Saturday, January 22, 2011
Farro with Shrimp, Parmesan, and Peas
This is an easy recipe if you do your 'mise en place' (chopping, measuring, and sorting) ahead of time. Don't let the long ingredient list or multiple steps scare you off. Just start everything at the same time and dump it all into a dutch oven along with the vegetables at the end of cooking.
If you love tucking into a bowl of pasta in this cold weather but don't want to break your New Year's resolution, I beg you to try farro. It's as easy to cook as pasta and equally as satisfying. In fact with its slight nuttiness, some may argue it's even more comforting. Trust me - I generally turn my nose up at uber healthy dishes (and have the arse to prove it) and yet I eat this like it's running away from me. But then again, I do add a cup of cheese to it...
Farro with Peas, Shrimp, and Parmesan
* I use Whole Foods frozen shrimp, unthawed. If using fresh shrimp, roasting time will be shorter.
* Ideally, you start the veggies in the large dutch oven the same time you start boiling the farro and roasting the shrimp. That way, once all ready you can just dump the shrimp and farro into the dutch oven, warm through, and serve.
1 tablespoon butter + 1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup chopped shallots
2 carrots, chopped
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup Chardonnay vermouth or other dry white wine
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
¾ cup thawed peas
20-22 frozen shrimp peeled and deveined shrimp with tail on, unthawed
1 tablespoon olive oil, or enough to lightly coat each shrimp
salt and pepper, for seasoning
1 (8.8 oz) package farro, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms boiled in a large pot of water for 10 minutes or until just al dente. Drain and set aside.
1 cup (or more) shredded Parmesan, plus more for garnishing
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons minced fresh flat leaf parsley or basil
fresh cracked pepper and additional sea salt, for seasoning
Preheat the oven to 400.
Add the butter and oil to a large dutch oven and bring over medium/high heat. Let heat through for 1-2 minutes, then add the shallots, carrots, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and cook stirring occasionally until tender – about 8 minutes. Add in garlic and cook 2 minutes, stirring often. Bring the heat to high and add in the white wine. Allow to boil for 4-5 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add in thawed peas and stir to warm through then lower the heat to low or turn off if you still have a while to go with the rest of the steps and leave be.
Meanwhile, add the frozen shrimp to a large rimmed roasting pan (you can use aluminum foil to line it, for easier cleanup - just spray with nonstick spray.) Drizzle the shrimp with 1 tablespoon olive oil, or enough to lightly coat them, then season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Bake for 12 minutes or until the shrimp are bright pink, curled and cooked through. If using fresh shrimp you won't need as much time so keep an eye on them. Remove from the oven and set aside while you get on with the next step.
Meanwhile, add the drained farro and porcini to your vegetables in the dutch oven, putting the flame on low/medium heat. Stir well to mix, then add in the parmesan and stir again. Add in the roasted shrimp along with any leftover juices from the pan and stir again.
Finally stir in the last 3 tablespoons olive oil and chopped herbs, if desired. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper to suit your needs. Serve by the bowl full.