimp. Sprinkle a good pinch of salt and the juice from half of a lemon over the shrimp and cook until the shrimp start to curl and the edges of the shell are browning, 2 to 3 minutes. Use tongs to turn the shrimp over, sprinkle with more salt and the juice from another lemon half and cook until the shrimp are bright pink, about 1 minute longer. Make a well in the center of the pan and stir in the garlic and black pepper; once the garlic is fragrant, after about 30 seconds, add the sherry, bring to a simmer and stir the garlic-sherry mixture into the shrimp. Cook, stirring and scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan into the sauce. Turn off the heat and squeeze in the juice of another lemon half. Slice the remaining lemon half into wedges.
  • Spread the top of each slice of bread with a generous spoonful of the saffron allioli. Divide the shrimp among the plates and pour some sauce over each serving. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with the lemon wedges.

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