Shrimp and Shiitake Dijonaise
Chef Robert BooneStephensAn American CaféAlbuquerque, New Mexico
½ cup finely shredded spinach
1½ pounds tortiglioni
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup clarified butter (see Clarified Butter)
20 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1½ tablespoons minced garlic
¼ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
In a sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shrimp, mushrooms, shallot, and garlic and sauté until the shrimp are bright pink, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Add the mustard and cream and reduce the cream by one-half. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large pot, bring at least 4 quarts water to a rolling boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the pasta, stir to separate, and cook until al dente.
Drain the pasta and divide among 4 bowls. Arrange the shrimp mixture over the pasta. Top with the Parmesan and the spinach.
Note: The shrimp will not be cooked all the way through after sautéing, but will finish while the cream reduced. If using smaller shrimp, remove them from the sauté pan while reducing the cream. They don't need to cook as long as larger ones.
Clarifying butter is much the same as clarifying a conversation. Just as you can eliminate words that obscure your point, in clarifying butter, you get rid of the milky residue that causes butter to burn and speckle. Cut the butter into small pieces and melt them in a saucepan. Bring it to a slow boil over a low heat. The butter should bubble, but watch it carefully so that it does not brown or burn. When the white part separates from the clear butter, remove the pan from the heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer. This clarified butter is perfect for the most delicate tasks and elegant flavors.