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Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011 11:12 am

Lemon shrimp bruschetta

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Don’t let this list limit you. All of the above ingredients will make a fine Italian bruschetta, but you don’t have to stop there. How about an American version with grilled fresh corn kernels, chopped red peppers, sweet onions, ham, and cheddar? Or a dessert bruschetta spread with goat cheese or cream cheese, grilled fresh figs or peaches, and a drizzling of honey? The possibilities are as limitless as your imagination. But please, however you make it, please – just for me – say “broo-SKETTA. I’ll be listening! 4 to 8 servings

  • 1 lb. small shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 4 T. (1/4 c.) lemon flavored vodka, or regular vodka
  • 4 large or 8 small 1-inch slices rustic country bread or sourdough bread
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil plus extra for brushing the bread
  • 4 cloves garlic, or to taste
  • Hot pepper flakes, optional
Remove peel from lemon with vegetable peeler, being careful to remove only the peel, not the bitter white pith. Julienne (cut into thinnest slivers possible) the peel and reserve the lemon.
Cut the garlic cloves into paper-thin slices or mince them.

Brush the bread very lightly with olive oil and grill or toast until browned but not completely dried out and keep warm.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet until hot but not smoking. Add the garlic and lemon peel, stirring constantly just until the garlic starts to color. Do not allow to brown. Add the shrimp all at once, continuing to stir. Sauté the shrimp for a minute or two, until almost done.

Add the vodka and hot pepper. If you have a gas stove, tip the edge of the pan over just enough to catch the flame and shake the pan until the flames subside. If using an electric stove, touch a lighted match to the pan and continue as above.

As soon as the flames have died down, squeeze half the reserved lemon over the mixture, then divide the shrimp and juices evenly over the bread. Serve immediately.
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