Shrimp Roasted on Rock Salt

Shrimp roasted on a bed of hot salt are succulent, tender, fragrant, and not at all salty; the salt serves to transfer heat efficiently, not to flavor the shrimp. They can be served simply, with just a squeeze of lemon, or with this sweet-and-sour sauce studded with peppercorns.

1 pound of rock salt

or coarse-crystal sea salt

12 large raw shrimp

in their shells

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon crushed

black peppercorns

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Pinch of salt

Lemon wedges, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Select a heavy pan with a lid large enough to hold the shrimp in a single layer. It should be at least 2 inches deep. Add rock salt to form a 1-inch bed in pan. Set pan in the oven and heat for 30 minutes. When the salt is very hot, set the shrimp on top, cover, and roast for 2 minutes. Turn the shrimp, cover, and roast for 2 minutes more, until the shrimp turn pink. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan, and add the honey, peppercorns, lemon, and pinch of salt.

Peel shells off shrimp, place shrimp on warmed serving plates, drizzle with sauce, and serve immediately, garnished with lemon slices. Serves 4.

- Adapted from 'Salt & Pepper,' by Michele Anna Jordan (Broadway Books)

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