Awhile back a reader asked if I could post a recipe that would pair with Peter King’s beloved Allagash White, the craft Belgiam-style white ale. Witbiers often get knocked around by beer snobs thanks to the mass production of beers like Blue Moon, but Allagash puts out a decent white ale. Personally, I prefer their Curieux strong ale which is barrel aged in old bourbon casks, but this recipe isn’t about my tastes, it’s about PK’s beer.
If you cannot get your hands on Allagash White, look in the import section for Blanche De Bruxelles. This Belgiam white ale’s iconic label features the image of little boy pissing, styled after a famous fountain in — you guessed it — Brussels, which has many fine Starwoods for you to stay in if you want to join the throng of tourists who pose with the statue. I actually had a chance visit Brussels last year to see some friends living abroad and it was quite lovely. And while we stayed in a Sofitel and not a Starwood, our stay was still very pleasant. Went to the museum of music instruments, had one of the best meals of my life in a small French restaurant next a farm in a village just outside of Waterloo, got drunk, saw a mini pony. Just lovely. Both of my friends living there talked about the extreme lengths they went to see American football, traveling halfway across the country to find a bar open for the Super Bowl. My good friend Andrea even had a secondary satellite hookup that allowed her to get the Middle Eastern sports package, which was the only way she could watch Steeler games on a regular basis.
But I digress, just as one does when making a recipe styled around Peter King.
When cooking for a lighter bodied beer, you want something spicy but not overpowering. Lemon to match the citrus, heat to pair with the herbal undertones of the white ale. I settled on this particular way of making shrimp for Mr. King because there a fair amount of work that goes into the dish. Think of the time standing and deveining shrimp as the very long MMQ column, because at some point you will think to yourself, “Why am I doing this? This is a lot of work.” And then the brief cooking time after all of that work? That’s his short amount of on-air time during Sunday Night Football.
Peter King Shrimp For Allagash White
You will need:
2 pounds fresh shrimp
1-1 1/2 pounds lemons, plus one more lemon for juice, washed
12 tablespoons butter (1 1/2 quarter pound sticks)
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 tablespoons minced shallot, about 1/2 a large shallot
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
small bunch of cilantro, about a 1/4 cup chopped
Preheat oven to 350º.
Line one large or two small baking or cookie sheets with foil.
Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails on. If you have never prepped shrimp before, you might want to check out this video from the nice people at Serious Eats. This is a long, arduous process and probably my least favorite kitchen task. It’s so time consuming — even if you do it quickly — I recommend resting a medium-sized clean bowl in a large bowl of ice water to place the cleaned shrimp in so they stay cool during prep.
If you are the sort that likes to make seafood soup, chowder or risotto, freeze the shells to make a shrimp stock with later.
Once your shrimp have been cleaned, thinly slice your lemons and evenly line the cooking sheets with them. Reserve 1/2 to one whole lemon for juice, depending on the size of the lemon. Juice the remaining lemon for 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice.
Melt the butter and mix together with the lemon juice, garlic, shallots, red chili flakes, Sriracha and cracked pepper.
Evenly spread the cleaned shrimp on top of the sliced lemons the pour the lemon, butter and pepper sauce over the shrimp.
Cook at 350º for 15 minutes, turning the shrimp halfway through baking.
Once done, transfer the lemons and and shrimp onto a large platter. Drizzle some of the remaining lemon-butter sauce from the the bottom of the pan over the shrimp and top with a handful of chopped cilantro. Yields about 50-60 shrimp, enough for 5-6 people.
Serve with Allagash White. If you would like your experience to be authentic, start taking notes during the game, write down a bunch of stats and start working on your Monday opus.