Put your shellfish in a Southern pickle
Pickled shrimp: light, fresh and vibrant
Mom knows best.
In the case of chef Robert Carter’s pickled shrimp (see the recipe), the saying holds true: He follows his mother’s recipe for the light Southern summertime staple, which has become a must-order at his restaurant, Carter’s Kitchen in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.
After 20-plus years of fine dining, Carter decided to serve honest American food at his namesake restaurant, as evidenced by this dish. More marinated than pickled, the shrimps' flavors are vibrant and finessed.
Carter begins by poaching the shrimp in liquid accented with Old Bay. He then slices the cooled shellfish horizontally for maximum texture. A dressing of lemon and caper juice adds just enough acid; subtle sweetness comes in the form of thinly sliced Vidalia onions and chopped red pepper; and a dash of hot sauce brings the heat.
At the restaurant, the shrimp are presented in a homey glass jar alongside housemade benne crackers. But no matter how you serve it, a few bites will transport you to a porch swing in a coastal Southern town.