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Chef David Kinch’s debut cookbook, Manresa: An Edible Reflection (available Oct. 22) is a testament: You’re only as good as your ingredients. The story of Kinch’s Los Gatos restaurant is told through his personal prose and, of course, the recipes that earned him two Michelin stars. But much of Kinch’s genius is in his keen eye for product—the chef discovered the unsung ridgeback shrimp in the Santa Barbara harbor. “Urchins and spot prawns are the glamorous catches,” he says. “But ridgebacks are a great bycatch—a local delicacy that never traveled far.” For a casual peel-and-eat appetizer, Kinch flash cooks them in the shell with homemade salted butter and local apple brandy. There’s finger licking in your future.
Manresa’s Ridgeback Shrimp
2 tablespoons homemade salted butter (see recipe) or any quality salted butter
16 whole Santa Barbara ridgeback or small Gulf shrimp
3 tablespoons Osocalis apple brandy (available at K&L Wine Merchants)
1/2 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
1. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over high heat.
2. When the butter starts to foam and turn brown, add the shrimp, and cook for 15 to 20 seconds until opaque on both sides but still medium-rare in the center, tossing the pan to turn the shrimp.
3. While the shrimp are still in the pan, deglaze with the brandy, and season with a pinch of salt and the crushed peppercorns before pouring onto a serving platter.
4. Serve at room temperature.
Reprinted with permission from Manresa by David Kinch with Christine Muhlke, © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
This article was published in 7x7's September issue. Click here to subscribe.