Here, Luca Cerato poaches shrimp in the juniper-and-chamomile-spiced Belgian-style blond ale made by the CitaBiunda brewery. The shrimp are so richly flavored and delicious that they need little enhancement beyond the blanched asparagus and simple saffron-cream sauce he serves with them. (They would also be great served chilled, with cocktail sauce.)
Slideshow:Amazing Shrimp Recipes
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups vegetable stock or low-sodium broth
Pinch of saffron threads
Freshly ground black pepper
Two 12-ounce bottles Belgian-style blond ale, such as Leffe
1 1/4 pounds shelled and deveined large shrimp, tails left on
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter in the extra-virgin olive oil. Add the scallions and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream, vegetable stock and saffron and bring just to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is reduced to 1 3/4 cups, about 15 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve into a small saucepan and season with salt and pepper. Keep the saffron sauce warm over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, in a large, deep saucepan, bring the ale just to a simmer. Add the shrimp and poach over moderate heat until they are just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a plate, pat dry and season with salt and pepper.
In a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, blanch the asparagus pieces until they are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the asparagus to paper towels to drain.
Spoon the saffron sauce into shallow bowls, top with the blanched asparagus and poached shrimp and serve.
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