The reason the recipe asks you to poach the shrimp in wine in the first place is to add flavor to the shrimp. Madeleine Kamman, author of The New Making of a Cook (Canada, UK) would have you go one step further and simmer your shrimp in a court bouillon – a flavored poaching liquid. Of the various court bouillon recipes she includes in her book, the one she recommends for shrimp also includes wine. But we think you can combine a bit of two recipes and omit the wine.
Her recipe for court bouillon for shrimp includes 2 cups of water, 4 cups of bottled clam juice, 2 cups of dry white wine, a bouquet garni (a bundle of thyme, parsley and bay leaf), 6 cracked peppercorns and a pinch of salt. Another court bouillon is based on red or white wine vinegar or cider vinegar, so we’d substitute a cup of either vinegar and a cup of water in place of the wine. She wants you to mix the ingredients together, bring them to a boil, simmer them on medium-low for 30 minutes and pass it all through a strainer before using it for your shrimp. While the quantity may seem large, you can freeze the bouillon afterwards and use it again.
The success of poaching seafood in a court bouillon, Mrs. Kamman says further, depends on keeping the temperature between 200° and 205°F at sea level (93° and 96°C) – so that it never reaches a boil. Otherwise your costly tender seafood will be tough.