shrimp sautéed with chipotle, saffron, cumin; yellow beans


seconds after the shrimp were placed in a seasoned 10-pound cast iron pan


With the arrival of Eco Shrimp Garden to the Friday Union Square Greenmarket, I now can buy fish on a single day which can serve as meals for two consecutive days. The very fresh decapoda, pulled out of water the same day they are soldcan keep for the next (actually, and even beyond, I understand) without any taste sacrifice.  This means that we are able to enjoy that night whatever I select from the Pura Vida stand, and still enjoy a seafood meal the next, even if I can’t make it to Union Square Saturday.

I wish I could claim it as my own, but the excellent recipe I used came from Mark Bittman; it was in a feature article inside the FOOD section of the New York Times, ‘The Pantry Made Me Do It: Shrimp, Simply Spanish‘.  The print version included the simple recipe text; unfortunately the link above only includes a four-minute-plus video, and in it Bittman ends up adding tomato, which I did not do.

This  was more than a recipe however. In his piece Bittman’s describes his attitude toward stocking his kitchen, and making do – or, in his case, much more than just making do – with what is on hand.  It’s an attitude to which I have aspired for a long time, and which I seem to be gradually obtaining. Next there was my happy discovery that I actually had on hand last night every ingredient he used in the recipe with which he illustrated his point. I was thinking, ‘who has a dried chipotle pepper, saffron, and good cumin seed together in the kitchen at the same time?’  Maybe I really am on my way to chef-hood.



  • one teaspoon of chopped garlic from Norwich Meadows Farm, heated inside a (13 1/2″) cast iron pan over a very low flame until the garlic had colored nicely, followed by the addition of a pinch of saffron, one whole chipotle pepper from Northshire Farm (do not squish) and a teaspoon of freshly-ground cumin seed, all of it stirred for a minute or two, then three-quarters of a pound of Hudson Valley farmed shrimp from Eco Shrimp Garden added, seasoned with salt and pepper, the heat brought up a bit, and the shrimp cooked until firm, turned once or twice in the meantime, served with a squeeze of lemon, and garnished with parsley from John D. Madura Farm
  • yellow pole beans from Norwich Meadows Farm, blanched, reheated later in a bit of olive oil, in which thin slices of a small shallot had been warmed, then seasoned with salt and pepper and finished with chopped winter savory from Stokes Farm and a drizzle of olive oil
  • the wine was a Spanish white, Naia D.O. Rueda 2014, from Verdejo old vines
  • the music was Germaine Tailleferre, chamber and piano music