When my boyfriend cooks, he likes to use greek yogurt to simmer down his almost obsessive over-spicing of just about anything. Last night’s dinner being a great example, he dumped about half a jar of cayenne pepper onto some sautéed chicken with onions and peppers, and finally added a dollop of greek yogurt (with smashed blueberries in it – yeah, I probably never would’ve thought of that either, but it was pretty good!) on the side to soften the blow of the cayenne. While it all was wonderful (especially the part about me not having to cook), there’s a reason why I’m normally the one in the kitchen. 🙂
Anyway, about ten times a year, I get a severe craving for shrimp.
About three times a year I get ambitious and motivated enough to actually make the shrimp myself. I’ll either stumble upon a recipe, or hear someone talking about it, and then decide impulsively to go home and make us some shrimp. This time I was reading about a Cilantro Garlic Yogurt Sauce (after experiencing B’s version with smashed blueberries and wondering what else you could do with yogurt) and how it goes well with sautéed shrimp on gourmet.com and, just like that, I was all kinds of sold on the idea.
Two hours later, I’ve finally finished shelling and deveining them (consider this your warning regarding prep-time).
You might be wondering why I didn’t buy de-shelled shrimp, so I’ll go ahead and confess this openly: I’m pretty cheap. De-shelled shrimp is stupidly more expensive than shell-intact shrimp. I also sort of take a sick pleasure out of doing things “the long way” even if it’s painful. Finally, I haven’t found a place that sells uncooked de-shelled shrimp in Copenhagen yet. If you know of a place, lemme know, because if I’m ever in a jam, dying for shrimp, but without 2 hours on my hands to de-shell them myself, I’d probably make use of that resource.
The combination of cilantro, garlic, lemon juice, some cayenne, and greek yogurt in the sauce is sort of spicy and cooling at the same time, and the end result was exactly what I was going for tonight: something delicious that I can eat with my fingers (it’s been a long day). This would be a great dish to serve as an appetizer at a party, because the shrimp can be served cold, and the greek yogurt sauce is still delicious at room temperature. The greek yogurt sauce would also go really well with chicken skewers, which is probably what I’ll attempt to do with the leftovers tomorrow.
SAUTÉED SHRIMP with CILANTRO GARLIC YOGURT SAUCE
- 1.5 cups full fat greek yogurt
- 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 4 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2-3 cloves pressed garlic (you can finely chop if you don’t have a garlic press)
- 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- salt, to taste (I didn’t use any, because I didn’t think it needed it)
- 1 tbsp olive oil (or coconut oil)
- 1.25-1.5lbs shrimp (500 grams), shelled and deveined
Mix the first six ingredients together in a bowl and then stick it in the fridge for about a half hour so the flavors can blend.
While the flavors of the yogurt sauce are blending, heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add shrimp and sauté evenly (about 3 minutes per side). Season based on your preferences beforehand if you prefer a little zing (in the photo I have “marinated” the shrimp in a 4:1 blend of chili and garlic powders before sautéing).
Once the shrimp are done, remove the Cilantro Garlic Yogurt Sauce from the fridge and enjoy!
Makes 6-8 servings as an appetizer, or 4 servings as a main dish