Our very own shrimp: local (Newburgh, NY), fresh (not frozen), sustainable (farmed), safe (purest water, natural nutrients), environmentally sound (small footprint), and delicious.
I just checked, and I realize that last night it had been the better part of a year since we had been able to enjoy Jean Claude Frajmund’s wonderful local shrimp, the harvest of his Eco Shrimp Garden. Incredibly delicious then, they seemed even better this time, although it may be that I now had some experience under my belt. The experience includes both research and practice in dealing with the difficulty of shelling shrimp, especially when they area as fresh as his, after they have been cooked in their shells.
But the shrimp was also “sort-of-Spanish”, and the wine definitely was.
I had been inspired by and persuaded to try Mark Bittman’s simple recipe, ‘Last-Minute Sort-Of-Spanish Shrimp’, last year. This is my November, 2016 post. Last night I headed for it again. His full, entertaining discussion of its origins appears here.
It’s a wonderful recipe, really very simple, and substitutes can be used for ingredients not on hand.
The image of raw shrimp just below is from this older post.
The baby fennel, purchased yesterday was photographed at the farmer’s stall.
The tomatoes in the photograph below are on our breakfast room windowsill (only the deep red cherry tomatoes were incorporated into this meal).
The next two images were captured during the cooking process, the shrimp in a very large cast iron pan just after they had been turned the first time, the vegetables in a slightly smaller copper pan just after I had added the tomatoes.
- one teaspoon of chopped garlic from Berried Treasures Farm, heated inside a (13 1/2″) cast iron pan over a very low flame until the garlic had colored nicely, a pinch of Spanish saffron, one whole dried chipotle pepper from Northshire Farms in the Union Square Greenmarket (do not squish it) and a teaspoon of freshly-ground cumin seed added, all of it stirred for a minute or two, then 13 ounces (14 count) of Hudson Valley farmed shrimp from Eco Shrimp Garden (cut all along their backs, from head to tail, for ease of shelling later) added, seasoned with salt and pepper, the heat brought up a bit, and the shrimp cooked until firm while turned twice, served with a generous squeeze of lemon, garnished with parsley from Keith’s Farm, finished on the plates with purple micro radish from Two Guys from Woodbridge [the micro greens are my addition to Mark Bittman’s recipe, and may seem like overkill, but they really work with the other flavors, and they are gorgeous]
- a handful of baby fennel from Alewife Farm, trimmed at the top, stems and bulbs cut into 3 cm lengths, sautéed over medium high heat along with one roughly-chopped garlic from Berried Treasures, one small Grenada seasoning pepper from Eckerton Hill Farm (the best flavor of a habanero, with a fraction of the heat), and a teaspoon of Italian fennel seeds, until the fennel began to color, the heat lowered, the pan covered, cooked for another 5 or more minutes, the cover removed and 7 or 8 halved Black Cherry tomatoes from Berried Treasures Farm added, stirred, allowed to soften just a bit, the pan set aside until the shrimp had been cooked, divided onto the plates and garnished with the chopped fronds of the fennel
- the wine was a Spanish (Rioja) white, CVNE Cune Monopole, Rioja Blanco 2015, from Flatiron Wines
- the music was 3 concertos by Franz Josef Haydn and Leopold Hofmann