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Pickled Shrimp and Spicy Don Johnson

It seems like Southerners are always frying or pickling something.. okra, green tomatoes, eggs and shrimp come immediately to mind. This pickled shrimp dish is perfect for outdoors because the acids from the citrus keep the shrimp from spoiling as rapidly in the southern heat.

The first time I had this dish, a friend had invited me out to dine, along with Hollywood star  Don Johnson. His role as Sonny Crockett in the 80's Miami Vice series practically made him an icon, and he is father to Fifty Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson, but you may not know this- Don Johnson is also a talented singer songwriter with a lot of ties to Nashville.
I knew the moment the limo arrived I would be in for a treat. The three of us sat under the stars at a local venue for hours while he charmed us with stories and believe me when I say, he is quite a character!

Equally charming and just as unforgettable, was the pickled shrimp, served in a little white porcelain boat with lots of crusty french bread and hot sauce on the side.

Here is what you need to make this. This dish is basically a ceviche with the shrimp parboiled to bring out the flavor. There are no pickling spices, Southerners just call it pickled shrimp. It took me about 20 minutes and feeds two or three, depending on how hungry you are:

18  large raw shrimp, tails removed and de-veined.
1 creole style shrimp/crawfish boiling sachet
2 vidalia or other sweet onions sliced
3 garlic cloves very coarsely chopped
4 small red peppers, chopped, or any pepper of your choosing
1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 cup apple juice
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 whole lime thinly sliced
1/2 lemon thinly sliced
1/4 tsp creole seasoning ( more if you like food very spicy)
1/4 tsp dried celery leaves
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
drizzle of olive oil
salt to taste, I use a himalayan salt

Mix the liquid ingredients, herbs and seasoning together in a glass jar or other container with a lid.
Boil shrimp for 2 to 5 minutes with the boiling sachet, until shrimp has just turned pink.
Remove from heat and add to the acid/juice bath- make sure there is enough to cover the shrimp.
Add the sliced onions, garlic and peppers. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
Cover and let 'cook' in the container in the fridge for 24 hours.
Keep chilled until ready to serve.This will keep if refrigerated about two days.

Now, I use one of my compound butters ( which I posted previously) on the crusty french bread, specifically a lime garlic one. It complements the shrimp perfectly and it is traditional to load your pickled shrimp on french bread or a tortilla. This is where you add a bit of hot sauce if  desired.

Don't forget to add a special beverage! This one was 1/3 St. Germain, 1/3 Club Soda and 1/3 Chablis.

Margaritas and any drink that harmonizes with lime goes great with this as well. Enjoy!


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