When I think back to how I learned to love food and cook, I often am reminded of working at a restaurant called The Hatteras. It is no longer there, but when it was, it was before its time. The menu changed seasonally, the meats, seafood, and produce were sourced as locally as possible. The restaurant had its quirks for sure, but one thing was always true – the food was spectacular. In the winters when it was slow, the chef would let me work behind the line, and would teach me how to make some of the menu items. This shrimp boat is one of the first things that he taught me how to cook. He ended up teaching me how to make a 6 course meal. I was moving to South Carolina, and he wanted me to be able to fit in with the Southern debs. I am not sure if that ever happened, but I did learn a lot from cooking with him.
This shrimp boat was an appetizer on our menu. While we never used a recipe in the restaurant, this is exactly how I remember it tasting. If I had to guess, I would say that this serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer. On this particular evening, I made it for dinner, so my portion was larger than normal. Since we are in the Lenten season, I am cooking a lot more seafood, and this is perfect for a Friday night. I have also made this the same way, but instead of bread, tossed it with pasta.
My one piece of advice, make sure that you have everything ready to go before you start to cook anything. Once you start cooking, the whole thing is done in about 8 minutes. You do not want to be in the middle and realize that you still need to open the bottle of wine, and your garlic is burning. Preheat your oven while you are chopping your shallots and garlic, by the time you are ready to get cooking, the bread and shrimp will be ready at the same time.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 shallot, chopped finely
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, sliced into thin strips
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 Tablespoons butter
salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
grated Parmesan cheese
Slice the baguette into wedges. About 4 inches. Using a knife, cut a hole about halfway into the baguette, making a boat of sorts. Put the bread into a 350 degree oven and get started on the shrimp. By the time the shrimp are done, your bread will be nice and toasty.
Have everything ready to go before you start to cook, it goes very quickly once you start. Like 8 minutes from start to finish.
Heat a medium saute pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil, shallots, and sun dried tomatoes. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes or until the shallots begin to soften.
Add the wine.
Add the shrimp.
When the shrimp are almost cooked, add the butter in pats, stirring. It will thicken the sauce.
Season with salt and pepper.
Take the bread out of the oven and put it on a plate. Pour some of the sauce directly into the bread.
Top with the shrimp and more sauce.
Garnish with chopped basil and Parmesan cheese.