Shrimp with Saffron Rice and Fennel Salad
ACTIVE: 1 HR TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 15 MIN SERVINGS: 4
- 1 cup Carolina Gold or arborio rice
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 16 large shrimp (1 pound)—shelled and deveined, shells reserved
- 1 large fennel bulb, quartered—one quarter finely chopped, three-quarters thinly sliced on a mandoline
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery rib, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/2 cup semisweet white wine, such as Riesling
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Pinch of saffron threads, crumbled
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
Adapted from foodandwine.com
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the rice and cook, stirring a few times, until just al dente, 16 minutes. Drain well.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Add the shrimp shells; cook over moderately high heat, stirring often, until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the chopped fennel, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, fennel seeds and Aleppo pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring often, until the onion is golden, about 6 minutes. Add the wine and boil until almost evaporated. Add 2 cups of the chicken stock and simmer over moderate heat for 12 minutes. Strain.
In another medium saucepan, combine the cream with the saffron, 1/2 cup of the shrimp stock and the remaining 1 cup of chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add the parboiled rice and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the sauce has thickened and the grains are tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper, cover and remove from the heat.
In a large skillet, bring the remaining shrimp stock to a simmer. Add the shrimp and cook over moderately low heat, turning once, until pink and curled, about 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in 4 tablespoons of the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Season with salt and black pepper.
In a small bowl, toss the sliced fennel and scallion with the lemon juice and season with salt and black pepper.
Rewarm the rice and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Transfer the rice to shallow bowls. Spoon the shrimp and sauce over the rice. Top with the fennel salad, garnish with the thyme and serve.
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