Mess Hall: Butter Tuscan Shrimp

Mess Hall: Butter Tuscan Shrimp

As the season of Lent beckons, many embark on the quest to discover the finest fish fry in town, a tradition steeped in culinary delight. However, amidst the myriad choices, one often finds oneself grappling with the challenge of pairing seafood with a suitable cigar, striving for a harmonious balance between a flavorful cigar and still enjoying your meal. Today, I present a solution to both dilemmas.

Let’s first dive into the Tuscan Butter Shrimp. This dish boasts a symphony of flavors, where succulent shrimp are cooked in a luscious blend of butter, cream, and tomatoes. The subtle acidity of the tomatoes serves as a perfect foil to the robust flavors of a cigar, creating a palate-pleasing harmony that tantalizes the senses. You can top this on pasta, garlic bread, or just have it as is on the plate, showing the versatility of this dish. The seasoning is simple yet effective in enhancing the natural essence of the shrimp is undeniable, ensuring a culinary experience that is nothing short of mouthwatering.

Tuscan Butter Shrimp Ingredients


  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil.
  • 1 lb. shrimp, deveined, and tails removed.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • 3 tbsp. butter.
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced.
  • 1 ½ cup halved cherry tomatoes.
  • 3 cups baby spinach.
  • ½ cup heavy cream.
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan.
  • ¼ cup basil chopped.
  • Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)


1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. When oil is shimmering but not smoking, add shrimp. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Sear until the underside is golden, about two minutes, then flip until opaque. Remove from skillet and set aside.

2. Reduce heat to medium and add butter. When butter has melted, stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Add cherry tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tomatoes are beginning to burst then add spinach and cook until spinach is beginning to wilt.

3. Stir in heavy cream, parmesan, and basil and bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce is slightly reduced, about three minutes.

4. Return shrimp to the skillet and stir to combine. Cook until shrimp is heated through, squeeze lemon on top before serving. Garnish with additional basil and parmesan.

Pairing: The Ashton Cabinet Selection

Now, onto the best part – the Ashton Cabinet Selection cigar. Renowned for its unwavering commitment to quality, Ashton has carved a niche for itself in the world of premium cigars, and the Cabinet Selection is a shining testament to its excellence. Well-crafted, this mild yet flavorful cigar offers a symphony of nuanced aromas including nuts and spice throughout. The creamy smoke tastes perfectly, complementing the delicate flavors of the Tuscan Butter Shrimp. With each draw, the cigar unfurls its layers of cream, coffee, and sweetness, weaving seamlessly with the culinary masterpiece before you, creating a sensory journey that is as refined as it is unforgettable. 

So, as you embark on your culinary escapades this Lenten season, remember to savor not only the flavors on your plate but also the exquisite harmony of flavors that arise from a perfectly paired cigar.

If you are interested in picking up some of the Ashton Cabinet Selection Check it out on