Many Savannahians would rather serve something they’ve made a thousand times and know to be good, well-prepared, and in ample quantities, than knock themselves out over a showy display of cutting-edge dainties.
4 tablespoons seafood boiling spice, divided
2 large bay leaves (crumbled if dried, chopped if fresh) divided
6 large garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed, divided
1 large rib celery (including the leafy top) thinly sliced
2 pounds small to medium shrimp
1 cup white wine vinegar
½ cup Vidalia sweet onions
Strips of zest from 2 large lemons and thin slices from 1 of them
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
4-6 fresh lettuce leaves
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Add 3 quarts water to a large, stainless steel pot. Add half the boiling spice, 1 bay leaf, 3 garlic cloves, celery, and a small handful of salt.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook 10 minutes. Increase heat and add shrimp, cover, and cook 2 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold running water, peel, and devein the shrimp.
- In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring vinegar, onions, remaining bay leaf, spice, and garlic to a full boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes.
- Turn off heat. Let mixture cool slightly then pour over shrimp. Add lemon zest and juice and toss well. Let cool completely, then cover and transfer to refrigerator.
- Let shrimp marinate for at least 4 hours before serving. They will keep in fridge up to 2 weeks.
- from chef and author Damon Lee Fowler, Savannah, Georgia