Royal Red Shrimp with Bourbon and Crab Maque Choux

Bowl of royal red shrimp topped with pickled fresno peppers
Image by Josh Swinney

Some of the iconic flavors of Duane Nutter’s childhood now appear in the dishes that represent him as a chef at One Flew South. The bourbon in this saute of royal red shrimp evokes memories of his years cooking in Kentucky. In this recipe, he stirs it into a maque choux, giving a nod to the liquor’s mash bill and the funkiness of the fermentation process.

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Serves 4

    For the shrimp:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds Royal Red shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • For the bourbon maque choux:
  • 4 ears corn, shucked
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, diced (remove seeds for less heat)
  • 1 red pepper, diced 1 teaspoon creole seasoning (such as Tony Chachere’s)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ounce bourbon
  • ¼ cup shrimp stock (or chicken stock)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon chopped cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 5 ounces crab claw meat
  • For serving: Pickled Fresno Peppers and Shallots (recipe follows)
  • Pickled Fresno Peppers and Shallots:
  • 1¼ cups apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 2 garlic cloves 3 thyme sprigs 1 tablespoon pickling spice 2 shallots, thinly sliced ½ pound fresno peppers, thinly sliced
    1. Make the shrimp: Add oil to a large sauté pan over high heat. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Once oil is hot and begins to smoke, arrange shrimp in pan so there’s space between them. Cook for 2 minutes on each side, remove from pan, and set aside. Let pan cool for 1 to 2 minutes, then use for maque choux. 
    2. Make the bourbon maque choux: Remove corn kernels from cobs and set aside. Stand a cob up inside a small bowl and run the back of a knife or a spoon from top to bottom to press the milk from the cob, repeating on each side. Repeat with remaining cobs, then discard cobs and reserve milk. 
    3. In sauté pan over medium heat, add oil and butter. Sauté corn kernels and onions until tender and slightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeño, and red pepper; cook for 5 minutes. Season with creole seasoning, salt, and pepper. Deglaze pan with bourbon and reduce for 1 minute, then add shrimp stock, heavy cream, and corn milk. Simmer until thickened slightly. Stir in cilantro, parsley, and crab claw meat. 
    4. Add shrimp back to pan with maque choux to warm through, then serve topped with pickled fresno peppers and shallots.

For the pickled fresno peppers

      1. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine vinegar, orange juice, sugar, salt, garlic, thyme, and pickling spice. Bring to a simmer. 
      2. Add shallots and fresno peppers to a glass jar or heat-proof bowl. Pour hot mixture over peppers and shallots and allow to cool at least 15 minutes before serving. (Or allow to cool completely before refrigerating until needed.)
  • Recipe By
    Duane Nutter
  • Contributing City

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