Friday, May 25, 2012

Shrimp Rolls with Drawn Butter on Herbed One-Hour Bread

To get a copy of this Shrimp Roll recipe, just click HERE.
With the start of summer due to arrive at any moment, it seems a good time to look at a recipe that’s perfect for the season: Shrimp Rolls on Herbed One-Hour Bread.

The classic Maine Lobster Roll, a tangy lobster mix served warm or room temperature on a toasted hot-dog style bun. If you’ve had one, you know a classic Maine Lobster Roll is a truly beautiful thing. Unfortunately, unless you live in some fortuitously located coastal area with a large lobster population, it’s also a truly expensive thing. Necessity (which, in this case, is the need to keep paying off my sons’ college loans)  being the mother of invention, this led me to put a version together based on shrimp; it’s still a bit of a luxury but not nearly as dear as the original lobster.

Some Cook’s Notes:
  • Although the current “tradition” in lobster rolls is to use mayonnaise, the origins of the dish use drawn butter. Use mayonnaise if you prefer, of course, but in the recipe below we’ll be using fresh-made drawn butter. (This is a rare case where a Kissing the Cook recipe uses real butter instead of butter substitute.)
  • Traditional Lobster Rolls are also often served on hot dog buns. Folks, I love hot dogs as much as anyone, but if we’re cooking lobster or shrimp and preparing drawn butter with which to serve it, are you really going to want to put that on a packaged hot dog bun? This recipe includes an easy, and very tasty, herbed one-hour roll that goes perfectly with your hand-crafted filling. (One hour dinner rolls, which, truth be told, sometimes can require more than an hour to make, require much less time than most breads for a very simple reason: there’s more yeast in proportion to the other ingredients.)
  • Speaking of the rolls, the recipe below shows them being made after the shrimp filling is made. You can make the rolls first if you like, but I’m recommending using the roll preparation time as a chance to let your shrimp filling ingredient flavors blend as the filling chills.

This recipe makes three servings.

 First, we’ll brine our shrimp. (You’ll recall we also did this back when we made Reduced Fat Fettuccini Alfredo. )
Place 1 to 1-1/4 pounds of uncooked shrimp, ½ cup of kosher salt and the juice of ½ lemon in a bowl of 2 quarts of water and let brine for 30 minutes. (The amount of water is important; if you use more or less, increase or decrease the salt and lemon proportionately.)

While the shrimp are brining, prepare the drawn butter as follows:
Place 1/2 pound of unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. (Note: In general, when you make drawn butter you’ll end up with about ¾ of the amount of the original butter you started with. In other words, if you start with 1 cup of butter, you should end up with about ¾ cup of drawn butter.) As seen in the photo, when I made this I used a pound of butter and made a double-batch, to have some left over for future use.

Let the butter melt, then bring to a simmer and let simmer for about a minute. The butter will begin to separate into a thin layer of frothy milk solids on top, clear liquid in the middle, and whey on the bottom.

The layers, illustrated.

Skim the frothy top layer of milk solids from the melted butter. Carefully pour off and retain the clear liquid underneath, separating it from the creamy whey at the bottom. Discard the milk solids and the whey.

To prepare the shrimp:
Drain and dry the brined shrimp, toss lightly with a little of the drawn butter and cook on a grille pan until done. (Using water-soaked bamboo skewers makes things much easier when it’s time to turn the shrimp over or to remove them from the grille pan without overcooking.)

Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

Dry the shrimp, remove the tails and shells, and cut into ½” pieces. Combine in a bowl with 6 Tbsp drawn butter; 1/4 cup finely chopped celery; ¼ cup finely chopped fresh chives; juice of ½ lemon; and a pinch cayenne pepper. Set aside in the refrigerator to chill while we make the rolls.

To make the rolls:
Begin preheating the oven to 200 degrees.

In a small bowl, dissolve 1 packet of yeast (1/4 ounce) and 1-1/2 Tbsp sugar in ¼ cup of very warm (110 degree) water and let stand for 5 minutes. The mixture should become frothy.

Mix 1-1/2 cups of the flour, baking soda and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast mixture, ½ cup skim milk, ½ Tbps dried thyme and 1 Tbsp of drawn butter. Mix while adding an additional ½ cup of flour, 1/4 cup at a time, to form a dough.

When all of the flour is incorporated, knead the dough for 5 minutes, adding some of the remaining dough flour if necessary for a smooth texture.

Turn off the oven. Cover the bowl and place it in the warm oven till doubled in size, about 25 minutes.

After the dough has risen, press it down to deflate it. Turn the dough onto a floured surface, and divide it into three equal parts. Pat each part into the shape of a hot dog roll. Place the dough portions on a baking sheet lined with parchment and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Let proof at room temperature for another 20 minutes.

While the bread is proofing, preheat oven to 425 degrees. (The top of the stove while the oven is preheating is a good place to proof the loaf.)

Bake for 10 - 15 minutes at 425 degrees until the rolls are browned and cooked through, turning half-way.

Let the rolls cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then place on a rack to cool.

To serve the shrimp rolls:
Split the rolls from the top and brush with drawn butter.

Toast on the grille pan over moderate heat until browned.

Fill the toasted buns with the shrimp filling and serve!

To get a copy of this Shrimp Roll recipe, just click HERE.

Hope you  like serving this delicious treat at your next cookout. Come to think of it, why wait till then? Serve it to your family this week; it tastes just as good indoors!

Visit again next week for another recipe to enjoy! Till then, stay well, keep it about the food, and always remember to kiss the cook. ;-)


  1. What time will these be ready? I'll bring my own gluten free roll! Wow!

  2. Thanks, Linda and Sandy! The drawn butter adds just the right touch of naughtiness, doesn't it? :-)

    1. Naughty is a good way to describe butter. But then I made my husband bacon for breakfast this morning. And I wasn't even possessed by an alien.

    2. Next time slip him some turkey bacon...