From: Chef Michael "Scott" Castell, Bistro Toulouse, Houston Texas. Yield: 2 servings.
16 21/25 shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tsp. kosher salt
1⁄2 tsp. black pepper
1 zucchini, sliced 1⁄8” thick
1⁄2 cup shrimp butter (recipe follows)
1⁄2 cup Sauce Provencale (recipe follows)
2 orders fennel and onion gratin (recipe follows)
SHRIMP BUTTER (YIELDS 1 LB. BUTTER):
1 lb. shrimp shells
1 lb. butter
SAUCE PROVENCALE (YIELDS 1 CUP):
1 cup Roma tomatoes, seeded, peeled, diced
1 Tbsp. basil, chopped
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil, to saute
1 tsp. lemon juice
1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
FENNEL AND ONION GRATIN (YIELDS 12 SERVINGS):
4 fennel bulbs, trimmed
1 tsp. garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. Gruyere cheese, grated
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1⁄2 cup Parmesan, finely grated
1 cup yellow onion
1 Tbsp. olive oil, pure
3 Tbsp. heavy cream
1 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. panko bread crumbs
For shrimp: Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Using a mandoline, slice zucchini lengthwise, discarding end pieces. Wrap each shrimp with a long strand of zucchini. Skewer 8 shrimp per order and refrigerate. Season again with salt and pepper before sauteeing in shrimp butter. Cook until shrimp is cooked throughout. Remove from pan. Quickly saute sauce Provencale and serve shrimp on top of tomatoes. Place fennel and onion gratin and grilled vegetables on plate.
For shrimp butter: If you don't have 1 lb. shrimp shells, use equal parts of shells to butter. Saute shells until orange in color. Add butter over medium heat. Rough puree shells into melted butter with emulsion blender. Do not boil butter. Once butter turns orange and oil has formed on top, it is ready (about 20-30 minutes). Strain through chinois and press out all oils and butter.
For sauce Provencale: Peel, seed and small-dice the tomato. Add basil chiffonade, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and kosher salt. Mix well, cover and refrigerate.
For fennel and onion gratin: Place fennel bulb into cold water and bring to boil. Immediately remove from water and cool. Cut in 1/2 and cut into 1/4-inch pieces. Saute onions until lightly golden over medium heat; add garlic and cook about 10 minutes. Spray inside of casserole dish with bake release and place 1/3 of onions on bottom of pan. Place half the fennel on top of onions, followed by 1/2 Gruyere. Lightly pour half of heavy cream over top. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat the layering and finish with onions on the top. Mix together the panko and Parmesan and spread it over the top of the mixture. Wrap with foil and place into convection oven for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees, rotating once. Remove foil and return to oven for about 20 more minutes, rotating once. Allow to fully cool before serving.
PHOTO BY ANTHONY E. RATHBUN