Spiriteds, grab a glass of something delicious, pull up a chair, and settle in for a few. Today we’ll be sinking our teeth into rich, decadent, gluten-free Paleo Shrimp Amandine, which is nothing short of absolutely amazing. And there are so many things to discuss. On our end we came down with a second round of influenza within one month. As a whole, our family is so over the high fevers, chills, body aches, and sore throats that accompanied our bouts of the flu. We were walking “flombies,” or flu-infested zombies. But we’re well now, and Twinkle did provide comedic relief when needed. She is also now my self-proclaimed “photoshoot helper.” She pronounces it “shewt,” and I am dead on the floor with delight. Four going on five is an enchanting age.
For example, when we took her to urgent care for influenza Round 2, she insisted on conducting her portion of the appointment herself. She proceeded to mix her symptoms with references to Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, ending on, “And I am cute and adorable.” While the nurse tried to separate the symptoms from the movie references and self-confident proclamations, I tried to nonchalantly interject with actual details. And once she got her medicine, Twinkle was a new kid, ready to help with photo-shewts. She can’t quite assemble the equipment I use, but Twinkle absolutely does open a closet door with flourish. She also sets up the reflector and assists me with the lighting unit. Omigod. It is absolutely delightful. We have one more year together before she heads to school, and I am soaking up as many moments as I can.
Twinkle was all too happy to lend a flourish to Paleo Shrimp Amandine. It’s inspired by the Soft-Shell Crab Amandine recipe by former White House Chef René Verdon in the Letitia Baldrige book In the Kennedy Style: Magical Evenings in the Kennedy White House. The very same book from which I discovered Simple Sorbet au Champagne. We’re back at it again with delicious flavors that can be customized to fit your palate and your meal. For example, Paleo Shrimp Amandine is intended as a jaw-dropping appetizer. So serving it by itself is completely apropos. But, you can easily serve it over steamed vegetables for a robust side dish or atop pasta or rice for a date night-worthy dinner. You pick. It’s totally your call.
And, just to add a little history to our flavor and flair today, the original recipe, Soft-Shell Crab Amandine, was served at the White House on May 24, 1961 when none other than Princess Grace and Prince Rainier of Monaco visited the White House. Can you even imagine?
Whether you are making this for heads of state, a family gathering, or yourself because it’s Saturday night and you and Netflix deserve it, Paleo Shrimp Amandine isn’t nearly as difficult to make as it might sound. To keep it that way, there are a few points of interest I’d like to highlight. First, I used shrimp for this because when I hosted a “Jackie O” party several years ago, that’s what I had on hand. Thus, that’s how I’ve made it ever since. But if you have another preferred seafood, it would likely taste delicious in this recipe. You may need to adjust sauté times and add a little extra flour, but it would be doable.
Next, you will coat your shrimp in an almond flour mixture, but you will not use egg. This means some of the flour mixture will fall off the shrimp. That is OKAY. In fact, it’s perfect. The “fallen” flour will turn into what the recipe refers to as “brown bits,” and you will save those, using them as a topping when you bite into your Paleo Shrimp Amandine.
Finally, keep a little extra flour on hand. Depending on the size of your shrimp or seafood of choice, you may need a little extra to coat everything evenly. Start with 1/3 cup and then add 1 tablespoon at a time until everything is evenly covered. I also keep a little extra coconut oil on hand as well. It adheres the flour to the shrimp, creating a coating without being too heavy. Although I will note, this appetizer is wonderfully filling.
Paleo Shrimp Amandine is full of robust flavors, and I love that it has a deep-fried flavor to it without all the deep frying. Somehow, me and a deep fryer don’t seem like a safe match made in Heaven. I suspect I’d end up in more than urgent care, and the fryer in the trash or a yard 40 blocks away. But, I digress. Paleo Shrimp Amandine is:
- Delightfully crispy and deliciously crunchy
- Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and grain-free
- Rich and savory
- Adaptable for large or small quantities
- Happily filling without being too “heavy”
So what do you think? Would you serve this for guests or save it for yourself? Although I have never hosted world leaders in my home, I have made this for parties and date night in. And I must say, Paleo Shrimp Amandine totally rises to whatever occasion it is called upon to grace. #SeeWhatIDidThere
Spiriteds, I hope your world is well and that you are in good health. Fingers crossed, spring is genuinely around the corner with all the fresh air and sunny days that accompany it. Until then, I raise my glass to you and yours!
~ Adapted from In the Kennedy Style: Magical Evenings in the Kennedy White House by Letitia Baldrige, featuring recipes from former White House Chef René Verdon, pg. 45.
- 1 pound fresh shrimp (or thawed)
- ⅓ cup almond flour (increase by 1 tablespoon as needed - see notes)
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
- ½ cup coconut oil plus 2 tablespoons, divided (see notes)
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- ¼ cup green onions, sliced
- In a large mixing bowl, combine almond flour, sea salt, and black pepper. Add shrimp to flour mixture a few at a time, coating each shrimp as evenly as possible. If shrimp are dry, sprinkle a little water on them without saturating them and then coat with flour mixture.
- In a large skillet, melt ½ cup coconut oil and add shrimp, sautéing for about 3-5 minutes covered. Flip each shrimp and sauté for another 1-2 minutes or until cooked through. If flour mixture falls off shrimp, save it and use it as a topping for shrimp. Remove shrimp from skillet and keep warm in a covered dish. Remove any browned flour mixture and store with shrimp in covered dish.
- In the same skillet, add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and sliced almonds, sautéing until almonds are darkened but not burned. Keep a close eye on the almonds as they will quickly brown and then burn.
- Lay shrimp out on serving dish and top with browned flour mixture from pan, sautéed almond slices, and green onions.
- This recipe is best enjoyed immediately.