A Fast Dinner With Versatile Shrimp

April 29, 2009|By Carol Mighton Haddix | Carol Mighton Haddix,Tribune Newspapers

A bag of shrimp in the freezer is like a helping hand. It's a great backup for those nights when you just can't make it to the store to pick up dinner.

The shrimp thaws quickly in a bowl of cold water. And with a bit of seasoning and a quick saute, it's versatile enough to go over rice, pasta or couscous to make a filling entree.

If you have time and think of it, marinate the raw shrimp in spices before you leave for work. Or just let them marinate for 15 minutes. Either way, the warm North African spices in this recipe create a flavorful, spicy match for the shrimp.

Tips: Double or triple the spice amounts so you have extra to store in a jar.

This seasoning mix goes well with poultry, too.

Look for shrimp that is already deveined to save time.

Beverage: Beer would be a good match for the spicy shrimp, or try an Alsatian riesling.

north african spiced shrimp

(Makes 6 servings)

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or 1 to 2 dried red chili peppers, crushed (see note)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (divided use)

2 pounds large shrimp, peeled

juice of 1 large lime

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

Mix coriander, Aleppo pepper, cumin, ginger and turmeric in a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil; stir to combine. Add shrimp; toss to coat. Marinate 15 minutes, or in refrigerator 4 to 6 hours.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat; add shrimp in batches, discarding marinade. Cook until browned and opaque throughout, about 2 minutes per side.

Transfer cooked shrimp to a large bowl. Toss with lime juice; season with salt. Serve over couscous, rice or pasta.

Note: Aleppo pepper is a Turkish crushed, dried pepper; look for it at spice stores or in spice catalogs, such as Penzeys Spices (penzeys.com).

Adapted from "Olives & Oranges," by Sara Jenkins and Mindy Fox

Analysis provided by the Chicago Tribune.

Per serving: 166 calories, 7 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 224 milligrams cholesterol, 1 gram carbohydrate, 24 grams protein, 343 milligrams sodium, 0 grams fiber

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