Friday, October 1, 2010

Jean-Georges' Shrimp in Spicy Carrot Juice

How many things do you have in your cooking repertoire that merit being called classics? I know that I have very few and I’m going to share one of them with you today. I have been thinking about making it ever since Sarah at All Our Fingers in the Pie got me thinking about carrot juice a few months ago. I figured out how to grow chervil for this dish (sandy soil in a flagstone patio) and got a juicer so I could make it when I wasn’t in the city (carrot juice isn’t available in small towns in upstate NY) -- that’s how good it is. Ok, ok what is it?

Shrimp in spicy carrot juice

from Jean Georges Vongerichten.

For those of you who do not know of him, he appeared in my culinary crosshairs as a chef at his first NY restaurant, Lafayette in the 80’s followed by his own JoJo bistro but it was Vong in the early 90’s (sadly it closed in 2009) that rocked my world. It was new and full of fresh flavors inspired by his tour in Asia working at hotels in Singapore and Hong Kong –flavors that he re-tuned and personalized. He turned French style food on its ear, replacing stocks and buttery sauces with flavorful fruit and vegetable juices. The first time I tasted his food I was knocked down.

Jean Georges, NYC

I have been to his 4-star Jean Georges (with great pastry maker Johnny Iuzzini ) and the Spice Market (where I discovered Pichet Ong — another sensational pastry maker) and still bow in awe at the food that comes out of his kitchen. He now has restaurants all over the world so many can enjoy his cuisine.

I found the NYT’s recipe from the early 90’s that started my relationship with my now classic dish and got me to buy his cookbook Simple Cuisine: The cookbook that redefined healthful four-star cooking. As I compare the original to my handwritten version in my sauce splattered “Black Book” I can see the evolution that has occurred over nearly 20 years of making it. For instance, I started finishing the shrimp with a splash of Madeira and losing the extra butter very soon after the first time I made it. Deborah over at a Doctor’s Kitchen will be proud of me for that. But honestly, it doesn’t need it. The flavors just sing. I also fried julienne carrot and zested lemon peel for garnish because I love the sweet and bitter bites. If you put it on a bed of whole-wheat couscous, it is a spectacularly healthy and flavorful dish.

Shrimp in Spicy Carrot Juice serves 4

1 ¼ pound shrimp, peeled and de-veined
s & p to taste
1 shallot, minced
2 T butter
1T Madeira
1 cup carrot juice
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
½ t curry powder
pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice
cayenne pepper to taste (pinch to ½ t)
chervil or parsley, chopped
½ carrot, julienned ( I used my oxo zester to do this… works brilliantly)

1 cup whole wheat couscous
1 ½ c water
1 t salt

Put the couscous and the water in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and cover. Fluff with a fork before serving.

Sauté the shallot in 2 T butter till translucent, salt and pepper the shrimp and add to the butter for a few moments. Turn and toss in the spices, the zest and the julienne and sauté for a few moments (or sauté the zest and julienne separately for a fresher look). Add the carrot juice and turn down the heat. Add the lemon juice.

Put the carrot and zest over the shrimp (I had gorgeous burgundy carrots and couldn’t help using a few in the dish sliced razor thin) and sprinkle with the chervil or parsley.

Serve on top of the couscous.

thanks to Gollum for hosting Foodie Friday


Unknown said...

This is such a unique dish-- and I mean that in the best possible way. Sometimes as a food blogger you think you've seen all possible food combinations, but the use of carrot juice is so innovative.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend.
*kisses* HH

Linda said...

What a stunningly beautiful dish...I can just taste it...
Gorgeous Deana!

Diane said...

This is a very interesting dish, one I will certainly try when I get back to the UK. Diane

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought to use carrot juice in a dish like this but it truly sounds wonderful and so healthy! I love the sound of the chervil, curry, cayenne and Madeira. Great recipe!

Lazaro Cooks said...


Lovely. Carrot is such an amazing ingredient to use, it adds sweetness and bright beautiful color. Great flavor profile from the spices used especially the curry, works well with the carrot.

A classic indeed.

Barbara said...

I've been to Jean Georges. What more can I add? Fabulous.
And did you know his pastry chef, Johnny Iuzzini is one of the main judges on Top Chef, Just Desserts?

What a marvelous dish, Deana. So full of interesting flavors. The carrots, the curry (and Madeira...your favorite), and those lovely fall spices...and so good for you too.
The color certainly is photogenic, isn't it?

Karen said...

Gorgeous and looks delicious!

La Table De Nana said...

I love carrot juice..been drinking it for the past 6 weeks about..mixed w/ greens or alone..I love it as a reduced sauce with pork so this must be fabulous..

Clarity said...

I agree with HH, the carrot juice is unique. I am now simultaneously ravenous and lazy - we are goint out to eat!

Marjie said...

I am a little leery of curry, because I really don't like the smell of it. Aside from that fear, this sounds like a simply wonderful dish!

Faith said...

A true classic indeed! This dish is truly magnificent and I can totally see why you would figure out how to grow chervil and get a juicer just to make it! Thanks for sharing this with us!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Deana, this looks amazingly good! I really want to try making this now as the curry carrot juice sounds very intriguing! And you did so well growing your own chervil and buying a juicer-now that's dedication! :)

Fresh Local and Best said...

Jean Georges is one of my favorite chefs, and I have a cookbook of his that has several exciting recipes such as this one. I must say that the combination of flavors in this recipe are intriguing. I have always loved the flavors of carrot with curry. This looks totally awesome.

Sarah said...

Oh my, what an amazing dish. I love this blogging sphere. We can bounce all our ideas around and learn so much.

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funkiefoodie said...

Your dish is dually a culinary form of abreacation and is felicific in bringing more than a brief moment of thrilling frisson and furthermore a masters' portrait of edible purity.

Old time friend David Foot was executive chef for JGV at Vancouver (now departed to travel the world with his family) and I've much respect for them both.
Thank you Deana.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That dish is magnificent and very original! I love those refined flavors.



Chef Dennis Littley said...

Hi Deana
what a lovely spicy dish! I have just started using curry in my foods at school, its a new spice to me, but I would never have thought of cooking with carrot juice, that does intrigue me!
I always learn so much from your blog, thank you for the inspiration once again!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

What a beautiful, rich color! The carrot, the curry and the cinnamon - I can just imagine the aroma.

Becky said...

I would have never thought to put carrot and shrimp together, but it sounds wonderful! So vibrant ...

tasteofbeirut said...

I love this dish! We can try it easily here; I love the imaginative but restrained use of spices and the wine here works especially well with the carrots. That Chef is "un grand chef!"

sophia said...

Oh wow!!! LOVe the spicy carrot sauce!!! That is seriously genius. The presentation is stunning too!!

Anonymous said...

An excellent dish! I love Jean-Georges recipes - his cookbooks are the only ones that I actually ever used!

Jonny said...

This post couldn't be more timely. I'm still marveling at how sweet a carrot cake can be without masses of sugar (just made one this weekend for the first time. I know.) and then you hit us with this? Madeira, carrots and shrimp tied together with curry and cayenne must be incredibly delicious. It sounds like it might resemble in spirit those sweet and (with the lemon zest) slightly sour flavors of the Portuguese influenced areas of southern India. This is a must try, as is a Jean-Georges restaurant. Maybe this dish first while I save my pennies.

Babs said...

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MaryMoh said...

This dish looks very special...with carrot juice! Looks very delicious...mmm. Thanks very much for sharing.