Eric from Danville is the big winner of the longest wine name contest. He’s been notified and sounds stoked. Hope you enjoy it Eric!
According to the word processing software I ran them through, Eric’s long wine name weighed in with 132 characters vs. 130 for Morgan’s entry. Close but no cigar Zin Prince! Don’t feel too bad for Morgan though, he’s got plenty of wine he can drown his sorrows in.
More On Our Olive Oil
Olive production was extremely challenging this year. We have around a thousand trees that line the perimeter of the vineyard, driveways and elsewhere. And out of those thousand trees we were able to squeeze just 20 gallons of olive oil. Which is just sick. You might think the economics of wine production are bad, but let me tell you, olive oil is just insane.
Still, despite the anemic crop, we have a few dozen bottles for sale. Our extra virgin olive oil is made from the classic Italian cultivars, Frantoio and Leccino. The oil has a nice green spiciness right up front that is complimented by a smooth round buttery finish. It’s excellent as a bread dip (especially Focaccia, mmmm), as a salad dressing, and in numerous recipes including the Garlic Shrimp recipe detailed below. Cost per bottle is $20 plus shipping (US only).
You can order here.
Garlic Shrimp Cooked in Garlic Infused Olive Oil
Now, even if you don’t buy our olive oil, you have to try this shrimp recipe. It is adapted from one published in the January ’08 issue of Cooks Illustrated, a publication I highly recommend (well, actually, I recommend that you subscribe to their excellent website for 4 bucks a month. With it you can get years of recipes all easily accessible via a Google powered search).
In my experience this fantastic recipe works best with “16-20″ frozen shrimp. 16-20 refers to the number of shrimp in a pound; basically a measure of size. Frozen is best because unless you are cooking fresh shrimp from right off the boat in Mexico, digestive enzymes in the heads of the shrimp will start to break down the flesh and make it mushy by the time it gets to you.
If you live in Sonoma County I highly recommend getting your shrimp from Alcatraz Seafoods. They’re the newly opened retail arm of North Coast Fisheries, a seafood wholesaler that services many of the higher-end markets in the county. You won’t save that much money, but you will be guaranteed freshness and quality from about as close to the source as you can get.
Quick story: Last time I was there they didn’t have frozen shrimp available by the pound, only 5 pound boxes of 16-20 Mexican whites, which is a lot of shrimp. Recognizing my problem, and being the awesome folks that they are, the guy behind the counter offered to sell me 5 pounds for the cost of just 2 1/2 without me even having to ask. I can’t say enough good things about Alcatraz Seafoods.
Here’s the rest of what you’ll need for the recipe:
18 cloves of peeled garlic
8 tablespoons of Capozzi or other olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt (I like Maldons or a fleur de sel)
1 bay leaf
1 New Mexico chili pod, chopped, including seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
Marinate the shrimp
First run 6 cloves of garlic through a garlic press and throw them in a bowl with the 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then throw in the shrimp, toss them real good to coat and let them marinate on the counter for a half hour.
Infuse the oil
Next smash 6 cloves of garlic with the back of a knife and throw them in a skillet with 6 tablespoons of olive oil. Heat the garlic over gentle, medium low heat until the garlic is light brown and starts to bubble. According the recipe on Cooks, it will take anywhere from 4-7 minutes, but I find it takes a while longer to get a good infusion into the oil. Going through all this trouble helps to ensure that the shrimp have a robust, garlicy flavor.
When the garlic is nicely browned, remove and toss it (or eat it if you’re a mad man with an understanding wife like me). You’ll be saving the oil for later so put the pan with the oil aside.
Cook the shrimp
More garlic handling. At this point your fingers will be very sticky and smell strongly of the stinking rose. Cut the rest of the garlic cloves into slices and throw them into the garlic infused oil. Return the skillet to low heat and add the bay leaf and the chopped chili and seeds. Cook the garlic until it is soft, but not browned. When that’s done, increase the heat to medium low and add the shrimp. Cook them on one side for about 2 minutes and then flip them with tongs. You may have to work in batches. Cook on the other side for about 2 minutes. Crank the heat up to high and throw in the sherry vinegar and parsley. Stir the whole concoction constantly until the oil is bubbling furiously, splashing up and ruining your nice collared shirt. Should only take 20 seconds or so.
Eat! Soak up the excess oil with some bread. Drink! (wine). Buy! (more Capozzi Olive oil – US only.)
Have a great weekend!