I have this thing for seafood. It’s the perfect appetizer; so tasty, light and pretty. I honestly believe that 50% of how food tastes is determined by how its presented. Lucky for me; there’s absolutely nothing easier and more beautiful to serve than gorgeous pink shrimps.
I decided that one of our Christmas days (we have 2 official days of Christmas here) will be reserved for seafood. It’ll be a nice break from all the meat we’ll have when we have our annual ‘gourmet‘ on the first day of Christmas. Gourmet is a typically Dutch thing and it’s a bit like fondue; I’ll prepare large amounts of marinaded and bit-size pieces of meat, fish, poultry and veggies. Everyone grills the food on top of a large electric pan. Tons of warm french bread with home made butter on the side. It takes for hours of eating and fun, think of it as an interactive meal. It’s really fun.
No matter how much I love to cook, though, I don’t want to spend big part of my holidays in the kitchen so I’ll show you my favorite way to make a shrimp appetizer with as little work as possible. It’s so simple; let the oven do the work for you. You can prep the shrimps before your guests arrive, and right before dinner you simply pop them in the oven.
1 pound jumbo shrimps
2/3 stick butter (75gr)
1/3 red chili pepper
1 large garlic clove
flat leaf parsley
Preheat your oven to 400F (200C).
I’ve used frozen ones (straight from the freezer). You can also use fresh or thawed shrimps. Whatever you prefer. Just make sure to reduce the cooking time when using fresh or thawed! When using fresh shrimps it also look really pretty when you leave the tail on.
They look so fancy pink!
Finely chop 1/3 to 1/2 a red chili pepper. Take the seeds out; we just want to add a little warmth to the shrimps, not make them flaming hot. Also grate or finely chop a reasonably sized garlic clove.
I always keep a ziploc bag of washed and dried flat leaf pasrley in my fridge, it’s such an easy and earthy herb to work with. Finely chop a small handful until you end up with roughly 2 tbsp chopped parsley. Grab it all and put it in a bowl.
Now add 2/3 stick (75 grams) of melted butter and give everything a good stir.
Just add the butter to the shrimps and combine everything.
Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer them to a baking dish.
Pop them in a preheated oven and bake them on the top oven shelf for about 15 minutes. If you use fresh or thawed shrimps, cooking them for 5 to 7 minutes will do, until they change from boring gray to pretty pink.
Serve with lots of lemon wedges and bread on the side. So easy yet so tasty.