Roasted Skewered Shrimp with Warm Citrus Butter
Roasted Skewered Shrimp with Warm Citrus Butter

You might think that the best way to cook shrimp is to throw them on a grill, pop them under the broiler, or saute them in a hot skillet, but there is an alternative. Roast them! As it turns out roasting shrimp is incredibly easy and practically fail proof. Extra large shrimp (the ones that weigh in at 16 to 20 per pound) work best, and the oven needs to be set at a very high temperature. Follow these guidelines and you'll end up with perfectly cooked, rosy-hued shrimp in no time at all. Roasting offers another benefit. Once these crustaceans are in the oven, they require no attention at all, unlike grilling and sautéing where the fish must be turned and tended to.

In the following recipe shrimp are threaded on skewers, brushed with a refreshing citrus butter scented with orange and lemon, and then roasted for about 5 minutes. When done, the skewered shrimp make a striking appearance sprinkled with some toasted sesame seeds and accompanied by small bowls of warm citrus butter for dipping. These seafood brochettes would make a great main course for summer entertaining served with rice tossed with green onions, a hint of ginger, and sesame oil. Add a watercress salad dressed in rice wine vinegar and oil for a warm weather menu that's simple, fast, and delicious.

Roasted Skewered Shrimp with Warm Citrus Butter

Serves 4.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, broken into small chunks

1/3 cup fresh orange juice

1 tablespoon freshly lemon juice

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

20 extra large (16 to 20 count per pound) shrimp peeled with tails left on and deveined

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons sesame seeds toasted (See note.)

Four 10-inch metal skewers, or wooden skewers that have been soaked in water for 30 minutes

Place the butter, orange and lemon juices, sesame oil, and in a small nonreactive saucepan, set over medium heat. Stir until the butter has melted and the mixture is just warm. (The Citrus Butter can be prepared 2 hours ahead; cover and leave at room temperature. Reheat when ready to use.)

Arrange a rack at center position and preheat the oven to 450 F.

Skewer 5 shrimp on each skewer and arrange the skewers on a baking sheet. Remove 1/4 cup of the melted butter, and use it to brush the shrimp on both sides. Reserve the remaining butter to use as a dipping sauce. Salt and pepper the shrimp.

Roast the shrimp until they are opaque, pink, and cooked all the way through, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove and sprinkle the shrimp with sesame seeds. Divide the remaining butter among 4 small ramekins. Serve each skewer of shrimp with some of the warm butter.

Note: To toast sesame seeds, place them in a medium skillet set over medium heat. Stir until the seeds are golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and cool. Sesame seeds can be toasted 2 hours ahead. Leave at room temperature.


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Roasted Skewered Shrimp with Warm Citrus Butter

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