I have to create an small appetizer, bordering on amuse, for a dinner. The focus is shrimp. I'm looking for some creative ideas, but first I thought I would share my thought process to this point:
It's winter. I want to give shrimp a winter feeling without destroying that beautiful seafood flavor. I want to flavor with ground cinnamon, coriander, cumin, black pepper, and cloves, ever so slightly. Certain fruits pair well with seafood, so stealing an idea from Thomas Keller, I think poaching figs in port, then creating a port-coffee reduction from the poaching liquid would go well with the shrimp. Onions caramelized in duck fat were my next thought because they pair well with figs and the spices used in the shrimp.
The final dish winds up as: Spiced Shrimp with Poached Figs, Port-Coffee Reduction, and Duck-Fat Caramelized Onions
Plating is: Small pool of sauce. Poached fig in middle of sauce. Onions on top of fig. Shrimp on top of onions.
Assuming I go with this combination, my problem is how to make the shrimp shine with such strong flavors. Thoughts on this include roasting the shrimp in a spice infused oil, plain old roasting them with a light coating of spices, or steeping in a stock of spiced water.
Any thoughts on combinations of the dish itself and its preparation would be welcome.
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