I thought I was done with this, and then the power of the Internet dragged me back in to this pursuit. Former USC Professor Arspoetice discovered this blog thread and added her own talent & mojo to the recipe, filling in some blanks that I believe did in fact close the case on this investigation of “how exactly do you make Killer Shrimp at home?”
She added several ingredients for a more authentic cajun flavor & kicked in a bit more of the umami we were searching for. But to quote Ars:
“The most important outcome of these changes, we feel, was that the kitchen smelled like Killer Shrimp. We could close our eyes, picture ourselves in the Marina or Studio City. Perfect!”
So anyway, Arspoetice’s mods are highlighted in BOLD. Thank you, Ars, from a UCLA Bruin. See? Trojans & Bruins can work together. (Just don’t discuss athletics, I guess.) I guess we’ll never really how close we came, but I do know that the resulting recipe is damned good. And after being in pre-release since April 2010, here’s what I’m calling the “v1.0”:
(version 1.0 – RELEASE)
- ½ small onion, diced
- 1 celery rib, diced
- 1 moderate sized carrot, diced
- 5 cloves Garlic, chopped/diced small
- 3/4 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (This was originally 1/2 cup)
- 2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoon FRESH – not dried – Rosemary
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper (3/4 teaspoon if PREVIOUS batch of Killer Shrimp is available)
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (3/4 teaspoon if PREVIOUS batch of Killer Shrimp is available)
- 8oz clam juice
- 3 tablespoons (3 oz) of tomato paste
- 2 T Worcestershire sauce
- 1 T lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/4 tsp. oregano
- 1 cup beer (ale)
- 1 ½ pounds shrimp, with tails
- 1 (1 pound) loaf French bread
- 2 cups of PREVIOUS batch of Killer Shrimp broth – if available
- Fry onion, celery, carrots, garlic in a small pad of the butter until fragrant and soft in a large pot. Do not use more than a pad here.
- Take all the spices (rosemary, thyme, pepper, celery seed, fennel seed, pepper flakes) and cut/crush them enough that they remain whole but are broken to more easily release flavor.
- Pour in broth, and mix in rosemary, thyme, pepper, celery seed, fennel seed, clam juice, pepper flakes, & tomato paste. Place cover on pot to maintain consistency.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Stir beer into the broth mixture as well as PREVIOUS batch of Killer Shrimp and continue to simmer and occasionally stir 2 hours.
- Just before serving, stir in shrimp. Continue cooking 3 minutes, or until shrimp are opaque. Remove and place in serving bowl.
- Add remaining butter in pads. Stir until all pads are melted. Once melted, quickly turn off heat and serve broth with previously separated shrimp in bowls.
- Serve with bread.
Yum. Internet wins! …Flawless victory!