This is from my Facebook for the beginning of Fifty States of New Recipe Tuesday. It was originally written on September 29, 2015.
Pennsylvania. Second of the colonies to ratify the US Constitution on December 12, 1787. A state that in today’s world is known for its Pennsylvania Dutch and the Philly Cheesesteak. Neither of which came into play for tonight’s dish.
In searching for some interesting dishes, I came upon saffron. One of the oldest spices known to man (dating back as far as 2,300 B.C.) it became very popular in English and Spanish cooking and then found its way to the New World via the spice trade. Since Philadelphia was a major shipping port, this exotic spice made its way into Pennsylvania Colonial cooking. And along with that, early Lancaster settlers found that they could cultivate this spice themselves for much cheaper than the import. It became a staple in baking because of English influences, and then transitioned to a savory spice with Spanish influence.
The recipe that I decided to try tonight is from The Old City Tavern, one of the oldest restaurants in America, where they claim that George Washington was known to dine.
This is Shrimp in Saffron Cream. Using marinated fresh seafood, shallot and mushrooms (PA produces the most mushrooms of any state), with wine, cream and saffron. I was hesitant about the addition of Pernod to the end, but it added a nice sweetness and rounded out the flavor nicely.
I really liked this dish. My only changes to the original recipe was to use half and half instead of heavy cream and also added more mushrooms than the recipe called for. I served it over a little fettuccine and some fresh green beans.
Another winner. I give this a solid A.
Next week… New Jersey.
Recipe: (from The City Tavern Cookbook)
2 lbs raw jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
4 T unsalted butter, divided
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1 c sliced button mushrooms
1 c dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
1 c heavy cream
Pinch of saffron threads
1 T all purpose flour
Salt and freshly grated white pepper to taste
2 T Anisette, such as Pernod
1 T finely chopped parsley
Wash the shrimp thoroughly in cold running water and pat them dry with paper towels. Combine the shrimp, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice in a mixing bowl and toss. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until completely pink. Remove and reserve.
Add the shallot to the skillet and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until translucent. Add the mushrooms and sauté until the liquid they release has evaporated, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the wine to deglaze the pan, stir in the cream and saffron, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes until the liquid in the pan is reduced one quarter.
In a small bowl, knead together the remaining tablespoon of butter and flour. Which this mixture into the cream and little bit at a time, until the sauce is thick. Reduce heat to low, return the shrimp to the skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, just until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the anisette and parsley just before serving.