Sauteed Shrimp on Brioche with Pickled Pears
Variety is a priority with the lunch bunch, and shrimp makes a welcome change of pace for a sandwich filling—especially when a tasty brioche bun is the carrier. Homemade pickled pears stand in for traditional cucumber pickles and make the most of preserving seasonal winter fruit.
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup champagne vinegar
½ cup water
1 tsp. whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
¼ cup pickled ginger, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp. pink peppercorns
1 lemon, sliced
3 firm, ripe Bartlett pears, peeled and sliced into wedges about ¼-in. thick
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
24 large shrimp (16-20), peeled, deveined, tails removed
2 to 3 tbsp. white wine
1 lemon, juiced and zested
¼ cup low-sodium chicken broth
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
6 brioche buns, grilled or lightly toasted
6 leaves gem lettuce, washed and completely dry
Homemade or good quality mayonnaise
1. Prepare pickled pears: Combine sugar, vinegar, water, cloves, cinnamon sticks, ginger, peppercorns and lemon in non-reactive saucepan over med. heat. Stir once to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 min.
2. Refrigerate mixture until completely chilled. Pour over pears and refrigerate at least 6 hr. before serving. (Pears will keep up to 1 week in well-sealed jar.)
3. Prepare shrimp: Heat butter and oil over med. heat in non-reactive heavy-bottomed sauté pan until bubbly. Add garlic and shallots; cook 30 sec., stirring constantly. Add shrimp; increase heat and sauté 2 min., or until shrimp begin to turn pink. (A light crispy coating will form on the outside.)
4. Add a splash of wine to the pan; deglaze and remove shrimp.
5. Add lemon juice, zest and chicken broth to pan. Cook over high heat 2 to 3 min. until sauce thickens slightly, stirring constantly.
6. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Add chopped basil and return the shrimp to pan to keep warm.
7. For sandwiches: Spread about 1 tsp. mayonnaise on underside of each bun top; cover with a lettuce leaf. Place 4 shrimp and some sauce on bottom buns; top with several pickled pear wedges.