When you order shrimp or chicken Francese in a restaurant, you're really taking your chances. Too often you're served cornstarch and egg encrusted protein swimming in a cornstarch-enriched sauce redolent of bottled lemon juice. I am not a fan of gravies and sauces that overwhelm the star of the show. While I've made shrimp Francese at home before, I've always had to adjust or correct the sauce. When I saw this recipe in Martha Stewart Living, it looked like something I would enjoy "as is."
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails can be left on for presentation)
3 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup finely grated pecorino romano cheese
all purpose flour for dredging
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 lemons, 1 juiced and 1 sliced
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
1 tbs unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Slice each shrimp along the back to butterfly slightly. Whisk together eggs and cheese in a shallow dish. Place flour in another shallow dish. Dredge shrimp lightly in flour, then coat completely in egg mixture.
Whisk together broth, wine, and lemon juice; set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Swirl in oil, then butter. Cook shrimp in 2 single-layer batches, adding more oil between batches, if needed. Cook until golden, about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Transfer each batch to a plate when done. Pour broth mixture into skillet and cook, swirling skillet, until reduced by half, one to two minutes. Remove from heat, add lemon slices and parsley, and pour over shrimp. Serve immediately .
I prepped all the ingredients the morning I was going to serve these, which made the cooking time literally 5 minutes from start to stop. This preparation was perfect for me. There was sauce, but the shrimp weren't swimming in it. I served it with rice, but it would be as delicious over pasta. I will definitely make this again and, while it's certainly "company worthy," it is simple enough for a weeknight meal. I plan to try it with chicken as well. I actually preferred the taste to that of my favorite Italian restaurant's version.