Shrimp de Jonghe

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Shrimp de Jonghe is unique to Chicago — a quaint and captivating formula of toasty bread crumbs, sherry, butter, and garlic, laced with rosemary and thyme, all blanketing a cluster of taut-bodied shrimp. It goes way back in time, to the heyday of the chafing dish, shrimp wiggle, and first-edition Fannie Farmer. Variations around the city range from shrimp swimming in a pool of melted, flavored butter to casseroles in which the bread crumbs form a crunchy lid on top. Our recipe is between the extremes — moist, but edible by fork. Its goodness depends on top-quality shrimp.

12 tablespoons butter (1-1/2 sticks)
1 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup minced parsley
1/2 cup dry sherry
dash of cayenne pepper
dash of paprika
2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, just barely cooked

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cream together the butter, salt, and garlic. Mix in the bread crumbs, parsley, sherry, pepper, and paprika.

Butter 4 to 6 individual casserole dishes or one wide one. Divide the shrimp among the dishes, mound the crumb mixture on top, and bake 20 minutes or until the crumbs are golden brown and sizzling.

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