For about three weeks now there have been NO CHICKEN WINGS in the markets. Zero. Zilch. Not even in the next town over. Not in a 50 mile radius. I have to wonder, has everyone been hoarding chicken wings for Superbowl weekend?
What do you do when you can't have the classic chicken wing for Game Day? You make buffalo shrimp! Then you realize you can't find JUMBO tail on shrimp ANYWHERE within a 50 miles radius so you have to make do with small sized shrimp that are masquerading as large, and with the tail off! IT IS WHAT IT IS you say. After all, IT IS WHAT IT IS happens to be our new motto, right?
So, while we wait for jumbo shrimp and chicken wings to make their return to the market, we will make do with little tail off shrimp marinated in hot sauce, minced garlic, lemon zest, olive oil, and salt then sauteed (or grilled) in the pan before being doused in more hot sauce and served with ranch, celery, and carrots. And guess what? We will enjoy it because IT IS DELICIOUS and let's face it, way more figure friendly than chicken wings.
So, Buffalo Shrimp, no matter their size, are delicious in my book and I will definitely be making this recipe again as soon as I can get my hands on some good jumbo sized shrimp. Giada includes a recipe for a Goat Cheese Dip to serve alongside the shrimp, but personally that doesn't sound too appealing to me and I think it's just an extra step you don't need. Ranch is a great alternative, but really I prefer no dip because I simply like to enjoy the taste of the shrimp. I reserve the ranch dip strictly for dipping the veggies in. I will warn you that the shrimp have a healthy amount of hot sauce on them and are quite spicy, so if you are a spice lightweight, then you may need to have a sauce alongside to help cool things down.
Adapted from Food Network
By Giada De Laurentiis
1 pound jumbo shrimp, tail on (peeled and deveined)
1/4 cup hot sauce, such as Frank's (plus 2 tablespoons for serving)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
4 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
Note: This recipe on the Food Network includes goat cheese dipping sauce (click the food network link above to be directed to that recipe). That might be great for some who need to temper the heat. These are somewhat spicy. I prefer to use ranch. Also, I didn't have a grill pan and my shrimp were on the small side so I sauteed mine, but the recipe calls for grilling. I think grilling would be much better. Perhaps on a day when there is nicer weather and I have bigger shrimp.
In a medium bowl, toss the shrimp with the hot sauce, olive oil, lemon zest and garlic. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Preheat a grill or grill panto medium-high heat. Sprinkle the shrimp with the salt and grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until opaque at the center. Remove to a clean bowl and toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons hot sauce. Serve with ranch and veggies.