January 6, 2016 • FOOD, RECIPE

The Optimist’s Shrimp a la Plancha Recipe



Shrimp a la Plancha (recipe and all images courtesy of Ford Fry/The Optimist; photo by Andrew Thomas Lee).

Atlanta chef Ford Fry’s Shrimp a la Plancha is a crowd pleaser at The Optimist, his modern take on a fish camp. See the recipe below and click here to read our Q&A with the proprietor of nine of Atlanta’s most beloved dining spots.

Plancha Butter

  • 3 Korean chili
  • 1 guajillo chili
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup cream
  • ¾ pound butter
  • 4 tablespoons minced anchovy fillets
  • 4 tablespoons sambal
  • 1.5 tablespoon salt

Toast the garlic, anchovies, cumin, and Korean chili in a pan on medium high heat for two minutes. Deglaze with wine and reduce in half. Add cream and reduce until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Place everything in a blender and blend on high for at least two minutes. Add back to a pot and cook on low heat. Melt in butter one pat at a time and keep mixing after the butter is incorporated. Season with 1.5 tablespoon salt and reserve in a warm place.


  • 12 head on, shell on shrimp
  • 3 limes
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Bread cut ½-inch thick
  • Butter to butter the bread

Grab a shrimp with fingers so the bottom of the shrimp is facing your palm. Using scissors, cut length-wise from the head to the tail, cutting all the way down like you would to devein the shrimp. This will makes the shrimp easier to peel! Butter some very thick toast and brown each side of the toast and place on plate. In a very hot pan, place 2 tablespoons of oil and cook shrimp for two minutes per side. Remove shrimp from pan and place on top of buttered toast. Pour the butter mixture on the shrimp and top with chopped cilantro and lime juice.