Food & Drink

I'm Chris - or Christopher - or Mr. Dean - or Master Christopher - or just plain Sir. I'm a self-professed foodie. I love to cook and I take great pleasure in all things edible. My husband and I are relatively new to Portland, Oregon and are enjoying our culinary explorations of the area!

Food is NOT just fuel!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Prosciutto-wrapped Shrimp (and sides)

'Inoteca on the Lower East Side of Manhattan inspired me to make this simple and delicious dish at home. So every now and again, when I walk past the seafood counter and see some AMAZING shrimp, I can't help myself. I truly wish I could find real prawns, or better yet some langoustines - but alas, those are never anywhere to be found. However the other day at New Seasons Market I was scoping out the shrimp and started hopping in delight. They had a HUGE pile of hefty shrimp that had literally been brought in from the ocean that morning. After I picked myself up off the floor (come on, I'm not overreacting - even in the best places you almost always see that the shrimp had been previously frozen), I got 20 massive shrimp for dinner. Next, a quarter pound of thinly sliced prosciutto and dinner was shaping up!

I won't even bother with a recipe, it's so darn easy. The shrimp were fresh so they needed to be cleaned. This took about 3 times longer than it did to cook the entire meal, but that's okay. I was in my happy place in the kitchen. :) If you have never cleaned your own shrimp, it's not that difficult - just a bit time-consuming. They always come without the heads, so no worries there. You simply need to peel off the shell and legs - but absolutely leave the tail on. Then with a sharp knife, slice down the back of the shrimp (not too deep, maybe 1/4 inch, if that). Your incision will reveal a dark line inside the shrimp. That's the digest tract. Simply scrape it out, or pull it out - just get rid of it. Then move on to the next shrimp. Give them a good rinse before going on to the next step. Carefully pull apart your thin slices of prosciutto and wrap one (or in most cases, 1/2 of one) piece snugly around the meat of the shrimp. Once they are all wrapped, heat a little olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Lay the shrimp in the hot pan making sure they are all in contact with the pan. 3 minutes, turn, 2 - 3 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through and the prosciutto gets a little crispy on the outside. Absolutely delicious.

I knew I'd be making a rice dish as a side - it was simply some sauteed onions and garlic with capers and black pepper mixed with the brown rice. However the other side dish was a bit more fun. Raw slices of tomato and avocado drizzled in a bit of a salsa verde of sorts. I took some gorgeous tomatillos, cut them up along with some garlic, lime, red onion, salt & pepper. This all went into the blender with some olive oil. Once blended, I simply spooned it out over the raw veggies. Scrumptious!!

A note about tomatillos if you're not familiar with them. They're delicious! That's not all I was going to say, though. Sometimes I cut them up and heat them in a pan with salt, pepper & oil and they become a great base for a salsa. They are versatile and so green in flavor. The papery substance surrounding them is not edible, so be sure to remove it. And then wash them thoroughly - there's a layer of stickiness that surrounds the flesh and you should remove it. Otherwise, cut up and enjoy!

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