shrimp with chipotle, saffron, cumin; tomatoes with alliums

I’ve done it before, in fact more than once: This shrimp recipe is an awesome treat each time.

The vegetable accompaniment has always been a tomato something. The flavors are a brilliant match, and the colors are as well (which is not always a good thing, but there are a lot of flavors moving around inside these 2 dishes).

That’s where I went again tonight.

  • one teaspoon of chopped Rocambole garlic from Keith’s Farm, heated inside a heavy (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), one crushed section of a dried orange-gold habanada pepper, and a teaspoon of freshly-ground dried cumin seed from Eataly added, all of it stirred for a minute or two, then 14 ounces (12 count) of Hudson Valley farmed jumbo shrimp from Eco Shrimp Garden (cut all along their backs, from head to tail, for ease of shelling later, but I’m not convinced that actually makes it any easier) added, seasoned with salt and pepper, the heat brought up a bit, and the shrimp cooked until firm while turned twice, then served with a generous squeeze of lemon, garnished on the plates with micro fennel from Windfall Farms [the micro greens are my addition to Mark Bittman’s terrific recipe, and may seem like overkill, but they really work with the other flavors, and they also look pretty good]
  • a bit of one thick scallion from Alex’s Tomato Farm, sourced at the Saturday 23rd St Greenmarket, and one small pink onion (“I like to call them rosé onions”, says Tyler, the farmer/owner of Alewife Farm, in the Union Square Greenmarket), both moderately sliced, heated slowly inside a large, high-sided tin-lined copper pot until softened, then one large heirloom tomato, sliced, slipped into the pan and barely heated, still above a low flame, a generous amount of torn basil from Stokes Farm, sea salt, a pinch or two os sugar added and stirred in, a generous amount of torn basil from Stokes Farm, sea salt, a pinch or two of sugar added and also mixed in, the tomatoes served with pinches of fenugreek that I had purchased from Nirmala Gupta’s ‘Bombay Emerald Chutney Company‘ at Chelsea’s Down to Earth Farmers Market on 23rd Street, and garnished with some additional (uncooked and finely-sliced) parts of the scallion and the pink onion used earlier sprinkled on top, along with more of the basil [NOTE: the additional basil wasn’t added until after the photo above was taken]
  • a She Wolf Bakery Baguette (60% organic roller-milled white flour, 40% farmer-ground half-white organic stone-milled high-extraction flour, natural leaven, kosher salt, yeast)
  • the wine was an Italian (Langhe) white, Nino Costa – Roero Arneis 2016, from Manley’s Wine & Spirits, 35 8th Avenue
  • the music was a great 1991 recording of Handel’s 1733 opera, ‘Orlando’, Christopher Hogwood conducting the Academy of Ancient Music, with David Thomas, Arleen Augér, Catherine Robbin, Emma Kirkby, and James Bowman