Cooking Time

The recipes on this site were developed with the SousVide Supreme, a very capable cooking device which uses water convection. More recently, we’ve been cooking with immersion circulators which maintain even cooking temperatures by moving water in the bath with a pump. If you’re using an immersion circulator, slightly reduce cooking times for best results.

Potted Shrimp Spread

Potted Shrimp Spread

We were having a small get-together with friends in our home the evening before Thanksgiving. Since we were hosting a sit-down dinner the following evening, we wanted to stick with tapas or hors d’oeuvres for the party.

When offering an array of dishes, I like to prepare as much in advance as possible without sacrificing flavor. With that I mind, I decided to prepare several of the offerings sous vide. A couple of ideas came to mind right away: meatballs, ribs, and perhaps a beautiful tenderloin of beef.

But before I put the “meats” in the water bath, I thought I’d try my hand at a potted shrimp. The “potted” part comes from the small pots in which preserved meats and fish were traditionally stored. Here the copious amounts of butter would have served as the preservative, essentially smothering the shrimp and retarding bacterial growth.

Since I’d previously made shrimp sous vide, I knew the shellfish would be tender, succulent, and just plain delicious. And it was.

Makes about 3 cups

pound raw large (about 20–23) shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
cloves garlic confit, smashed, or 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
large piece preserved lemon, rinsed and pith removed, minced, or 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
tablespoon minced fresh parsley
teaspoon pimentón
tablespooons cold butter, cut into small pieces
teaspoon Meyer lemon juice, or regular lemon juice
tablespoon garlic oil from garlic confit, optional
tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
Reserved cooking juices from the shrimp
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Preheat the water bath to 140°F (60°C).
  2. Pat the shrimp dry and place in a medium bowl. Add the garlic, lemon, parsley, pimentón, piment d’Espelette, 2 tablespoons of cold butter, lemon juice, and garlic oil, if using. Mix together thoroughly and transfer to a large zip-lock bag. Seal using the water displacement method, or simply press out as much air from the bag as possible before sealing.
  3. Cook for 20 minutes.
  4. Transfer the cooked shrimp to the bowl of a food processor, reserving all of the liquid. Allow the shrimp to cool for about 15 minutes. Add the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter to the shrimp. Begin to pulse and roughly chop the mixture, making sure that you are not puréeing the ingredients, until everything is simply well combined and incorporated. Taste the spread. Add the reserved shrimp liquid 1 or 2 teaspoons at a time, tasting after each addition. I used the all of the liquid. Taste and adjust the seasoning with a further sprinkling of sea salt, if necessary, and a good grind or two of fresh pepper.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl or several small ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour. The spread will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or freeze for several months. Bring to room temperature before serving with crackers or grilled bread.

2 comments to Potted Shrimp Spread

  • Rob

    Wow, that looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it. I can’t believe I just stumbled upon your wonderful site today! What a wealth of great recipes to try. I’ve been cooking SV for just over a year (I have a Sous Vide Supreme and a SVS Demi) and am a pro chef in “real life.” Your recipes are definitely pushing the envelope for me, thanks.