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Peppery Shrimp with Couscous

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Colin Ericcson

Couscous cooked with tomatoes, onion, a bell pepper and a bit of saffron provides a bed for sautéed shrimp in this elegant dish. Simple and delicious, this is easy enough to serve on weeknights.

As a group, North Americans consume too much salt, largely because most of it (77%) is hidden in processed foods and restaurant meals. That’s why I recommend using reduced-sodium stocks or, even better, making your own with no salt added, and canned tomatoes with no salt added, which are now widely available in supermarkets.

Makes4 servings

CostModerate

Moderate

Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, lactose-free, low sodium, peanut free, soy free

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner

Moodfestive

Taste and Texturebuttery, garlicky, hot & spicy, juicy, savory, spiced, tangy, umami, winey

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) crumbled saffron threads, dissolved in 2 tbsp (25 mL) boiling water
  • ½ cup (125 mL) water or reduced-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 can (14 oz/398 mL) no-salt-added diced tomatoes with juice
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) whole wheat couscous
  • 12 oz shrimp (375 g), peeled and deveined, thawed if frozen
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated lemon zest
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup (125 mL) dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup (250 mL) cooked green peas
  • Salt, optional

Instructions

In a saucepan, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add saffron liquid, water and tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil. Stir in couscous. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

In a skillet, heat remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) of oil over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook, stirring, just until they turn pink and opaque, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, lemon zest, cayenne and black pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add white wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Stir in peas until heated through. Season to taste with salt, if using.

To serve: On a deep platter, arrange couscous in a ring around the edge, leaving the center hollow. Arrange shrimp in the center.

Variations

Peppery Shrimp with Millet: Substitute an equal quantity of millet for the couscous. For the best flavor, before using in the recipe toast it in a dry skillet, stirring until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Stir the millet into tomato mixture (Step 1) and return to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, then remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.

Peppery Shrimp with Quinoa: Substitute an equal quantity rinsed quinoa for the couscous. Stir the quinoa into the tomato mixture (Step 1) and return to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork before using.

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I tried this recipe because I really enjoyed Finlayson's Pasole recipe. I recommend the Pasole recipe. This one I cannot recommend.

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