Lip-Smackin’ Good

To all my shrimp loving friends, you’re gonna love Garlicky Shrimp and Tomatoes! The essence of the sauce is amazingly rich and delicious in this dish, and it ticks all of the boxes: tasty, healthy, easy, relatively quick, and company-worthy.

The combination of flavors in this robust dish is reminiscent of cioppino, San Francisco’s popular seafood stew. Unusual, but it’s not a mistake that raw garlic gets stirred into the sauce at the end of cooking—it provides a jolt of fresh flavor.

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What a fabulous marriage it made with our side dish, Orange-Scented Rice Pilaf with Fennel, which was so light, fluffy and full of flavor. And since it can sit to up to 30 minutes, go ahead and make it first.

Russ happened to come home from work early (for him) that evening and inquired if I had opened the jar of clam juice yet. Since I had not, he suggested we use a couple cubes of our frozen shellfish stock, which I thought was brillaint and would add an additional depth of flavor.

I’m going to digress a minute here. When Russ makes homemade stock, of any kind, we’ve gotten into the practice of freezing some in our large ice cube trays. After they are frozen we pop them into a labeled ziploc and the individual cubes come in real handy when a recipe calls for a small amount.

Back to the regular blogcast… We thickened the sauce an additional 3-4 minutes past the recommended 12 minute time frame. However you don’t want to go overboard on this step, especially if, like us, you prefer saucier dishes. Neither dish is spicy at all but rather brimming with lots of subtle flavors.

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Ingredients

  • 30 jumbo shrimp (21 to 25 per lb.), peeled, deveined, and patted dry
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 Tbs. olive oil; more as needed
  • 3 large cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1-1/2 tsp. fennel seeds, coarsely crushed
  • 1-1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes with purée (from a 15-oz. can)
  • 6 oz. (3/4 cup) bottled clam juice (or shellfish stock)
  • 3/4 cup dry white vermouth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

img_9235Two large frozen cubes of shellfish stock were unthawed in the microwave and used in place of bottled clam juice.

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Partially cook the shrimp over medium-high heat in an oiled skillet.

img_9240After the shrimp are transferred to a bowl, add the remaining oil and about two-thirds of the garlic and all of the fennel seeds and cook, stirring, until fragrant.

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Stir in the tomatoes, clam juice, and vermouth. Bring to a boil and cook until the sauce is reduced to about 2/3 cup, about 12-15 minutes.

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Turn the heat down to medium and stir in the remaining garlic and the parsley.

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Add the shrimp and accumulated juices and cook until the shrimp are cooked through, about 2 minutes.

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After the shrimp has fully cooked, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Directions

  1. Season the shrimp with 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper. Heat 3 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, until partially cooked, 3 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a large bowl.
  2. Add the remaining 2 Tbs. oil to the skillet. Add about two-thirds of the garlic and all of the fennel seeds and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, clam juice, and vermouth. Bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is reduced to about 2/3 cup, about 12 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium and stir in the remaining garlic and the parsley. Add the shrimp and accumulated juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

by Selma Brown Morrow from Fine Cooking

Orange-Scented Rice Pilaf with Fennel

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Ingredients

  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped fennel (1/2 small bulb)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion (1 small onion)
  • 1-1/2 cups long-grain rice, preferably basmati
  • 2-3/4 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 strips orange zest
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
TIP: The rice can sit, covered, for up to 30 minutes before serving.
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Lay a kitchen towel over the pot after the rice absorbs the liquid, replace the lid, and let sit for anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes.
Directions
  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium (3-qt.) saucepan. Add the fennel and onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 6 minutes.
  2. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until the grains are glossy and beginning to crackle, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the broth, orange zest, bay leaf, and salt. Bring to a boil, cover, and lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer until the rice is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed, about 17 minutes.
  4. Off the heat, remove the lid, lay a kitchen towel over the pot, replace the lid, and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.

By Molly Stevens, one of our favorite chef-authors

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