Simple is almost always better, especially when it comes to the kitchen. Because of this, #SKCookbookClub selected ‘Where Cooking Begins’ by Carla Lalli Music which includes super simple recipes that elevate everyday basics. For example, the addition of fresh basil to our Avocado Oil Mayo makes the perfect accompaniment to these straightforward grilled shrimp found in the book.

We’ve been long-time fans of Carla Lalli Music, thanks to all her inspiring (and tasty!) work at Bon Appetit, serving as the magazine’s Food Director. ‘Where Cooking Begins’ is her debut cookbook and was named one of the best cookbooks of the year by the New Yorker. The book reflects her laid back cooking style with no-fail techniques and uncomplicated recipes she makes for her own family.

Shrimp blog

Photo by: Chelsie Craig; Food styling: Pearl Jones

Smoked Paprika Shrimp with Basil Mayo

Adapted from recipe on page 188


Sir Kensington’s Avocado Oil Mayo
½ cup finely chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 lbs. large, shell-on shrimp (about 16)
3 tablespoons unsalted ghee, at room temperature
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoon sherry vinegar
½ lemon


For Basil Mayo

Fold basil into avocado oil mayo and set aside.

For Shrimp

  1. Preheat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Add grapeseed oil, then immediately add shrimp to skillet, season with salt, and cook, undisturbed until shells are brownish-red color on the underside, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Using tongs, turn shrimp and cook until shells are darkened, you can see juices bubbling and flesh is opaque, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer shrimp to a platter.
  3. Remove skillet from heat and let cool for 2 minutes (the sauce will scorch if you skip this cool-out period). Add ghee and smoked paprika to skillet and place over medium heat. Cook for 1 minute, stirring up any browned bits in the pan.
  4. Add vinegar and ¼ cup water, swirl to combine, bring to a bare simmer then pour pan sauce over shrimp.
  5. Squeeze lemon over and serve with basil mayo for dipping.
Shrimp cookbook

photo by: Chelsie Craig

Recipe from Carla Lalli Music’s ‘Where Cooking Begins’.

Purchase the cookbook here.