Dilled Shrimp

Shrimp usually come to my table with plenty of pepper—red, black and depending on the dish often white as well—but in the sodden, smothering heat of a Mississippi summer, a cooler alternative is refreshing. In Scandinavia, where fish and shellfish of all types are staves of life, shrimp is often seasoned with dill, usually in combination with horseradish. In Sweden, shrimp is boiled in a bouillon of water, vinegar, beer and sugar before saucing, but boiling in lightly salted water with lemons and bay leaves works just as well if—as I do—you really don’t feel like wasting a beer. Devein if you’re the squeamish sort, then serve in a simple sauce of one part mayonnaise to one part sour cream (or cream fraiche, if you happen to have some on hand…) with plenty of dill, a hint of horseradish and salt to taste. Capers and/or finely diced cornichons make a nice addition. You can throw in a little white pepper for a bit of bite, and serve over lettuce with onion, toasted rye (go whole hog and use pumpernickel) , boiled eggs (preferably pickled) and thinly–sliced cucumber (firm and fresh, not those bloated watery things you find in the grocery store). Lime wedges make a really pretty garnish, but lemons work, too.

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