I did a test shoot with food stylist George Dolese recently and I’m really excited about the experience. We collaborated on an idea to show shrimp in the shell cooked in a cast iron frying pan resting on top of indigo fabric.
I like the way the rich colors of the fabric stand up to the black frying pan. Together, they are a perfect backdrop for the shrimp which contrasts in many ways: pink vs. black, soft vs. hard, curled, round shape vs hard surface with sharp edges, delicate vs. indestructible. This was the perfect set-up for a a new lighting technique I have been experimenting with using more direct sunlight.
George is very pro-cast iron. He has a collection of pots and pans, including some from other countries. Here’s what he has to say:
After the shoot, I went home, pulled out our old cast iron frying pan from the back of the cupboard and cooked up a great batch of hash browns!
SALT AND PEPPER LOUISANA GULF SHRIMP
1 pound medium Louisiana Gulf Shrimp, head on if available
1 Meyer lemon, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Olive oil
To prepare the shrimp for cooking, cut through the shell along the backside of the prawn and remove the vein by rinsing under water. Leave the shell on the shrimp as it adds flavor when cooked. Using a paper towel, pat the shrimp dry.
Combine the shrimp in a bowl with the lemon slices and season to taste with the salt and pepper.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat until sizzling hot. Add the olive oil to the hot pan and swirl to coat. Cook the shrimp and lemon slices, tossing frequently, until the shrimp are done and the lemon slices begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately directly from the skillet.
Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer.
Recipe courtesy of George Dolese