James Holmes grew up in Texas but didn't learn how to make pickled shrimp, a Gulf specialty, until he took a job at a New York City restaurant.
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3 cups water
2 cups white wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 jalapeños, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon allspice berries
2 pounds large shrimp (16 to 20 per pound)shelled and deveined, tails left
1 cup heavy cream
1 pound spinachstemmed, washed, dried and leaves coarsely chopped
1 cup crème fraîche
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Cilantro leaves, for garnish
How to Make It
In a large saucepan, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, garlic, jalapeños, bay leaves, crushed red pepper, salt, peppercorns and allspice berries and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer the shrimp and liquid to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for 8 to 10 hours.
In a large saucepan, boil the cream over high heat until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer the spinach mixture to a bowl and let cool. Stir in the crème fraîche and lemon juice and season with salt.
Using a slotted spoon, lift the shrimp and jalapeños from the marinade and arrange on a platter. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve the spinach dip in a bowl alongside.
The spinach dip can be refrigerated overnight.
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