This week was my father’s birthday, and my parents came to visit for the weekend. The whole family had plans to go out on Saturday night to watch the Sharks vs. Predators game, but Friday night I had my parents all to myself.
Coming from Mendocino, we’re all huge fans of seafood, so I decided to make shrimp and quinoa. Which got interesting when, about halfway through cooking the shrimp, I realized I had no quinoa. Luckily, I had a whole box of couscous to troubleshoot.
Note: I used uncooked, tail-on shrimp. I’m sure you could use pre-cooked shrimp for this recipe.
On Thursday night, I made the marinade for the shrimp. So, first, I had to take the tails off the shrimp. I’d never done this before, but I watched my boyfriend do it and it looked fairly simple. It took a couple of shrimp for me to get the hang of it, but I got through the entire 2 pounds of shrimp in 20 minutes.
It’s messy and kinda gross, but surprisingly easy.
To de-tail the shrimp, hold the body and gently tug the tail off. If the tail comes off, but not the sliver of shell over the body, just pull gently on the leg area and it should slide right off.
1/4 c olive oil
4 red jalapeños, de-seeded & finely chopped
1 lime, sliced
1 t salt
Combine all ingredients + the de-tailed shrimp in a ziploc bag. Squeeze each lime piece into the bag before dropping it inside. Squish the bag around to mix the ingredients together and coat the shrimp. Then put it in the fridge overnight.
2 pounds shrimp, marinated
2 T red pepper flakes
the juice of 1/2 medium lime
1 can (13 ounces) coconut milk
1 t paprika
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 c frozen peas
Pour the shrimp and marinade into a large skillet. Mine was 12″ across and the perfect size. Add the pepper flakes, peas and coconut milk, as well as a dash or two of salt & pepper. Squeeze 1/2 a lime over the pan. Stir everything together to combine and turn the heat to low.
Let it simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the shrimp is done, it will have turned pink and begun to curl.
Note: If you used pre-cooked shrimp, sear the shrimp for 2 minutes on each side and then remove from the pan before creating your coconut sauce. Simmer the coconut sauce for 10 minutes, then add the shrimp back in for 5 minutes to heat through.
While the shrimp is simmering, you’ll have time to prep the couscous (or quinoa if you actually remember to buy that ingredient).
1 cup strawberries, roughly chopped to bite size pieces
1/2 c fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/2 medium yellow onion, minced
4 T olive oil
2 cups couscous
1 cup water
salt & pepper to taste
juice of 1/2 a lime
In a large bowl, combine strawberries, basil, onion, salt and pepper. Add 2 T of olive oil and set to the side. The salt will draw the moisture out of the fruit, herbs and onion.
In a small saucepan, boil 1 cup of water with 2 T olive oil and a dash of salt. Once boiling, add 2 cups of couscous to your large bowl and pour the water mixture over the cous cous. Stir to combine, cover the bowl in foil and set aside for 10 minutes.
Before serving the couscous, squeezed 1/2 a lime over the bowl and fluff with a fork.
Everything is ready! Serve with raw spinach or a salad.
Tip: All of this is much more fun if you’re having a glass of wine with your mom and dad.