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.