Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Shrimp over Green Rice

Around this time every year, I post a recipe that is a nice foil to holiday meals and buffet party fare.   Even those of us who love the holiday food scene, from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day brunches, need a few light recipes during the season.  Shrimp over Green Rice is this year's entry.

There are only four main ingredients in the dish: Shrimp, rice, cilantro and jalepeños.  You can add a dollop of guacamole or simple and pure chopped avocado as a garnish. 

Most of us will have good frozen (or previously frozen) shrimp available at local markets.  Shrimp benefits from gentle handling and this recipe keeps it simple so that the shrimp can shine.

Buy the best quality medium shrimp you can afford.  Figure on 7-8 shrimp per person. Steam the shrimp in the shell directly out of the freezer.  As soon as the water boils I take it off the heat and keep the pot covered to 5-9 minutes depending on quantity in the pot.   Normally we cool the shrimp over ice after it is fully cooked but still very tender.  For this recipe we peel and devein it as soon as it is cool enough to handle then give it a flash saute in butter with lots of black pepper to finish it.   The result is perfectly cooked and flavored shrimp.

The rice could not be more simple.  Cooked rice can be reheated or make a batch of fresh rice.  You will want a little over 1.2 cup cooked rice person.

Toss in diced jalepeño to cook with the rice.  Cut the sides from a jalepeño, leaving the seeds and stem intact.  Slice 1-2 pieces into thin strips them finely dice.   This is a simple way to deal with a spicy little fresh pepper.  It will lose most of its heat when it cooks with the rice so that you will taste the pure jalepeño flavor in the finished rice. 

A big handful of fragrant, freshly chopped cilantro is stirred into the hot rice just before serving.

Shrimp over Green Rice is good cold too.