For well-over a year now I have managed to explore new and different recipes while enjoying the short and sweet preparations of many of them. Many stores are not stocking or restocking many items that we have been enjoying for some time now, call us spoiled if you will, but one can get used to easy access to many food products that were only available in big city markets, delis, and specialty stores over the years. As some of the products slowly come back to the markets I am still enjoying easier and quicker recipes as well as some of the appliances that make life easier in the kitchen.
I have always ordered from a few grain sources and one of my favorite items for many years now has been toasted Fregola which is particularly good with seafood so with at least three menu plans to look forward to featuring shellfish. The first dish for two is particularly appealing after watching “Vimeo Secret Italian Recipes”.
Half of the recipe was the perfect amount for the two of us with just a bit left for lunch the next day. The recipe was slightly adapted with a few additional ingredients added to the stock. I tossed in half of a large shallot as well as a teaspoon or so of Phillips Seafood Seasoning, 3/4 cup of homemade seafood stock, and 1/2 of the lemon that I had squeezed the juice out of for the rest of the recipe.
- 1 ½POUNDS EXTRA-LARGE (21/25 PER POUND) SHRIMP, PEELED (SHELLS RESERVED), DEVEINED AND PATTED DRY
- 28-OUNCE BOTTLES CLAM JUICE
- 3 CUPS LOW-SODIUM CHICKEN BROTH
- 4 BAY LEAVES
- 1 SPRIG FRESH THYME-I tossed in 3 as they were small sprigs
- 1 TABLESPOON BLACK PEPPERCORNS
- KOSHER SALT AND GROUND BLACK PEPPER
- 4 TABLESPOONS EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, DIVIDED
- 1 PINT CHERRY OR GRAPE TOMATOES, HALVED
- 1 MEDIUM YELLOW ONION, FINELY CHOPPED
- 1 MEDIUM CARROT, PEELED, HALVED LENGTHWISE AND THINLY SLICED
- 2 MEDIUM GARLIC CLOVES, FINELY GRATED
- 1 CUP FREGOLA (SEE NOTE)
- 2 TABLESPOONS LEMON JUICE
- ½ CUP FINELY CHOPPED FRESH FLAT-LEAF PARSLEY
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the shrimp shells, clam juice, chicken broth, bay, thyme and peppercorns.
Microwave on high until the shrimp tails have turned pink and the mixture is very hot, 4 to 5 minutes. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer set over another medium bowl; discard the solids in the strainer.
Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. In a large pot over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of oil until barely smoking. Add half the shrimp and cook without stirring until well browned 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer to a large plate. Repeat with 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil and the remaining shrimp.
Return the pot to medium-high and add 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil. Add the tomatoes, onion, carrot and ½ teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are spotty brown and the onion has softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and fregola then cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in 2 cups of the shrimp broth, then bring to a simmer.
Reduce to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in 2 cups of the remaining broth, return to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes.
Stir in the remaining 1 cup broth and cook, stirring constantly, until the fregola is tender and the mixture is creamy but not soupy, another 6 to 8 minutes.
Off the heat, stir in the shrimp and accumulated juices, the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the lemon juice, and parsley. Cover and let stand until the shrimp are opaque throughout, 5 to 7 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Pearl couscous, sometimes called Israeli couscous, makes an acceptable substitute for Sardinian fregola, but it must be toasted. To toast, put the couscous in a dry, large pot (the same one you’ll later use to cook the dish).
Cook over medium, stirring often, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Even after toasting, the couscous will absorb liquid differently than fregola, so be sure to adjust the broth as directed in the recipe notes.
Recipe link https://www.177milkstreet.com/recipes/shrimp-tomato-fregola
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