I've got a really simple and tasty appetizer for you with this honey butter bourbon shrimp. Easy to whip up and offer your guests some nibbles before the main meal. If you have some crusty bread on hand, you should serve this on this side for dipping because the sauce is addicting.
Let's talk about buying deveined shrimp
While I would love to buy U.S. wild shrimp, it is very rarely available at the grocery store. Consequently, I usually buy the frozen stuff and it works out great. For this appetizer I used the store brand of frozen shrimp (raw), large size, 26-30 shrimp per pound, e-z peel deveined with the tails on.
Please make sure you buy the deveined kind. The "vein" is the black strip that runs along the shrimp. It's the digestive tract of the shrimp and for me personally - I'm grossed out by it. If you don't buy the deveined kind, then you have to devein it yourself with a sharp knife and it's annoying.
Let's talk about shrimp tails
I have some feelings about shrimp tails. I want them gone. Visually and presentation-wise it looks better with the tail on. I simply don't like it from a practical standpoint. I don't want my guests to have to pick the tail off the shrimp and get their hands messy.
With shrimp cocktail I could understand the tail staying on as we often grab one, dip it in cocktail sauce, pop it in our mouth and pull the tail off in the process. However, when a sauce is involved or if I'm making shrimp scampi - NO TAILS ALLOWED! I don't like seeing people picking through their food before taking a bite.
CHEF'S TIP FOR REMOVING THE TAIL: An easy way to remember how to do this is: pinch, pull, peel. When you remove the shrimp tail do it with care. You'll want to gently pinch the tail at the furthest end. You'll be able to feel that little bit of meat in the tail and we want to keep that. Adjust your pinch grip and pull the tail gently off the shrimp while also leaving that tail meat intact.
The rest of the process is very simple. The remaining shell is very easy to peel off. Then set the shrimp aside on a plate or sheet pan to season it.
Shrimp appetizers are always a winner
I'm a sucker for shrimp in an Eleanor Shellstrop kind of way. I simply can't resist it. If it's there it's going in my mouth. Shrimp cocktail is a crowd pleaser for sure. But if you want to offer something unique, put out a plate of this bourbon shrimp and watch as it is devoured. Serve the extra sauce on the side with warm crusty bread for dipping.
If you liked this honey butter bourbon shrimp you may also enjoy my Warm Shrimp & Gorgonzola Dip w/Crostini. For non-shrimp appetizers, you should check out my Stuffed Mushrooms or Apple Brie Crostini with Toasted Pecans & Honey
I encourage all of you to get to your kitchens and cook amazing food. If you're new to home cooking, don't stress. I have step-by-step videos you can follow. I'll be with you through your whole cooking journey. Prepare food with your loved ones in mind. Gather around a table, break bread and share your lives. Sitting down for dinner is a way we can connect, tell our stories and hopefully laugh a lot. Now go forth and cook!Print
Honey Butter Bourbon Shrimp
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 minutes
- Total Time: 23 minutes
- Yield: 6 portions 1x
Need a tasty appetizer to serve your guests before the main meal? Honey butter bourbon shrimp should do the trick. Super easy and dee-lish!
- 1 pound bag of large frozen (raw) deveined shrimp (26-30 per pound)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon shallots or onion, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons bourbon, plus extra (I used Jim Beam)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil, more if needed
Honey Butter Bourbon Sauce
- 1 stick of butter, melted
- ¼ cup of honey
- 2 tablespoons bourbon (I used Jim Beam)
- Red pepper flakes
- Chopped parsley
- If your shrimp is frozen, take it out of the freezer the night before and let it defrost in the refrigerator.
- Finely dice the garlic. I usually start by slicing it thin and chopping down finer from there.
- Finely dice the shallot. Again, I slice it thin then dice it down finer.
- Remove tails from shrimp and peel off shell. Gently pinch the tail of the shrimp and be careful not to pull off the meat in the tail. Pull the tail off and peel the rest of shell off and discard.
- Lay out shrimp on plate or sheet pan. Season with salt, pepper, paprika.
- Melt butter in small pan on low heat. Add honey and bourbon and stir. Leave heat on low a few minutes and it’s done.
- Heat canola oil in a pan on medium-to-high heat. I usually spread the oil around my pan with a pastry brush.
- Add the shrimp and spread out so all pieces are lying flat on one side. Cook for two minutes then turn the shrimp. Cook for one minute on other side. The shrimp will turn pink and start to curl.
- Add the shallot and bourbon and stir with the shrimp for a minute. Some bourbon will absorb into the shrimp and some will cook off.
- Add the garlic and stir 30 seconds to one minute until garlic is fragrant then remove shrimp from the heat.
- Transfer shrimp to a mixing bowl and pour half the honey butter bourbon sauce over it and give it a mix. I tasted it here and decided to add a splash more bourbon. If you want to add it go for it. If you like it as is that’s cool too.
- There will be extra honey butter bourbon sauce. If you warm some crusty bread you can use it to dip in the sauce.
- Put the shrimp in a serving bowl or on a plate and garnish with optional red pepper flakes and fresh chopped parsley if you like.
- If you don’t have bread to use for the extra sauce, you could always save the sauce and use it to pour over grilled chicken another night.
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