Last week, Whole Foods ran a special on fresh shrimp -- fairly large, sweetly plump specimens for $7.99 per pound. I dispatched Graham with my credit card and directed him to arrive early to snag about three pounds.
The whole thing took about the same time to prepare as a pot of couscous steamed in vegetable stock. It was fabulous, and proof that really fresh seafood can be prepared simply and quickly -- with a fairly fancy results -- for a minimal amount of money and effort.
I planned to save the other half to make shrimp burgers the next day, but Olive’s culinary curiosity exerted itself. Turns outs that about a cup’s worth of raw shrimp – consumed standup style like chic countertop dining in a nice tapas restaurant – is the simplest preparation of all.
The remaining shrimp, perhaps just more than a pound, was transformed into sweet, crispy sandwiches for lunch. I had planned to use fresh bread crumbs but my bread of choice had gone stale and resisted my Cuisinart’s mighty effort to slash the chunks into feathery bits. Instead, I used about a half-cup of moist leftover couscous, but use a similar amount of whatever you’ve got on hand should work.
Makes about 5
1-1¼ lbs. fresh shrimp, peeled½ cup cooked couscous
¼ cup sweet onion, diced
½ small jalapeno, diced (or more, to taste)
1 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 egg white
2-3 tbps. canola oil
Soft potato rolls
Place first seven ingredients in work bowl of food processor. Pulse-chop into coarse blend; shrimp should still be chunky and not ground into a gummy paste. Use ice cream scoop to measure about 5 balls of shrimp mix. Set on a plate and chill in refrigerator at least 15 minutes.
Pour oil into nonstick skillet and warm over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmery, add shrimp mix, flattening lightly to burger shape and size. Cook undisturbed about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Turn carefully and finish cooking.
Serve on toasted potato rolls with a generous smear of tartar sauce.