According to the Encyclopedia of Chicago, the dish originated in the late 19th or early 20th century at the De Jonghe Hotel and Restaurant. The De Jonghe brothers and their two sisters had emigrated from their native Belgium to Chicago only a year before the 1892 World`s Columbian Exposition, their sights set on making a living in the New World. The recipe is usually attributed to the owners, brothers Henri, Pierre and Charles DeJonghe, however there has been speculation that the dish was actually created by their chef, Emil Zehr.
|De Jonghe Hotel Dining Room circa 1910|
Shrimp De Jonghe
[Main course for two adults, or appetizer for four]
12 large shrimp/prawns
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup white wine or sherry
salt and pepper to taste
8 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup of bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried chopped parsley
Preheat Oven to 400F degrees with rack arranged to high position (to aid in browning).
Clean, peel and devein the shrimp, removing their tales. Arrange shrimp in an oven proof shallow cooking dish. If using for appetizer arrange in individual ramikins. Sprinkle with lemon juice and chopped garlic. Pour over the wine or sherry and dot with half (4 Tbls) of the butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Melt the remaining half (4 Tbls) of the butter and combine with breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Add the dried parsley and stir to combine.
Sprinkle bread crumb mixture over prepared shrimp. Bake on top rack of oven for 15 minutes or until shrimp is cooked through and bread crumbs begin to brown.