Shrimp with Orange Butter Sauce and Cornmeal Savarins

November 7th, 2013

Thumbing through some old Gourmet magazines the other day, I found this recipe for shrimp savarins.  I love molds of all kinds and descriptions, but savarin molds were new to me.

Savarins are ring shaped sponge cakes often soaked in rum syrup and filled with fresh fruit.  They are named for Jean Brillat-Savarin, a famous French politician and gastronome.  They can be one single large ring or smaller individual rings.  You can buy savarin molds at several sources such as this.

I was excited to try this savory version of savarins.  I love how the shrimp fit nicely around the cornmeal rings.

I decided that this recipe was perfect for a first course at a dinner party or a holiday meal.  I was even able to make the dish in stages.  The cornmeal savarins were made early in the day.  The shrimp was also easy to do ahead of time.  All I did near serving time was to arrange the shrimp around the cornmeal rings that I had arranged on a baking sheet and placed them in the oven to rewarm.  While they were warming I made the orange butter sauce.

 This was a delicious combination.  The orange butter beurre blanc played well off of the light cornmeal rings and the shrimp cooked in vermouth and tequila was a perfect foil.  The presentation was amazing and unexpected in my humble opinion.  This dish is a keeper.

This will be our farewell to Lake Lure for the winter season.  We leave for Florida today.  My next post will be from there.  I will miss my mountain lake cottage, but look forward to our time in sunny Florida.


36 large shrimp, shelled and deveined, reserving 6 shells
2 cups dry vermouth
1/4 cup tequila
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the Sauce:
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons dry white wine
6 tablespoons fresh orange juice
the zest from 1 orange
2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits

6 cornmeal savarins (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon minced scallion top for garnish

In a large skillet combine the shrimp, the vermouth, the tequila, and the butter.  Bring the liquid to a boil, stirring, and simmer the shrimp for 1 minute and 30 seconds, or until they are just firm.  Transfer the shrimp to a plate with a slotted spoon and keep them warm.

Make the sauce:  Reduce the shrimp cooking liquid with the reserved shells over moderately high heat to about 3 tablespoons, discard the shells, and in a saucepan combine the reduced liquid with the shallot, the vinegar, the wine, the orange juice, and the orange zest.  Bring the liquid to a boil and simmer it for 5 minutes, or until it is reduced to about 1/4 cup.  Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the butter, 1 piece at a time, lifting the pan from the heat occasionally to cool the mixture and adding each new piece of butter before the previous one has melted completely.  (The sauce should should not get hot enough to liquefy.  It should be the consistency of then hollandaise.)  Keep the sauce warm over hot water.

Arrange the savarins on heated plates or shallow bowls and top each savarin with some of the shrimp.  My shrimp were small so I used 5 per savarin.  The original recipe used 3 per savarin.  Spoon some of the sauce onto the plates or bowls.  Garnish each serving with the scallion tops.  Serves 6.


1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup flour
1 large egg yolk, beaten lightly
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg white at room temperature
1/4 cup corn kernels, thawed if frozen
2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper or minced pimiento
2 tablespoons minced Anaheim chili pepper

Into a bowl sift together the cornmeal, the baking powder, the sugar, the salt, and the flour.  In another bowl combine the egg yolk, the butter, the cream the buttermilk, and the baking soda and stir the mixture into the cornmeal mixture.  In a small bowl beat the egg white until it holds stiff peaks and fold it into the cornmeal mixture with the corn kernels, the red bell pepper and the chili pepper.

Spray 8 metal savarin molds, each 3 1/4 inches in diameter, well with non-stick vegetable coating and fill them with scant 1/3-cup measures of the batter. Bake the molds on a jelly-roll pan in the lower third of a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until a wooden pick comes out clean.  Loosen the edges of the cornbread with a small knife and turn them out onto a rack.  The cornbread savarins may be made ahead and kept chilled or frozen, wrapped in plastic wrap.  Makes 8 individual cornbreads.

Printable recipe

11 responses to “Shrimp with Orange Butter Sauce and Cornmeal Savarins”

  1. Sam Hoffer says:

    What an impressive dish and how nice that it can be put together in stages, making it perfect for entertaining. Have a safe trip south.

  2. joannova says:

    Kudos! That looks just wonderful and elegant.

  3. bellini says:

    I love the savoury cornmeal savarins. Thy are just perfect little vessels for the shrimp.

  4. larry says:

    I’d never heard of savarins, but this dish looks very fancy and sounds delicious.

  5. Darla says:

    These look beautiful and I always love “easy” and ” prepare ahead of time”. We had a wonderful meal at the Chef and the farmer last night in Kinston, NC
    and plan to make it a monthly visit on our way to our second home in Emerald Isle, NC. We were so thrilled to meet Vivian Howard, the chef and owner. She is an amazing chef, very beautiful and so gracious. Check out our picture on Facebook. We will be celebrating Keenan’s 11th BD this weekend & wish you were here!

  6. Cathy at Wives with Knives says:

    What a beautiful dish, Penny. I had a savarin mold years ago along with many other shapes and slowly got rid of them. Now I’m in the process of buying them all back again. Thanks for the source.

  7. katiezel says:

    What a pretty dish! and sounds rather tasty, as well…. I love little molds.

  8. Barbara Williams says:

    I do miss Gourmet! What a gorgeous recipe you found, Penny. I love everything about it. Unusual, taste and has shrimp, my favorite! Beautiful presentation!
    Have a great trip down….I wish we’d get some fall weather in S. Florida!

  9. YearOnTheGrill says:

    Always a bit of a sad post as Jackie and I will always think of you in your beautiful hideaway! Delicious dish and stunning presentation… Enjoy the winter, we hit single digit wind chills this morning… Those of us that have all the seasons will be thinking of you!

    Dave and Jackie

  10. robin sue says:

    What an elegant meal to end your time at the lake. i had not heard of savarins before, so it is always fun to come here and learn something new.

  11. Chris says:

    I have absolutely have to find these savarin molds. I have got some great ideas for appetizers using these, like a grilled shrimp and grits. Enjoy Florida!

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.