Quick and simple cooking: Tarragon shrimp

Ever have one of those dishes that just brings back floods of memories? For a quick dinner the other night, I pulled some fresh tarragon from our garden and recreated a basic shrimp dish that my friend and former boss, Bob, used to make for his catering business.

I think his version was probably more elaborate than what I whipped up tonight in under 20 minutes, but it brought back memories of when was still in college and my friend Heidi would come in and help out with catering gigs where we needed an extra hand.

We would always grab a heaping plate of the tarragon shrimp when they were on the menu and stuff ourselves silly on them; and when there were leftovers, we'd carefully pack those away, too, (with Bob's permission, of course) to fill our college student refrigerators with were otherwise pretty barren.

It's still a great, quick meal, and one that leaves you licking your lips afterward. I paired this with a little jasmine rice and a nice mixed baby green and fresh mozzarella salad with a tomato from the garden (the cucumbers aren't ready yet), but it would be equally delicious with mashed potatoes and some roasted vegetables or a nice plate of angel hair pasta with garlic butter sauce.



  • 1 pound large shrimp (16-20 count or higher)
  • ½ stick of butter
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, smashed and then thinly sliced
  • Black pepper
  • Sea salt

Peel, devein, and butterfly shrimp (carefully cut a small slit alongside the back of the shrimp so that it can be laid flat in the pan with the tail upright, and remove the black line-the "mudline"). Pat dry lightly with a paper towel and season generously with fresh ground pepper and sea salt.

Pour the olive oil into a sauté pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add your garlic and sauté for about 30-45 seconds. Add the shrimp, one at a time, pressing the butterflie…


Milwaukee Chop House wine list honored

For the eighth consecutive year, Milwaukee ChopHouse, located inside the Hilton Milwaukee City Center, has received Wine Spectator magazine's Award of Excellence for an outstanding wine list. The award recognizes restaurants with wine lists that offer a well-chosen selection of quality producers, along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style.

According to ChopHouse Executive Chef Brian Frakes, many restaurant patrons come to the restaurant specifically to peruse the impressive wine selections.

The ChopHouse is one of 2,880 restaurants nationwide, and one of only 10 Milwaukee restaurants to earn Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence in 2010, and is in good company with one other hotel restaurant, Smyth, of the Iron Horse Hotel.

Other Milwaukee recipients include Joe Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro, Michele and Jeff Green's Bosley on Brady, Marc and Marta Bianchini's Indulge and Osteria del Mundo, Sandy and Angie D'Amato's Sanford, Sabor Brazilian Churrascaria, The Capital Grille, and the now closed Fratello's Waterfront Restaurant.

Bartolotta's Bacchus was the only Milwaukee restaurant to receive Wine Spectator's Best of Award of Excellence in 2010, the publication's second-tier award which gives special recognition to restaurants that exceed Award of Excellence requirements by displaying vintage depth or excellent breadth across several regions.

North Star Bistro on the move

After spending the last six years at 4515 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood, the original North Star Bistro will make a short move across the street to the Cornerstone building, 4510 N. Oakland Ave., in September.

The expansion increases North Star's bar space and adds an outdoor courtyard and a parking area. The new space will also allow for an expanded family room with windows and shelving for toys.

The bistro will serve lunch from 11 a.m., Wednesday through Friday. Dinner will still be offered seven nights a week starting at 4:30 p.m. with brunch available on Sunday.

North Star closes its current location on Aug. 30, to allow time for the move and adjust to the new space. Diners can expect service to resume Thursday, Sept. 9.