Shrimp à l'Américaine


L.A. restaurateur Stephane Bombet makes a truly luscious version of shrimp à l’Américaine, a classic dish made with tomatoes and wine. His version includes Cognac, crème fraîche and a touch of cayenne, which create a sauce that’s totally irresistible. Slideshow: More Shrimp Recipes 

Shrimp à l’Américaine
Photo: © Eva Kolenko
Total Time:
30 mins
10 to 12


  • 2 pounds large shrimp (about 40), shelled and deveined

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 shallots, very thinly sliced

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 3/4 cup dry white wine

  • 2 tablespoons Cognac 

  • One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes

  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche

  • Crusty bread, for serving


  1. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in the olive oil over moderately high heat. Add half of the shrimp and cook, turning once, until lightly browned but not cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.

  2. In the skillet, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Add the shallots and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and Cognac and simmer until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste and cayenne and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, until just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the crème fraîche; season with salt and pepper. Serve with bread.


If you would like to flambé the Cognac, add it after the shrimp finish cooking in Step 2. Ignite carefully with a long-handled match and cook until the flames subside. Stir in the crème fraîche and serve.

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