Tuesday, November 22, 2011

recipe: shrimp scampi with preserved lemon and fennel

Grocery shopping is a trip typically made together, with a few meals planned and a few thrown together later from whatever we have gathered. Last weekend I worked both days, so Partner-in-Crime set off to procure foodstuffs on his own. On a whim, he picked up a half pound of shrimp. We didn't have a recipe planned, so at 6pm on the night of their consumption (a week ago) we sat down on the computer to find a recipe, ultimately selecting one from Bon App├ętit on Epicurious for Shrimp Scampi with Quick Preserved Lemon and Fennel on Polenta.

We lacked some ingredients, including the polenta. Instead of the amount of shallots listed, we used a combination of shallots and white onion that needed to be used quickly. Luckily, we had fennel for another recipe planned for later in the week and I frequently keep preserved lemons in the fridge, made using this method. This cream/fennel/lemon sauce is good enough to eat without the shrimp. I don't know why you would, unless you are serving a vegetarian or keeping kosher. (Which, if you are, cook the shrimp in an entirely separate skillet. Toss a bit of preserved lemon in the olive oil as you cook the shrimp and you are good to go.) Below is our adapted recipe.

Shrimp Scampi with Preserved Lemon and Fennel over Pasta
1/2 lb pasta
1/2 shrimp
4 shallots, sliced thinly
1/4 white onion, diced
1 medium bulb fennel, halved and sliced thinly (about 1 cup)
1/2 preserved lemon peel, diced (about 4 teaspoons)
1/2 cup half and half (or cream)
[Preserved lemon, onion, shallots, fennel]

Peel and vein the shrimp. Note that prepping the shrimp will take the whole time it takes to cook pasta, so be sure to do this step first instead having your boyfriend do it while you make the pasta. Our pasta sat for a while waiting for the rest to be done. If this does happen to you, toss the pasta with olive oil.

After shrimp are ready, put the pasta on. Go for something long and stringy. We used standard spaghetti, linguine or fettuccine would be great too.

[After adding the cream]

Saute shrimp in olive oil over medium heat for 1 minute per side. Transfer to plate. Saute shallots, onion, fennel and lemon together, until fennel is tender, about 4 minutes. Add cream, bring to a boil briefly. Toss shrimp back in and cook until just opaque in the center. Serve over pasta.

[Tossing the shrimp in]

No comments: