“It takes only a few minutes, so be careful not to overcook the shrimp. Poaching lets them absorb the flavors from the poaching liquid, which is called court bouillon in fancy French cooking and typically uses wine. Staying in step with my beloved Gulf Coastal, Caribbean, and Mexican influences, I use tequila or rum!” — Lucy Buffett
- 2 1/4 Pounds pounds large wild-caught headless Gulf shrimp in the shell
- 8 Cups water
- 1/2 Cup tequila or rum
- 1 lemon, sliced into rounds
- 1/2 white onion, coarsely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves
- 2 Tablespoons sea salt
- 1 Tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 4 fresh cilantro sprigs
Peel and devein the shrimp. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
Place the water in a large heavy skillet or saucepan. Add the tequila, lemon, onion, garlic, salt, peppercorns, and cilantro. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes.
Reduce the heat until the liquid is simmering. Add the shrimp, cover, and cook for 3 minutes only! Pour the shrimp into a strainer and immediately cover with ice. When the shrimp are cool, remove and discard the lemon rounds, garlic, and cilantro. Refrigerate in an airtight container.
Adapted from Gumbo Love by Lucy Buffett (Grand Central, 2017)