This month’s recipe, Cider Poached Shrimp, is a sample from my new book Cider Cocktails – Another Bite of the Apple. Using cider to poach seafood is common in the cider making regions of both France and Spain. Although I call for a semi-dry cider in the recipe, a bright, dry one would be lovely as well. Just don’t use a cider that is either very sweet or bitter as those flavors will be too prominent in the dipping sauce.
- 1 cup semi-dry cider
- 1 bouquet garni (1 sprig thyme, 2 – 3 stems parsely, 1 bay leaf, all tied together)
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 lb jumbo shrimp (about 24)
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- ¼ cup finely chopped onion
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ¾ cup chopped canned tomatoes
- 2 tsp prepared horseradish
- 2 tsp crème fraîche
- 1 tsp minced chives as a garnish
Bring the cider, bouquet garni, ½ tsp of salt, and ¼ tsp of black pepper to a simmer. Add the shrimp, cover, lower the heat, and cook just until the shrimp are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove the shrimp, saving the liquid, set them aside, let them cool, then refrigerate until you are ready to serve them. They can be poached a day ahead to time.
To make the dipping sauce, heat the olive oil in a small pan and cook the garlic and onion until soft and a little translucent. Add the tomatoes and poaching liquid (along with the bouquet garni), raise the heat and simmer vigorously until most of the liquid is gone and the mixture is quite thick. Turn off the heat and let cool for a bit, then blend in a blender until very smooth. Stir in the horseradish and créme fraiche. Check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Chill several hours before serving to let the flavors marry.
Makes about 2 dozen shrimp and about ¾ cup of dipping sauce