The life of a food writer is often a funny thing. On one particular day, with a deadline looming, I found myself making a sizzling skillet full of shrimp by 10:45 a.m. while still sporting my "cozies," otherwise known as pajamas.
My three kids, home for the summer, were scattered about the cabin, contentedly playing games and chattering amongst themselves. Once the pan of shrimp was cooked and photographed, I called for my oldest son — the teenage shrimp-lover of the household — and told him there may be something he might be interested in on the dining room table.
He came downstairs, took one look and perched himself beside the hot skillet, devouring every single last piece of plump, glistening shrimp. Soon all that was left were lonely shrimp tails and lime wedges, already well-squeezed.
At one point, mid bite, he took a deep breath. "Spicy?" I inquired, looking on.
"It's spicy … but it's not," he replied as another shrimp went in.
"Spicy sweet," I said knowingly, passing him a glass of milk, and grinning at the unspoken approval that is an empty skillet.
This recipe is a quick one. You'll probably spend more time peeling your shrimp than it actually takes to make this recipe from start to finish. And the finished product is so sticky and addicting you'll be eating with your fingers, diving in again and again for more.
I also wouldn't hesitate to consider using this honey Sriracha garlic butter sauce on shrimp kebabs on the grill or under the broiler either.
Honey Sriracha skillet shrimp
1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges
Place a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the shrimp dry. Add the butter to the skillet to melt. Stir in the honey, Sriracha and garlic cloves.
When the mixture is bubbly and simmering, add the shrimp to the pan in a single layer. Cook 2 minutes, allowing the shrimp to get browned and caramelized on one side, then, using tongs, turn the shrimp and finish cooking another 1-2 minutes (cooking time will vary depending on the size of your shrimp) or until cooked through but not overdone.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Spoon the pan sauces over the shrimp and sprinkle with cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Serve the shrimp promptly with lime wedges.
Maya Wilson lives in Kenai and blogs about food at alaskafromscratch.com. Have a food question or recipe request? Email email@example.com and your inquiry may appear in a future column.