Shrimp de Jonghe a Chicago culinary icon

July 13, 2013 5:59:56 PM PDT
You might think the Italian beef and the deep dish pizza are Chicago's oldest culinary icons, but they've got nothing on shrimp de jonghe, which was created by two brothers at their namesake restaurant and hotel, in the 1890s, and is making a few appearances around town.

"Shrimp DeJonghe is an old recipe that we had at the original Rosebud 40 years ago. It's a lot of garlic, breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley," said Joe Farina, the Chef at Centro.

Farina begins with u-8 tiger shrimp, that means eight-to-a-pound. They're cleaned, de-veined and shelled. Then he adds a healthy knob of butter, plus the same amount of garlic and olive oil to a saute pan. The shrimp are seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika, then tossed into the rich, garlicky base. They cook quickly, so Farina adds a little bit of chicken stock, then some chilled pieces of butter flavored with breadcrumbs and white wine. A little bit of fresh lemon juice brightens the sauce and cuts through some of that richness.

To plate, he simply aligns the shrimp down the middle, then engulfs them in the garlicky sauce. At the table, you've got the option to soak the garlic bread in that sauce, or just go right for the shrimp, which brings back memories for lots of customers.

"I hear it once a day, 'can't believe you guys have shrimp De Jonghe on the menu.' It's nice to hear that," said Farina.

Centro's version obviously looks a lot different from the original, which was back at the De Jonghe Restaurant and Hotel - at 12 E. Monroe - in the 1890s, but the original ingredients are all still here: shrimp, butter, garlic and breadcrumbs; there's a reason this dish has been around in Chicago for so long.

The Shrimp de Jonghe is also available at the Rosebud location on Taylor Street.

Centro
6 W. Hubbard St.
312-988-7775


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