Michael and I became obsessed with Yukatan shrimp after spending a week in Sanibel Island located off the Golf coast of Florida. What a quaint little island and perfect for Michael and I. The whole island is lined with miles and miles of bike/walk/run paths. We rented bikes for the week and the only action our little rental car got was to and from the airport.
We enjoyed every meal we had in Sanibel. However, this shrimp was so good, we went back to Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille a second time that week just to get this shrimp. We also ordered some to take back to our place to have for dinner the next night. However, we found that it wasn’t quite as good as it was when the shrimp was delivered fresh to your table.
Doc Ford’s has such a fun atmosphere. The place was packed every time we stopped in. I am not sure which came first, the restaurant or the book, but yes, the owner of Doc Ford’s wrote a series of books starring Doc Ford. The first book in the series is called, Sanibel Flats: A Doc Ford Novel. Of course I had to buy the book. It’s a total beach read focused on murder and intrigue.
Now back to the shrimp, I was that girl sitting at the bar licking the sauce dripping down her arms. I didn’t want a single bit to go to waste. The very large peel and eat shrimp was swimming in a perfectly spicy buttery sauce. A large piece of crusty bread laid next to the shrimp just waiting to take a dip in that sauce. YES, THAT SAUCE!!!
We got talking to the bartender, because I WANTED this recipe. It just so happened, the owner went on a talk show or news show and gave up the recipe. I was beside myself and couldn’t wait to get home and stock up on some humongous shrimp.
The ingredients are simple. The process is quick. However, I wasn’t happy with the first time I made the shrimp at home. I followed the instructions from the website, but it didn’t taste right. It reminded me of the night we reheated the shrimp we took back to our place.
So, the next time I made it, I kept all the ingredients the same, but I changed up the process. If you look online for the directions, there are a lot of different interpretations of this recipe. I think I have nailed it and even though I don’t need to travel to Sanibel Island for this shrimp, I can’t wait to go back.
Keep in mind when you plan to make this meal, Michael and I will tear up all 2 pounds of this shrimp ourselves. We are happy our kids don’t like shrimp. Yet!
As you may already know from pervious posts, I am allergic to garlic. However, I will suffer the aftermath for this finger licking, bread soaking shrimp.
2 lbs of the biggest shrimp you can find, U15 or 16/20 are best. Keep the shell on.
1 stick of unsalted butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced (add a clove or two more if you love garlic)
3-4 tablespoons of Sambal Oelek, more or less depending on how spicy you like it
1 lime, juiced or a 1/4 cup of key lime juice
1/2 cup of coarsly chopped cilatnro
Salt and Pepper to taste
Crusty Bread, trust me, you will want this for the sauce!
Measure out all your ingredients before you get started cooking. Once you start, the next thing you will know, dinner is ready.
In a large pan, melt the butter.
Once melted, add the shrimp. Once you see the shrimp is in the pan, add the garlic. Cooking shrimp doen’t take long and how long depends on the size shrimp you purchase, once the shrimp turns pink on both sides, it’s pretty much done. You’re looking at approximately 5-8 minutes of cooking time.
As soon as the shrimp looks done, add the sambal oelek, lime juice and cilantro. Give it a good stir, season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
Transfer the shrimp to a serving dish. To make ourselves feel better about this meal, we include some sort of veggie. Just know, this is all about the shrimp, that sauce and good crusty bread!!