Shrimp Saki, despite the name, does not have any sort of Polynesian or Oriental aspect. The name is the nickname of a Mrs. Sakowitz, who used to stay at the Pontchartrain Hotel every time she came to town. Shrimp Saki was on the menu at that hotel’s restaurants for a long time. When the Caribbean Room reopened for the first time in almost twenty years, shrimp Saki was back again among the entrees. The way it’s being made now is different from the original as I remember it, and from the recipe given me a long time ago by the hotel. But it’s pretty good no matter the variation.

  • 24 peeled, deveined shrimp, 20-25 count to the pound
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Salt
  • White pepper
  • 3 oz. dry vermouth
  • 1/2 cup softened compound butter (see below)
  • ,strong>Compound butter:
  • 1/2 lb. softened butter
  • 1 tsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp. fresh chopped basil
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 leaf fresh sage, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp. paprika

1. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet until it smokes, then saute the shrimp until they turn pink–about two minutes. Sprinkle on salt and pepper while sauteeing.

2. Add the vermouth to the pan and remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the compound butter until it coats the shrimp. Spoon the extra sauce on the plate, and serve the shrimp in a row on top of the sauce.

To make the compound butter, blend all ingredients together and refrigerate. It’s better if blended a day or more before you use it.

Serves four.

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