Garlic Shrimp with Roasted Pepper Rice Salad
20 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 long wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes.
- Place shrimp and remaining ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Heat grill or grill pan. Remove skewers from water and skewer 5 shrimp onto each skewer. Season with salt and pepper and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Roasted Pepper Rice Salad
4 cups vegetable stock or water
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to finish off the salad
1 small Spanish onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups Texmati rice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup white wine
2 large red pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
2 large yellow pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Place stock in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft, about 8-10 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat each grain with the oil. Add wine and cook until reduced. Add the hot stock or water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover the pot and cook the rice for 15-18 minutes or until just tender. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered for 5 minutes then remove lid and fluff with a fork.
- Transfer rice to a bowl and add the peppers, green onions and parsley. Drizzle with more oil and season with salt and pepper.
What makes shrimp, shrimp:
According to the "Food Lover's Companion," shrimp is America's favorite crustacean (shellfish with elongated bodies and jointed, soft (crust like) shells). Generally, the two classifications of shrimp (warm-water and cold-water) found in this country are harvested from the Atlantic, Pacific and the Gulf Coast. Within the two broad classifications are hundreds of shrimp species. Those that come from the coldest waters are generally smaller and more succulent than the larger shrimp varieties.
The key to selecting fresh shrimp is found as much in its color as it is in its smell. Avoid shrimp that is dark pink around its shell segments or appears dusty yellow, especially around its neck (the fleshy part exposed outside the shell, just where the head was snapped off). Fresh raw shrimp will smell like the sea. If shrimp has a hint of an ammonia smell, it's not fresh.
Do what you can to buy shrimp "sized" by the pound. Large shrimp: 12 to 15 per pound; Medium shrimp: 35 to 40 per pound; Small shrimp: more than 55 per pound. Of course, these numbers are not absolute, a close approximation will do just fine.
Before shrimp is cooked, it should be peeled and deveined. To remove the vein, Bruce Weinstein's "The Ultimate Shrimp Book" instructs, "hold the shrimp in one hand and gently pull the vein out with the thumb and forefinger of your other hand. If the vein does not come out easily or completely, use scissors or a sharp paring knife to cut down the back curve of the shell, cutting into the shrimp to a depth of only 1/8 inch. Start cutting the fleshy end and stop just before you reach the last segment of shell near the tail. Gently open the slit with your fingers and run the shrimp under cold water to remove the exposed vein. Then peel off the shell, before removing it completely or leaving only the last tail segment intact."
Once the shrimp is peeled and deveined successfully, it's ready to be seasoned and cooked. At this point the only thing left to go wrong would be to cook the shrimp too much. Three minutes in a pan or on the grill is all shrimp needs to turn them from translucent to opaque; the tell-tale sign of doneness.