There are a few cookbooks that were very influential to me in my early days of cooking. One of them was Wolfgang Puck’s French Cooking for the American Kitchen, published in 1981. The Austrian born Wolfgang wanted to make French cooking accessible to Americans, like Julia.
After cooking my way through most of the book one summer, I fondly remember the first time I made his Shrimp with Mustard. It was in the early eighties and my now husband, Eric, was there with me deveining shrimp in my parent’s kitchen. I had just had foot surgery and had to sit on the counter with my feet elevated while they throbbed. Why was I throwing a FORMAL dinner party after foot surgery? I have no idea. Maybe my father, the retired foot surgeon can answer that question!
It is typically French, in that, it includes cream and butter. I have catered hundreds of parties, events, dinners, etcetera and I have been literally held hostage in people’s kitchens with hosts and guests demanding that I reveal the recipe for this delectable Shrimp with Mustard appetizer. I must say, it’s divine! Why? – Because, it contains CREAM and BUTTER!!!!!!!
Shrimp with Mustard
6-8 medium shrimp per person
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 Tbs canola oil
2 medium shallots, minced
1 bunch fresh tarragon, minced
1/2 cup Chardonnay
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 lb unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 Tbs minced chives
Season the shrimp with salt and pepper.
Using two large sauté pans, heat the oil until it begins to smoke. Over very high heat, sauté the shrimp for 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a warm plate, set aside, and keep warm.
To each sauté pan add 1 minced shallot and 1 tbsp. minced tarragon. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
Deglaze each pan with the Chardonnay and then combine the sauce in one pan. Add the cream and reduce the sauce until it coats the back of a spoon.
Whisk in the butter, one small piece at a time. Whisk in the mustard, just at the last minute Do not let the sauce boil, or the mustard will become grainy.
Correct seasoning to taste.
Presentation: Arrange shrimp decoratively on serving plates, nap with sauce, and sprinkle with chives.