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Fred’s Hottest Shrimp

February 27, 2010

By Kath Dedon


I always enjoyed reading Fred Ferretti’s columns in Gourmet magazine. Over the years he has contributed to many publications, including the New York Times and Food Arts magazine.

According to the introduction to Fred’s Hottest Shrimp in The Tabasco Cookbook by Paul McIlhenny with Barbara Hunter, Fred loves Tabasco sauce. They attribute this recipe to him, and it’s one of my favorite ways to prepare shrimp.

Fred calls for a small green pepper and a small red pepper. I’m not a big fan of green peppers, and  I would call the peppers that I find “large”. So I used ½ of a red pepper and ½ of a yellow pepper. (I have made it using just 1 large red pepper, too.)

Don’t be nervous about the “hottest” designation in the title. It has a kick, but is not really too hot. Of course, you can cut back on the Tabasco, if you must.



Fred’s Hottest Shrimp

(Adapted from the recipe in The Tabasco Cookbook)


(printable recipe)


Serves 3 – 4



1 pound shrimp, peeled and shells reserved

½ cup water

2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce

1 tablespoon ketchup

1 teaspoon salt

1½ teaspoons honey

A grind or two of black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

½ large red pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

½ large yellow pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

4 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup diced onion

1 tablespoon wine (or shrimp stock)

Hot cooked rice for serving


1. Put the shrimp shells and ½ cup water in a small pan and boil for 10 minutes. Remove the shells and reserve the stock. You should have 2 – 3 tablespoons.


2. Combine 1 tablespoon of the shrimp stock, the Tabasco sauce, ketchup, salt, honey and black pepper in a small bowl and set aside.

3. Heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the red and yellow peppers and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Remove the peppers from the skillet.

4. Add another tablespoon of oil along with the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes. Add the garlic. Stir and cook for about 30 seconds.

5. Add the shrimp and cook for a minute or two until the shrimp are about done. (Timing will depend on the size of the shrimp.)

6. Add the wine (or an additional tablespoon of shrimp stock) and the peppers and cook about 30 seconds.

7. Add the Tabasco mixture; stir and heat for a few seconds.

8. Serve over rice.

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