Local chefs & restaurants share easy dishes to barbecue, bake or sauté.
If you’re a fan of seafood, shrimp is an incredibly versatile and delicious protein. It pairs beautifully with a wide variety of flavors and cuisines, and as a bonus, it’s a nutritional powerhouse. As luck would have it, Lowcountry residents have access to the best shrimp on the planet — fresh white shrimp caught in local waters. With white shrimp season peaking in September and October, we asked top local chefs and restaurants to share their favorite shrimp recipes.
Michael Anthony’s Cucina Italiana
Spaghetti with shrimp, chilies, lemon and crispy breadcrumbs
1 cup coarse homemade breadcrumbs (step 1)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
Salt and pepper
1 pound spaghetti
1⁄2 cup white wine
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 large cloves of garlic, minced
1⁄4 teaspoon red chili flakes
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon grated bottarga or anchovy paste (optional)
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
Directions  To prepare the breadcrumbs, put cubes of stale country-style, crusty bread into the food processor and pulse until they reach the desired consistency. The crumbs should be coarse and not finely ground.  In a heavy frying pan, heat two tablespoons of olive oil and add the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat, stirring often until the crumbs are crisp and light brown, then set aside.  Cook the pasta in salted boiling water. While it is cooking, heat 1⁄2 cup olive oil in a small, heavy saucepan. Add the shrimp and sauté until they turn pink, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add the garlic, chili flakes and bottarga or anchovy paste and cook until sizzling but not browned. Add wine and lemon juice and cook until reduced to a sauce-like consistency. Remove from the heat.  Once the pasta is cooked al dente, drain the pasta and add it to the saucepan, adding a little pasta water if the mixture seems dry. Add the shrimp and parsley, toss and serve with the crispy breadcrumbs on top.
Think outside the box the next time you are in the mood for spaghetti. The Market Cafe at Michael Anthony’s offers fresh-cut spaghetti for $12 per pound along with other house-made pastas and sauces. You will taste the difference. As a rule of thumb, one quart of sauce is enough for one pound of pasta.
Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks
Real Deal Shrimp
1 can of beer (light in color but not light beer)
4 ounces garlic, chopped finely
8 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
3 tablespoons cajun seasoning
4 tablespoons Worcestershire
1 celery stalk, diced
1 cup water, give or take
1 cup fortified shrimp stock
1 lemon, juiced and zested
4 tablespoon cream, optional
1 pound of shrimp (shell-on, head on or headless, depending on audience)
Directions  Sprinkle the shrimp with 1 tablespoon of seasoning. Refrigerate the shrimp while you make the sauce base.  Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions, bell peppers, celery, cream and garlic and sauté for 1 minute.  Add the remaining seasoning, lemons, water, Worcestershire and beer. Stir well and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.  Strain into a small saucepan. Place over high heat, bring to a boil, and cook until thick, syrupy, and dark brown for about 15 minutes.  Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the seasoned shrimp and sauté them for 2 minutes, occasionally shaking the skillet.  Add the beer and all of the barbecue base. Stir and simmer for 3 minutes.  Remove the shrimp to a warm platter with tongs and whisk the butter into the sauce. Remove from the heat.  Mound the shrimp in the center of a platter. Spoon the sauce over the shrimp and around the plate. Arrange the fresh French bread around the shrimp. Garnish with chopped chives.
Buy the book
The 159-page book ($27) is chock-full of recipes from appetizers to desserts, with an emphasis on the seafood that has made Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks a go-to restaurant for visitors and locals alike.
Country Club of Hilton Head
Shrimp kataifi with tomato compote
Ingredients (tomato compote)
4 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes
12 cups boiling water
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped basil
Directions  Heat the oven to 275 degrees. Make a shallow X on the bottom of the tomatoes and transfer to a large heatproof bowl. Pour the boiling water over the tomatoes and let stand for 1 minute.  Drain, peel, halve lengthwise and seed the tomatoes. Return the tomatoes to the bowl. Toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Arrange the tomatoes, cut sides up, on a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until leathery, about 3 hours.  Let the tomatoes cool slightly. In a food processor, pulse the tomatoes with the basil until coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper.
Ingredients (shrimp kataifi)
1/4 pound filo dough, snipped into 4-inch lengths
1/3 cup basil leaves, finely shredded
1/3 cup chives, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
All-purpose flour, for dredging
3 U3 shrimps, shelled and deveined (but leave the tail and head on)
Freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying
Directions  In a large shallow dish, use your fingers to separate the dough into individual threads. Add the basil and chives and toss to distribute throughout the pastry.  In a shallow bowl, beat the egg with the water. Spread the flour in another shallow bowl.  Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Holding the shrimp by the tail, dredge them in the flour and shake off the excess, then dip them in the beaten egg and roll in the dough. Press to help the kataifi adhere.  In a large, deep skillet, heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil to 350 degrees. Fry until the kataifi is golden brown and crisp, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Drain the kataifi on a rack over a baking sheet. Season with salt. Serve with tomato compote.
About the size of it
Ever wonder what the numbers on shrimp packages or the sign at the seafood counter mean? It indicates the number of shrimp you’re buying per pound. The lower the range of numbers, the larger the shrimp.
Here is a handy guide:
Extra Colossal: U 10 and under
Super Colossal: U 12
Colossal: U 15
Extra Jumbo: U 16/20
Jumbo: U 21/25
Extra Large: U 26/30
Large: U 31/35
Medium Large: U 36/40
Medium: U 41/50
Small: U 51/60
Extra Small: U 61/70
Tiny: U 71 and over
Colleton River Club
Summer pickled shrimp
4 ounces white wine vinegar
4 ounces water
2 ounces fine sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 bay leaf
1 pound fresh, peeled SC shrimp
Directions  To make the brine, combine white wine vinegar, water, sugar, dry mustard seeds, salt, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, crushed red paper and bay leaf in a saucepan. Simmer until sugar is dissolved and allow to cool.  To blanch the shrimp, bring a pot of salted water to a simmer. Dunk the shrimp into the water for one minute, remove to a colander to drain and allow to cool.  Combine the shrimp and pickling liquid. Set aside to chill for at least an hour. Serve with a pimento cheese crostini and a pickled okra spear.
Make your own crushed red pepper in three easy steps
1. Cut the tops off your hot peppers and place them evenly on a cookie sheet.
2. Dry out the peppers in the oven on low heat. It will take around 4 to 6 hours. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
3. Once dry, pulse grind the peppers in a food processor to your desired texture.