One Skillet Wild Shrimp with Spring Sauce Verde

I’m just beginning to realize how much I hibernated this winter. Granted, it wasn’t that cold in Atlanta and we have heat. I seem to have hibernated, all the same.

Suddenly, my imagination is awake again. My hunger for variety. And company.

I treasure the freezer, still about half full of deep, rich bone broth after the dark days. I just want other things, too. Fresh, tasty, light things. Quick things. So, tonight, for the first time, an ongoing experiment and a relatively recent favorite, all with minimal dishes to do!

This is delicious. Tasty in a grilled sort of way. A bit of heat. Lots of crunch. Complex and, at the same time, very clean. Try it with leftover roast chicken breast or a seared, roasted, and sliced pork tenderloin. Or, to skip the meat, do the veg mix and toss with scrambled eggs, or top with fried eggs. (We will!)

Seasonal food is at its best when what there is and what you long for meet!

One Skillet Wild Shrimp with Spring Sauce Verde

Serves 2 hungry adults for a whole meal or 4 for a main course. WildFit/Paleo friendly & Gluten-free.

Total time, about 1 hour. Active time, 15 minutes. (A handy sous chef is helpful, as this goes quickly.)

First, dispatch someone wise in the ways of  local markets to “source”, as my foodie friends would say, some really excellent shrimp. For us, from Georgia. The Atlantic is good for US friends. Or the Pacific Coast. Whatever is “local” for you. (Shrimp from China and Viet Nam should be avoided for health reasons. If you must buy commercial, pre-packaged shrimp, please check the label!) You’ll also want some bright greens, as clean and local as possible. Here’s the list:

 1 1/2 pounds excellent shrimp. We buy the 16-20 size (large). I like them with heads and shells best. Today, only shells. (See below.)

1/2 large head Romaine (or other deep green, crunchy lettuce) per diner.

About 4 – 6 c. washed, trimmed, and chopped mixed greens. (The more, the merrier!) In this case, baby arugula, some Italian, flat-leafed parsley, a bit of fresh basil or thyme, and a few clumps of dandelion greens. (Reserve stems of parsely, if using. They’re great in salads, smoothies, or shrimp stock!)

6 spears really fresh asparagus, stemmed and sliced very thinly, from the garden, if possible. (Optional, but awesome! Sliced broccoli stems, or even chopped stems from collard greens, Swiss chard, etc., would work, too.)

1 Vidalia onion or a handful of scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced at the last minute. (WildFit friends may wish to avoid “sweet” onions like Vidalias in “deep Spring.”)

2 – 4 cloves of minced garlic.

3 excellent quality anchovy fillets. (Trust me!)

Juice of 1/2 a fresh lemon.

3 Tbsp. good olive oil, divided.

Freshly ground black or mixed peppercorns.

Good, Celtic sea salt.

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, optional, to  taste.

Optional – 1/2 c. or so of hot, cooked, organic rice per person for those who desire. (Bill does!)

And the plan:

About 1 hour before you wish to serve, remove shrimp from fridge, if still frozen. Rinse in collander and set to thaw/drain. (If your shrimp are thawed, start here about 30 min. before you wish to serve. Rinse and drain well.)

Place rice in oven at 350 F. to re-heat if needed. (Or steam, or whatever.)

Shell shrimp, as needed, reserving and freezing shells, if desired, for stock. I like the $2.00 plastic thing-y you can buy at many fish places to help remove shells and “vein”.

Drain shrimp some more and pat on paper towels. We want them as close to dry as shrimp get!

While shrimp drain & dry, start washing and trimming your veg as necessary. Tonight, I picked out the pine straw and tiny maple trees, and returned them to the compost. Halve Romaine the long way, remove any wilted outer leaves, rinse and drain really well. Dry greens well in a kitchen towel and chop as needed. They’re going to wilt/shrink!

Place shrimp in a bowl with 2 Tbsp. olive oil and about a tsp. each of salt and pepper. Toss well to coat.

About 15 min. before you plan to serve, heat large, heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) dry over high heat. (A few drops of water should skitter around.)

Place Romaine halves, cut side down, into skillet, pressing down occasionally, to sear. When cut side is nicely browned, remove to serving plates, cut side up.

Reduce heat to medium high.

Add oiled and seasoned shrimp, with extra olive oil if pan gets dry, in 2 batches if needed to allow space to turn and sear, turning with tongs until shrimp are fragrant, pink on the outsides, and opaque through the center, about 3 – 5 minutes, depending on size. Resist overcooking!

Remove cooked shrimp to serving plates, over seared lettuce.

Add an extra Tbsp. of olive oil to same skillet, over medium heat. Add sliced onions and stir to begin to wilt.

Add anchovy fillets and stir to incorporate with onions.

Add asparagus, if using. Continue to stir fry, adding a bit more olive oil if needed.

Add chopped greens and herbs, continuing to toss.

Add lemon juice and crushed red pepper flakes. Season with S & P to taste.

When the individual bits are all still intact but the greens have wilted, spoon over Romaine, shrimp (and rice, if serving).

Serve, perhaps with additional lemon wedges, if desired.

If you saved shrimp heads/peels, place in zipee bag and squeeze out air. Freeze, labeled, and dated. Watch here for stock recipe to follow.

Enjoy!

What am I trying to accomplish?

If our first language is touch, our second is food.

Lately, I’ve been learning more and more about food, largely with the help of my WildFit friends. One of the keys to my learning has been a new awareness of the food messages American TV bombards us with. Especially, our kids.

One of the things I noticed is the tremendous power of those who sell “breakfast foods.” Think about it. The vast majority of what we think of as breakfast is hugely processed, overly sweet, and filled with chemical colorings and preservatives. Leading, I suspect, to health problems and issues with attentiveness and concentration in school kids.

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Things That Are Better!

Hi! It’s me, again. Luther. I asked Mom if I could tell you some new things I’m learning and she said I could, so here goes!

I’m not too sure I like bicycles. One snuck up on me while I was out walking the other day and I wanted to leave. Fast.

Of course, I couldn’t. It has something to do with the thing called a lead. There’s always somebody who loves me holding on to the other end, telling me they think it’s all ok.

Just between us, there are a lot of things in the world that I think are pretty scary.

And some that don’t feel quite so scary anymore.

The other day, a new Auntie I’d heard lots about, but hadn’t met before, came to visit. Her name is Kate. She and Mom talked about me a lot. Not in a bad way.

They talked about Sarah and Phoebe, too, but I didn’t pay so much attention to that! I guess we’re all connected.

What I think they said was that there are some more things I need to learn. There was something about balance-whatever that is-and not wanting to push me beyond what I’m ready for and not wanting to hold me back from all the great stuff in life.

Apparently it’s a lot like those cool people puppies everybody gets so excited about! Mom seems to know lots about them! (The tall ones, too.)

I could tell by their voices that they both love me. And they made a long list of things that are better for me than they were before.

I can ride in the car now.

The other day, I survived when the top, noisy part of the thing called a salad spinner leaped out of the dish drainer and crashed on the floor about four feet from me.

Mom said it was ok and brought it to me to sniff.

I know it was ok because I’m still here!

Mom told me how brave I was and then went back to washing dishes. I went back to sleep.

I actually like being brushed now. I used to think a brush was just another thing to use for hitting dogs.

Nobody here hits and the brush feels really good, especially when I’m itchy.

Mom and Auntie Kate needed some of that fluffy stuff called Kleenex (which I’m not supposed to eat) when they were talking about my old life. Then they decided that the best thing for me is to help me stretch a little bit at a time and cheer me on.

My Auntie Alli says things like that, too.

They also said some stuff about insisting that Sarah sits, which I don’t think she’ll like so much, so she doesn’t think she’s in charge.

And they said Phoebe is not as sweet and innocent as she looks, but I’m not sure what that means.

Auntie Kate says she feels a lot like Mom does, with the people puppies at her house. I guess everybody needs what they need and a lot of that seems to be about things called comfort and confidence.

IMG_1187I’m glad I don’t have to figure all of that out. I’m still trying to learn to sit!

And I’m still not sure about bicycles. I do know that it helps to have somebody close by who believes you can do the new stuff. I have even more Aunties who help with that!

Mom says maybe I can help people by believing for them. Apparently that’s an important job!

Right now, I think it’s nap time. Blogging is hard, but I like telling my stories. Who knew?

Love, Luther

 

 

 

Labels are for food. Not kids.

I have a thing about labels. Well, several things, actually.

Not the kind on fancy clothes so much. (Though occasionally purses.) Not cars so much, either, though there’s probably an inherited tendency there on my dad’s side of the family.

Dogs. Yes. I love almost all of them but choose to live with Newfies.

Another set of labels that I’ve found helpful, through the years, at describing and interpreting human behavior (by which I mean, mostly, my own) is the Enneagram Personality Type perspective.

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Toss the Peeps!

Sometimes I think that, if our house had a name, it would most likely be Camp Chaos. I want to be clear that this has more to do with living with three gigantic house bears than it does with the index cards and quilt scraps and seed packets and canning jars that seem to be taking over, despite my somewhat feeble attempts at getting organized.

My Lenten plan for releasing a bag of stuff every day, for donation or recycling or even trash, has resulted in a lot less stuff, and a somewhat smaller version of Stone Mountain, composed of too- large clothes still on their way to new homes. Progress, indeed. Not so much less chaos.

Recently, I opened my door to a client and, with great determination, did not appologize for the dog hair gathered around the perimeter of every room. I live with Newfoundlands. The new kid is blowing coat and not yet up to a spa day.

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Do you do windows?

My mom had a thing about washing windows. I can still see her on an overcast Florida day, in Bermuda shorts, clinging to the step stool with her toes, paper towels caught randomly in the bushes.  She swore she hated doing it but was always so proud when it was done. Everybody had to come look. And “ooh” and “ahh”. (Noticing smudges was not considered helpful!)

Perhaps this is a particularly active pollen season in Georgia. The flourescent pea green pollen is fading to more of a yellow-beige but it just keeps falling. And swirling. And drifting. It’s everywhere.

I sit and look out the front window to my garden and I feel like I’m looking at the world through a paste of pollen. Long experience suggests that there’s no sense washing windows yet. You just have to wait until it’s done. Though, while it’s here, it’s reminding me of all the things I’ve learned about the filters through which we see the world.

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Hallelujah Anyway!

Yesterday, I went on a pilgrimage. The magnificent author, Anne Lamott, was reading from her new book, Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy, at Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta.

As is the case with most pilgrimages, I really had to want it. Central is just across from the state capitol, smack in the middle of downtown Atlanta. The building is gorgeous. My favorite part, though, was the sign hanging outside that read, “Immigrants and Refugees Welcome.” While I have lots of fond memories of being there in the past, it’s definitely outside my perceived neighborhood. It also involved a Saturday night after dark. And navigational challenges. And parking challenges.

Bill came along. It’s nice to have other pilgrims along the way!

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Sue Boardman, Certified Intentional Creativity® Color of Woman Teacher